The only arch that is showing positive gain is on Mr. Spock. After almost 50 years, the Star Trek franchise is still going strong. The Golden Arches, however, are struggling right now trying to find their home in the ever-so-crowded quick -serve arena.
From humble beginnings with 1 unit in 1955 to 700 restaurants in 1965, McDonald’s grew up along with the baby boomers. Those boomers are now retiring and the next generation has not been so accepting of the premise that built the fast-food giant. Two hundred corporate positions are being cut this year and the U.S. store count will be down for the first time ever by net 59 units. Innovation and creativity at the #1 restaurant chain does not seem to be enough to satisfy the millennials who value local, high quality offerings over low price and nationwide consistency.
This could be a warning sign to the other segment leaders. The next generation will be equally short on time, especially as they have children themselves. When a preferred consumption pattern emerges, those who can change to attract the new parents will be the winners in the food service game.
Mr. Spock would go to the food synthesizer and enter his order. We are not to that point yet, but that will be another change yet to deal with.