McDonald’s sales tumble in November, sending stock down

A customer receives an order at the drive-through of a McDonald's restaurant in San Pablo, Calif., on Jan. 22.
(David Paul Morris / Bloomberg)

The Big Mac is suffering.

Facing changing eating habits among Americans, McDonald’s Corp. on Monday reported downbeat November sales, sending its stock down nearly 4%.

The Oak Brook, Ill.-based fast-food giant said sales at U.S. stores open at least 13 months fell 4.6% in November -- a drop that followed a 1% decline a month earlier.

“Today’s consumers increasingly demand more choice, convenience and value in their dining-out experience,” McDonald’s Chief Executive Don Thompson said. “We are working to bring the McDonald’s ‘experience of the future’ to life for our customers to better deliver against these evolving expectations.”


As part of that effort, McDonald’s wants to emulate fast-casual competitors such as Chipotle, which allow customers to customize their orders.

McDonald’s currently allows customers at several Southern California stores to customize its iconic hamburgers by placing the patty on a toasted artisan roll or adding items such as guacamole and applewood smoked bacon.

By the end of 2015, the Create Your Taste pilot program will roll out to 2,000 of McDonald’s 14,000 U.S. stores, company spokeswoman Lisa McComb said.

McDonald’s also has launched an effort to address health concerns, taking to social media to answer customer questions.

Sales aren’t just down in the U.S. Global same store sales, a key measure of retail health, dropped 2.2% in November, the company said.

McDonald’s shares fell $3.57, or 3.7%, to $92.74 in early afternoon trading on Wall Street.

Follow me on Twitter: @khouriandrew