Business

McDonald's comeback: Menu upgrade leads to strong May sales

Restaurant and Catering IndustryCookingLifestyle and LeisureOak BrookMcDonald'sBird Flu

For the first time in months, a key sales figure at McDonald’s rose in May as the world’s largest burger chain tried to stay ahead of competitors by sprucing up its menu.

Same-store sales were up 2.6% last month, beating out Wall Street’s predictions for a 1.9% upswing. The measure strips out volatility by only considering sales at locations open more than a year.

In the U.S., the gauge was up 2.4%, as customers embraced new menu items such as Chicken McWraps and health-focused Egg White Delight sandwiches.

The fast food giant has tried to upgrade its breakfast offerings, hoping to attract a growing segment of morning diners. The company recently said it would roll out dinner and breakfast options from midnight to 4 a.m.

Many other chains are doing the same. Taco Bell recently launched a breakfast waffle taco. Dunkin’ Donuts is now selling a breakfast sandwich featuring bacon and eggs sandwiched between two halves of a doughnut.

McDonald’s has struggled to turn in encouraging financial figures since October, when it reported its first monthly sales slide in nearly a decade.

In the ensuing months, the Oak Brook, Ill.-based chain has reported far more comparable sales declines than increases, including a 0.6% global slide in April.

Last month, the metric was up 2% in Europe, as strength in Russia and England tamped down difficulties in Germany and France.

But in Asia, same-store sales grew just 0.9%, disappointing analysts. McDonald’s blamed an avian flu outbreak for dampening traffic in China.

The company’s stock was up as much as 1.8% in morning trading to $100.13 a share. It has advanced 13% so far this year.

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Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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Restaurant and Catering IndustryCookingLifestyle and LeisureOak BrookMcDonald'sBird Flu
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