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McDonald’s means food quality? Retailers should take note

McDonald’s means food quality? Retailers should take note

Did you see last month’s announcement from McDonald’s USA President Mike Andres? He introduced a pivotal multi-prong program for how the quick-serve restaurant chain will win more business. Food retailers can learn from what they’re doing — especially from the changes that go beyond the expected table stakes of rationalizing menu items and customizing products.

For me, the notable pivot is the new focus on how they make their food. The new mantra is “we must and will win with our food.”

Imagine McDonald’s wanting to be more “culinary inspired.” Don’t dismiss this too fast. The company is now assuming that customers care about food quality (and all indications point to more and more people caring about this every day). McDonald’s is looking at things customers are really interested in. For example:

Preservatives. Do they really need preservatives in their food? Probably not, they’ve concluded.

Ingredients. Can they improve their ingredient list and add more familiar items while decreasing the total number of items used?

Authenticity. They want to get the word out that they actually crack eggs in the store for breakfast — showing that they do would be even better.

When a mass-market operator like McDonald’s puts this kind of emphasis on improving food quality in order to survive – quality defined the way the customer defines it — it’s a wakeup call for food retailers. It’s time for them to put a full court press on this, too.

Forget about your past experience. The future is now and delay is not your friend.

How do you focus on food quality in your stores?

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