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McDonalds CEO vows to bring down prices as Big Mac cost soars

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McDonald’s CEO has acknowledged that the fast-food giant’s sales have suffered due to increased menu prices, alienating its core customers.

In response, the company has announced its commitment to prioritize “affordability” in the coming year.

The Chicago-based fast-food titan, which recently faced criticism for pricing a Big Mac combo meal at nearly $18, reported that its global same-store sales in the latest quarter only grew by 3.4%, falling short of Wall Street’s expectations of 4.7% growth.

This lackluster performance, attributed in part to ongoing conflicts in the Middle East impacting overseas franchisees, had a significant impact on McDonald’s shares, causing them to plummet by nearly 4% on the New York Stock Exchange, closing at $285.97 on Monday.

More attention

McDonald’s CEO, Chris Kempczinski, addressed the issue during an earnings call with analysts, stating, “I think what you’re going to see as you head into 2024 is probably more attention to what I would describe as affordability.”

One notable trend is the decline in orders from low-income customers earning less than $45,000 per year.

These customers, grappling with the effects of inflation, have increasingly opted to eat at home as grocery prices become more favorable.

Kempczinski acknowledged this shift, stating, “Eating at home has become more affordable. The battleground is certainly with that low-income consumer.”

Despite concerns over high prices, McDonald’s customers should anticipate further price increases this year, albeit at a more gradual rate of 2% to 3%, compared to the 10% increase observed last year, according to restaurant analyst Mark Kalinowski. McDonald’s affordability initiatives are expected to manifest in the form of targeted deals offered through its mobile app.

Kalinowski emphasized, “App discounts will be a significant part of their strategy.”

Public scrutiny

McDonald’s faced recent public scrutiny when a Connecticut location charged a customer $7.29 for an Egg McMuffin and nearly $5.69 for a side of hash browns.

In another incident during the summer, a franchisee in nearby Darien, Connecticut, sparked outrage by pricing a Big Mac combo meal at $17.59.

Additionally, the same location offered a Quarter Pounder with Cheese and Bacon meal, including fries and a soda, for $19, which garnered widespread attention through viral posts.

While McDonald’s expects moderate growth in the US, ranging from 3% to 4%, compared to the 4.3% growth reported in the most recent quarter, much of this growth stems from “increased menu prices,” according to the company.

However, McDonald’s reported positive growth across all its business regions globally, except for the Middle East, where franchisees have experienced a “meaningful business impact” due to ongoing conflicts in the region, as mentioned by Kempczinski in a LinkedIn post in January.

Ahron Young is an award winning journalist who has covered major news events around the world. Ahron is the Managing Editor and Founder of TICKER NEWS.

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BREAKING: Shots ring out at Trump rally

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Donald Trump was whisked off the stage at a rally in Butler, Pennsylvania after loud noises rang through the crowd.

Trump was showing off a chart of border crossing numbers when bangs started ringing through the crowd. Trump could be seen reaching with his right hand toward his neck. There appeared to be blood on his face.

He quickly ducked behind the riser as agents from his protective detail rushed the stage and screams rang out from the crowd. The bangs continued as agents tended to him on stage.

His motorcade has left the venue.

In a statement, Trump says he is “fine” and says he is being checked at a medical facility.

Donald Trump was safe, the U.S. Secret Service and his campaign said on Saturday after multiple shots rang out at a rally by the Republican presidential candidate in Pennsylvania as video showed Trump grimacing and raising a hand to his right ear.
The former president had just started his speech when gunshots erupted and Trump and other rally attendees hit the deck. Secret Service agents swarmed around him and live video showed blood on the right side of Trump’s face and ear.
 
Trump repeatedly raised his fist in the air, with an American flag visible behind him, as security ushered him away.
“The Secret Service has implemented protective measures and the former president is safe,” a spokesperson for the agency said on X after what it called an incident.
“This is now an active Secret Service investigation and further information will be released when available.”

A map of the site, showing where the alleged gunman was situated compared to Donald Trump.

CNN reported that Trump was injured, but gave no other details. It was not clear how or what injuries he may have sustained.

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NASA astronauts phone home, confident Boeing’s Starliner will return to Earth safely

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Stranded NASA astronauts express confidence in Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft, assuring its capability to safely transport them back to Earth from the International Space Station.

The astronauts, over a video call to NASA, highlighted Starliner’s enhanced safety features and testing protocols as reassuring factors for their safe return.

“I have a real good feeling in my heart that this spacecraft will bring us home, no problem…”, said Sunita “Suni” Williams, one of the stranded NASA astronauts.

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Leaders

Franchising vs. Independent: key differences to choosing the right SMB model

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With latest Australian Federal budget, many SMB’s are weighing their options when selecting a suitable business model.

Franchising provides brand recognition, operational support, and economies of scale but involves ongoing fees.

Independent businesses offer full control and profit retention but face higher costs and regulatory challenges.

For risk and reward, the franchising model reduces risk through established practices and support but involves ongoing fees and profit-sharing with the franchisor.

On the alternative, independent businesses retain full control of profits but face higher risks and responsibilities in managing the business.

Sonia Shwabsky, CEO at Kwik Kopy Australia, joins to share her key insights on SMB’s. #featured

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