Oak Brook, Illinois--McDonald's Corp., under increasing pressure to jumpstart sluggish U.S. sales before the end of the year, is looking to shake up its marketing efforts while moving forward with expansion of its diner concept as a way to boost volumes at existing restaurants. The burger giant's former marketing chief, Paul Schrage, who helped create some of the chain's most memorable ad campaigns and introduced Happy Meals nationwide during his 17 years with the company, agreed to return to McDonald's as a consultant.

Meanwhile, McDonald's continues to expand its experiment of retrofitting existing restaurants with limited table-service diners. The concept, called "McDonald's with the Diner Inside," debuted in Kokomo, Indiana, in March 2001. McDonald's opened a second diner, which offers an expanded menu and table service, in Tipton, Indiana, in June and plans to convert two existing restaurants in Owensboro, Kentucky, to the diner concept. -Nation's Restaurant News