McDonald’s might still hold a top position in the fast food industry, but their dominance is starting to slip. The competition is finally starting to creep up on the chain because of the growing influence of millennial diners. These young adults are hungry for something new. While older generations may still frequent the Golden Arches out of nostalgia or a desire for budget eats, the 20s and 30s crowds are opting for something fresher and higher in quality.
The decline in same store sales during the last quarter were the largest experienced yet since 2003. Sales at locations open for 13 months or more were also stagnate for the first two quarters of 2014. It’s likely to be a struggle for McDonald’s the reverse this change because younger diners are turning to other options like Chipotle’s and Panera Bread in great numbers.
Meals eaten by diners falling into the 19 to 21 age category have dropped over 12% since the beginning of 2011. However, those diners were still eating out – just at fast casual chains instead of fast food locations like McDonald’s. Despite attempts to freshen up their menus to include more high quality items, so far most efforts to attract young people have failed.