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The Wall Street Journal reports that "after losing about 500 million U.S. orders over the past five years over failed attempts to widen its customer base," McDonald's has decided "to embrace its identity as an affordable fast-food chain and stop chasing after people who will rarely eat there."

Lucy Brady, McDonald’s senior vice president of corporate strategy and business development, described the epiphany this way: “We don’t need to be a different McDonald’s, but a better McDonald’s."

According to the Journal, McDonald's plan is to "focus on improving the quality of its food to retain existing customers and regain lapsed ones. One of its biggest challenges has been getting its burger offerings to resonate with people who have grown accustomed to better burgers from rivals." Among the things it is testing is "new cooking methods to improve the texture and taste of its classic Big Macs and Quarter Pounders," as well as the use of fresh rather than frozen beef.

In addition to getting back to menu basics, McDonald's also is looking for ways to be more accessible: "McDonald’s said it is also planning to roll out mobile ordering and payment in 20,000 restaurants in some of its largest markets, including the U.S., by the end of the year. The chain also is testing curbside pickup in the U.S."

The Journal writes that "critics have long been urging the chain to focus on its core customers, but McDonald’s had added more salads, snack wraps and oatmeal to its menu to attract health-conscious customers. In recent months the chain pulled many of those slow-selling products. It also had experimented with higher-priced burgers that failed."
KC's View:
Tastier food. That's the key. Keep the fries the way they are, and figure out how to make burgers that are more like those served at In-N-Out.