Millennials’ Inability To Commit To Monogamous Fast Food Relationships Is Hurting McDonald’s

While it would be great for companies if all consumers agreed to go steady with just one of its suitors, choosing say, one fast food restaurant above all the rest and devoting themselves entirely to that relationship, that’s just not how it works. We consumers like to play the field, especially millennials, and that’s bad news for companies like McDonald’s.

The fast food chain is in the middle of its worst slump in ten years, reports the Wall Street Journal in an in-depth look at McDonald’s recent sales losses.

To blame? Millenials, the young customers who are daring to disperse favors among the many food options, including new favorites Chipotle and and Five Guys, according to data the WSJ had restaurant consultancy Technomic Inc. compile.

These millennials don’t want to commit, and are often looking for healthier fare than what has been the mainstays of fast food.

“The millennial generation has a wider range of choices than any generation before them,” McDonald’s Global Chief Brand Officer Steve Easterbrook said in an interview. “They’re promiscuous in their brand loyalty. It makes it harder work for all of us to earn the loyalty of the millennial generation.”

That’s why we’re seeing things like the McWrap, points out Gothamist, which isn’t exactly new, novel health food, but apparently works as millennial bait anyway. Because nothing says, “be mine alone” like a 600-calorie snack.

McDonald’s has been having a tough go of it in the media recently, along with its disappointing numbers. A growing effort to push fast food chains like McDonald’s to raise the minimum wage has kept the company in the news. Not to mention bad feedback over its tone deaf advice about how workers should tip the pool cleaner during the holidays and a sample budget provided to employees that seems wholly unrealistic.

That, and the fact that Consumer Reports subscribers rated McDonald’s burgers as the worst-tasting of 20 burger chains, and you’d better believe McDonald’s is really wishing its customers were ready to go steady right about now.

“Diners, especially younger adults in the millennial generation, may be more willing to go out of their way to get a tasty meal,” Consumer Reports pointed out.

McDonald’s Faces ‘Millennial’ Challenge [Wall Street Journal]

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  1. GnRJosh says:

    I don’t believe this has anything to do with millennials and their shifting tastes and more to do with the fact that there are more food options out there now than just cheeseburgers and, when it comes to their line of products, theirs simply sucks compared to options like Five Guys. Not for nothing, their constant reshuffling of their menu has driven a good portion of their customers away. For me, I stopped going once they got rid of the Chicken Selects. They were one of the better fast food chicken strip options available, and paired with their Spicy Buffalo sauce and Creamy Ranch, were about almost up there with some wing joints. Yes, I can dip their McNuggets into those sauces, but the taste is not there. The processed chicken just doesn’t compare to a breast tenderloin strip. So now I go to Hardee’s for that. Their burgers have always been crap so I started going to Burger King until Wendy’s introduced the Hot ‘n’ Juicy burgers and I switched to them. Five Guys is too pricey for anything other than an occasional indulgence. About the only thing McD’s has going for it is their $1 Cokes, and since I stopped drinking anything with caffeine and I’m about to kick pop completely, this eliminates any trips there for me now. Sorry, McD’s, it’s not us, it’s you.