Before we begin, let's take a moment to mourn the end of McDonald's monthly sales reports. June was the last month it will release the numbers for. RIP, monthly report. We hardly knew ye.
It's not ending on a high note, either. In June, comparable sales in the U.S. were down 1.7% from a year ago.
Now, let's get down to business.
McDonald's losing streak goes on and on. Globally, sales at restaurants open at least 13 months fell 0.7% last quarter.
At the chain's U.S. restaurants, comparable sales fell 2% — and that's despite increasing prices by 2% year-on-year at the end of May. CEO Steve Easterbrook said domestic results have been disappointing for nearly three years now. This marks the chain's seventh consecutive quarter of negative domestic comparable sales, but the problems started before then.
The company blamed falling guest counts in the U.S. "Featured products and promotions did not achieve expected consumer response," according to a press release.
For instance, McDonald's switched to "artisan" chicken in its sandwiches and in June launched a $2.50 promotional summer menu for customers seeking a low cost meal.
Other solutions the chain will continue to test include all-day breakfast, burger customization, and menu simplification. It will also roll out a mobile app next quarter. The company says over 25 million U.S. customers still visit McDonald's each day, which is certainly a lot.
But the Golden Arches says the end of its suffering may be near.
While the end of monthly sales reports may take some pressure off management, McDonald's expects global comparable sales to be positive next quarter. Already, comparable sales in Europe increased 1.2% last quarter, China is recovering from last year's supplier debacle, and Easterbrook said its Australia business has already turned around.
The U.S. and Japan remain its most stubborn markets, and likely will be McDonald's toughest challenges ahead.