The Brit tasked with stemming flagging sales at McDonald’s unveiled his masterplan to reverse the slide yesterday – by slimming down the fast food chain’s structure, cutting costs and selling more outlets to franchisees.
Steve Easterbrook, the Watford-born accountant who spent two decades at McDonald’s British HQ in east Finchley, said he aimed to cut $300m (£198m) of costs within two years and refranchise 3,500 outlets within three years to stem the flow of diners out the door. Investors baulked at the plan, however, sending shares in the group down 1.7 per cent yesterday. Ratings agency S&P also downgraded the group in light of proposals to return investors up to $9bn from share buybacks this year.
McDonald’s has been hit by changing consumer tastes from younger eaters in recent years, and the threat from casual dining rivals like Chipotle, Nandos and Five Guys in the UK who have stolen market share.
“In the last five years, the world has moved faster outside the business than inside,” Easterbrook said, adding that he is determined to make McDonald’s a “modern, progressive burger company”.