The sales and share price of McDonald’s have soared in the past six years. “I’ve been an analyst for 18 years, and I’ve never recommended a stock for this long in my life,” said David Kolpak. “It’s been an amazing ride.” (NY Times, January 11, 2009)
It wasn’t always so. At the beginning of 2003, McDonald’s suffered its first quarterly loss in history and its stock was tanking.
How did the company come back? They changed a few things.
First, they poured over data to find out what customers were eating and drinking. Big answer here: chicken. McDonald’s now gives it to you Southern-style, grilled, in a wrap, a nugget or for breakfast.
Second, they prioritized what they do. Sure, cheap would stay; but something else was more important - quality.
Their execution on these two factors – data and quality – played out in their first attempt at being a coffee-destination which didn’t work out so hot. The data said that people were into coffee but as Big Mac soon learned, we only wanted really GOOD coffee.
Here are the four things they did to focus on quality: bought higher-quality beans, used better equipment, filtered the water and upgraded the cream – 60 per cent of us use cream in our coffee. Results? In the two years since the emphasis on quality sales of coffee are up 70 percent.
If you are interested in creating an “amazing ride” for yourself, here’s what you can learn from McDonald’s comeback:
1. Pour over your data. (What’s workin’ for you? What’s not? What might? When’s the last time life was hot?)
2. Focus on quality. (What’s two things that will make your job better? your career? health? spirit?)
McDonald’s ride – from down and out and now on top - inspires us all. Despite a bad economy, we can get to work. We can perform. We can plan to win and believe – really believe- that we can life the life we want. You could be up 70% in a couple of years. Not bad huh?