May 17, 2020

McDonalds is shrinking for the first time in decades

franchise growth
Steve Easterbrook
Frazer Jones
3 min
McDonalds is shrinking for the first time in decades
The fast food QSR industry has been in a state of flux for the past few years, as trends and consumer desires continue to change. While newer and more a...

The fast food QSR industry has been in a state of flux for the past few years, as trends and consumer desires continue to change. While newer and more agile brands have been able to anticipate and stay ahead of these changes, some elder statesmen have been struggling to keep pace—and are now suffering the consequences.

McDonald’s is one of the largest fast food franchises in the United States and the world, and easily the most recognizable. For years, this has been an asset to the brand—it’s been too big to fail. But change comes slowly to large organizations, and it can be difficult to change the opinions and preconceptions that have already crystallized in consumer minds. These points are taking their toll at an increasing rate, and it was only a matter of time before we reached this moment.

Now in its fifth year of declining sales with no end yet in sight, McDonald’s confirmed with the Associated Press today that it has plans this year to close more United States restaurant locations that it is opening. In other words, for the first time since at least 1970, McDonald’s in the U.S. is shrinking.

RELATED CONTENT: McDonalds CEO Discusses Why Consumers Are Turning Elsewhere

McDonald’s spokesperson Becca Hary told the AP that, compared to the more than 14,000 McDonald’s locations currently active in the United States, the amount that the brand will be closing is “minimal.” Closing underperforming stores is also something that all major chains do at some point, cutting away the dead weight of stores that accrue overhead costs without earning back the necessary profits to stay open.

The hope for McDonald’s is that, by closing as many as 700 of its underperforming locations, the chain will be able to turn more focused attention to rebuilding from a position of more concentrated strength.  

RELATED CONTENT: Is McDonald’s new simplified drive-thru menu the way of the future?

Of course there is still risk involved with this. After all, the problem with McDonald’s now is not it sheer size—Subway currently has twice as many locations, and is still growing swiftly worldwide.

Rather, the key issue hindering growth at McDonald’s actually seems quite similar to the problems facing major supermarket chains in the UK like Tesco and Asda. By trying to be everything to everyone, the brands are actually losing ground to more targeted brands—Waitrose and Aldi for Tesco, Chipotle and Five Guys for McDonald’s—that have been savvier in catering to what consumers want. McDonald’s will still have to address this problem before it can really start to grow again in earnest.

RELATED CONTENT: McDonalds CEO Steve Easterbrook announces a plan to turn the chain around

At least McDonald’s has a strong global advantage of growth in emerging markets overseas, while it appears that UK-based supermarkets are struggling on that front as well. But on the domestic front, this is something that McDonald’s will have to consider heavily as it moves forward and works to turn its declining sales around.  

But if CEO Steve Easterbrook is able to find success in these bold restructuring tactics, the capital freed up by fewer locations could turn out to be a strong boost for remaining and new locations as McDonald’s rebuilds its brand.

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[SOURCE: Associated Press via Business Insider]

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Jun 13, 2021

Tyson Foods 2050 net-zero target with no bargain on taste

Helen Adams
3 min
The global protein company, Tyson Foods, has recognised its responsibility to the environment and aims to reduce emissions

Tyson Foods, a leading global protein company, aims to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions across its global operations and supply chain by 2050. 

The company supplies 20% of the USA’s beef, pork and chicken and is best known for products such as Jimmy Dean, Hillshire Farm and BallPark.

As the first U.S.-based protein company to have an emissions reduction target approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), this ambition, in conjunction with the release of the company’s fiscal year 2020 Sustainability Progress Report, underscores the company’s commitment to help combat the urgency of the growing climate change crisis. 


Food giant Tyson will meet net-zero targets

The high level of meat and diary that humans consume is fuelling climate change for many reasons:

  • Gassy cows, sheep and goats are responsible for up to 14% of all greenhouse emissions.
  • 75% of agricultural land across the world is used for animal agriculture. This includes land for the animals to graze upon, as well as the land used for the crops which animals eat to grow in. The amount of land required leads to deforestation.

The move to net-zero is an expansion of Tyson Foods current science-based target of achieving a 30% GHG emissions reduction by 2030, which is aligned with limiting global temperature rise to 2.0c. 

As a global organisation with 239 facilities and 139,000 employees worldwide, achieving net-zero emissions is a large task, which will require a collective effort from every team member, in addition to external stakeholders.

Tyson Foods’ goals include:

  • For emissions to align with limiting global temperature rise to 1.5℃, consistent with the Paris Agreement, by the end of 2023.
  • Expanding the company’s current 5m acre grazing lands target for sustainable beef production practices by 2025.
  • Continuing work to eliminate deforestation risk throughout its global supply chain by 2030.


Tyson foods supports accountability and transparency

“We believe what good food can do for people and the planet is powerful. Our net-zero ambition is another important step in our work toward realising our aspiration to become the most transparent and sustainable food company in the world,” said Donnie King, Tyson Foods President and CEO. 

“At Tyson Foods, we believe progress requires accountability and transparency and we are proud to exemplify that as we work to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050,” said John R. Tyson, Chief Sustainability Officer, Tyson Foods. “As the first U.S.-based protein company in the food and beverage sector to have an emissions reduction target approved by the Science Based Targets initiative, we hope to continue to push the industry as a leader and remain committed to making a positive impact on our planet, with our team members, consumers and customers, and in the communities we serve.”

Tyson Foods’ new ambition, along with the company’s existing sustainability goals, is aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, which include:

Goal 2: ‘End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture’. 

Goal 15: ‘Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss.’

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