McDonald’s franchises make switches to fresh beef and sales increase

McDonald’s is switching from using fresh beef instead of frozen and its making a difference in its sales and market share.

It all began last year when McDonald’s started to use fresh beef in its quarter-pounder burgers in most of its franchises throughout the US. And it gained a 30 percent increase in quarter-pound burger sales over the last 12 month period.

McDonald’s has made changes to using not only fresh beef but also to using free-range eggs for their breakfast menu. These changes have been inspired by the growing public interest in transparency for fresher, healthier ingredients used in the menu items by the national burger chain which began in Des Plaines, IL in 1955.

Marion Gross, who is the company’s chief supply chain officer for North America, also told CNN Business that the company has had to keep up with the changes in its customer base which is asking for better quality in ingredients across the board.

A couple of the major switches is to reducing the antibiotics use of antibiotics in its fresh beef ingredients and the use of eggs from cage-free chickens.

The burger chain company made a strong marketing effort last year which resulted in great sales in May of 2018 and also included fresh beef in its 2 for $5 promotion for the first time too which had good results according to the company’s CFO Kevin Ozan in hisdiscussion of McDonald’s first-quarter earnings with CNN.

The change of using fresh beef instead of frozen posed quite a challenge to franchise owners who had to pay out of their own pockets for some of those changes such as implementing new food handling practices in its franchise kitchens. It was also a challenge to its suppliers.

There were equipment changes that needed to be made. Suppliers had to make changes in new packaging equipment and adding more refrigerators for the safer handling of the fresh beef. Even the delivery trucks that distribute the fresh meet had to make changes by installing correct temperature monitoring devices in order to transport the fresh beef safely. 

A major change in operations has not happened in the McDonald’s burger chain franchises since 2015 when the company went to making breakfast items available from just morning to an all day schedule.

Last October 2018 the National Owners Association, which is a self-funded advocacy group of McDonald’s franchisees met with the company to discuss all the changes which has put a lot of stress on many of the franchises, but it has all worked out with more and more franchisees coming on board and joining in on the switching to more healthier menu offerings.