After a year of getting banged up — even by its own franchisees — McDonald’s will announce its turnaround play today. The primary focus will be to restore “trust in our brand.” You can watch a webcast here detailing the plan. You can also listen in on the live conference call here at 10 am CT. Newly installed CEO Steve Easterbrook is under pressure to deliver something that will salt growth and earnings, which have been bland. If he’s the right man for the job, adding salt should come naturally.
Lately it’s been mostly salt in the wounds — not on the fries — for McDonald’s, as competitors like Five Guys and Burger King have shown growth and momentum while the Big Mac maker stalled. Easterbrook’s real goal is to return meaning to the once sincere feeling McDonald’s customers had for the brand — expressed in its famous advertising slogan: I’m lovin’ it. Local McDonald’s franchisees have recently expressed confidence in the product, even going head-to-head with breakfast interloper Taco Bell. But McDonald’s must create a national campaign similarly emphasizing its quality to reinvigorate the brand.