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McDonald’s Faces “Millennial” Challenge Essay

McDonald’s has been around for nearly 60 years and is accustomed to dominating the fast food industry. However, McDonald’s is losing that dominance to the more modern fast-casual restaurants such as Chipotle and Panera Bread. People of ages 22-37, also known as millennials, are a major reason for the decrease of McDonald’s success because they seem to prefer the healthier and more modern option.

Fast-casual restaurants big selling point is the freshness and healthiness of the food they provide. While it may be slightly more expensive than the combo-meal choices at McDonald’s, millennials seem to care more about the quality and freshness of their food over paying bottom dollar. Take a fast-casual restaurant like Chipotle, for example. Their “claim-to-fame” is that they use the freshest meat available and allow the customer to see the food they are getting before they order and eat it. Another popular characteristic of Chipotle is that there is no set menu. There is a list of ingredients which you can pick and choose from; on the contrary, McDonald’s has an extensive menu of pre-selected combo choices which doesn’t allow for much personalization from the customer. Because of this wide variety of options at fast-casual restaurants, McDonald’s is beginning to lose many of its’ “millennial” customers.

Not only is McDonald’s losing customers in the United States, but they are also experiencing a sales and customer decline globally. One recent crisis in China involved the selling expired meats to customers. McDonald’s reported a sales decrease of 7.3% in the Asia/Pacific, Middle East, and African regions. Recently, McDonald’s has admitted to having and overly large menu which resulted in slow service times to customers.

In conclusion, McDonald’s will need to make some necessary changes if they wish to regain the coveted business of millennials. First, they could have less preset combos and allow the customer to pick which stuff they would like to pair up. The more power that is in the customer’s hands, the happier that customer will be because they are getting exactly what they want. Another thing that needs to happen is to become healthier and more modern. Recently, McDonald’s has incorporated wraps into their menu which is a good start. Fast-casual restaurants are appealing to most millennials because they have the healthier/fresher foods. In order for this fast food chain to survive and thrive once again, they will need to make the changes necessary to get them there.

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