Millennials (people born roughly between 1983 and 2000) grew up with McDonald's during its peak. We loved McDonald's. I remember loving McDonald's as a kid because they always partnered with my favorite movies. I would pester my parents to take me to the fast-food restaurant because I wanted to get a "Happy Meal," and it was a bonus if McDonald's had a playland.
But eventually, all the kids who loved Happy Meals in the 1990s and 2000s grew up and started to analyze some strange things about McDonald's: Low wages for employees, unhealthy food, and watching the documentary Super-Size Me didn't exactly endear the company to us. Not to mention McDonald's (and other fast food burger joints) have become the embodiment of the unsuccessful career. How many of you have been to career fairs where a speaker has warned that we do not want to work at a job where we ask, "Do you want fries with that?"*
McDonald's serves about 69 million people around the world each day and they want to bring back the millennial guests they lost. The company's annual shareholder meeting was the place to strategize how to win us back.
Prior to the meeting, Madeline Davies of Jezebel wrote an interesting piece responding to USA Today's report on McDonald's efforts to attract millenniala. USA Today asked marketing experts what strategies McDonald's should implement to win back millennials and the recommendations were:
-Create Craveable Food
-Compete with Fast-Casual
-Fix the Nutritionals
The best recommendation I have for McDonald's is to be healthier and not have McDonald's in hospitals! Also, don't be afraid to pull at our heartstrings and actually use things from our childhoods to reel us back in. Launch a product that will have every millennial saying, "Remember when we had these as a kid?!"
It looks like people are going to continue to hold McDonald's accountable and they're going to do so at earlier ages. Whether the company catches on is up to them.
*And yes, we do want fries with everything because fries are tasty. McDonald's has the best fries.