McDonald's Plots Turnaround

Oak Brook, Illinois--McDonald's Corp.'s new leadership team was poised to take control this month following the troubled fast-food giant's warning that it would end 2002 with its first-ever quarterly net loss and amid reports that its billions-selling burger recipe was being revamped "to improve the flavor." According to a year-end memo to franchisees that was quoted by Dow Jones but unconfirmed by McDonald's, the chain intends to allocate about 20 percent of its 2003 domestic ad budget to its Dollar Menu. The memo reportedly also quoted McDonald's leaders as saying they were set to reformulate its hamburger seasoning mix "to improve the flavor of our meat" and would begin using new buns starting next spring. In addition, McDonald's reportedly indicated that it is evaluating the elimination of some sizes of french fries and drinks to reduce the breadth of its menu while also reexamining service concerns. -Nation's Restaurant News