Between trying to make “McBrunch” a thing and pledging to only use antibiotic-free chicken, McDonald’s has tried hard to court the millennial consumer recently. Several of those moves elicited applause, while others left people scratching their heads; however, in most cases, they haven’t lead to more young adults (whom most businesses consider their new lifeblood) buying Big Macs and French fries.

Today the company released a 23-minute video explaining that courting its white whale—millennials—will take less precedence than in the past. CEO Steve Easterbrook said there will be “less sweeping talk of millennials as if they’re one single group.” Instead, the company plans to reorganize its company structure, sell off 3,500 company-owned stores (probably in order to pay less workers an increased minimum wage), cut costs by $300 million, and refocus on making better food.

If those proposed—albeit cliff-noted—solutions sound vague and potentially not helpful, you’re not alone.

Money uses Domino’s as an example of how to successfully re-brand, which Mickey D’s has yet to do:

In the late ’00s, Domino’s took the bold step of airing “brutally honest” commercials in which it admitted some people thought its “pizza sucks.” Domino’s was lauded by branding experts for owning up to the shortcomings of its food, as well as well what seemed to be a commitment to do better by its customers. The transparency and accompanying menu makeover have come to be viewed as great triumphs for Domino’s, which boasted a 14% increase in same-store sales in the first quarter of 2010.

For McDonald’s, though, there hasn’t been any straightforward “Domino’s moment” mea culpa about the food, and it’s unclear if the just-announced turnaround will include any big changes to the menu.


While McDonald’s grapples with the “to Millennial, or not to Millenial” question, two other pertinent bits of news about the chain dropped today. The burger titan announced it would begin to work with PostMates to allow delivery in New York City. If that name sounds familiar, Chipotle announced it struck a deal with the app two weeks ago. The news is probably more of a publicity play than anything: many NYC McDonald’s have already offered delivery through Seamless.

But the other-other bit of news is more practical: McDonald’s Hungary created a “Bag Tray” with DDB Budapest to make dining easier.

Photo: Gizmodo

GIF via Gizmodo

Of course, a paper tray won’t solely save McDonald’s. That has to come from elsewhere.

[Via Washington Post, Money, Eater, Gizmodo]