The decline at McDonald’s is accelerating with today’s report of global comparable sales in July compared to a year earlier:
- U.S. down 3.2%
- Europe up 0.5%
- Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa (APMEA) down 7.3%
Sales were hit in China because of food-safety concerns there, but even without that, the report indicates a decline in customer interest. The slight boost in sales in Europe is an indication that food quality is the core issue. In Europe, where sales are roughly holding steady, McDonald’s food quality and prices are much higher and the restaurant experience is presented as more of a novelty. That could be a model for the chain to follow elsewhere if consumers continue to lose interest in low-quality fast food.
McDonald’s U.S. sales hit a peak as the recession took hold between 2007 and 2009 but have fallen ever since as Americans become more health-conscious. It is part of a larger trend that has seen declines in sales of beer and soft drinks.