In 2014, McDonald’s was a mess. The company reported negative same-store sales growth that year for the first time since 2002 as it faced an existential threat from consumers who were looking for more than convenience. Now all the signs suggest that McDonald’s (MCD) is beginning to move beyond one of the most challenging periods in its history. While the first half of 2015 was still rough, the company posted positive same-store sales growth–an important industry metric–in the last two quarters and for the year overall.
Guest counts were still down in 2015, but CEO Steve Easterbrook–in the job since early 2015–has taken big steps to turn the company around. On his watch the company has introduced all-day breakfast and announced that it will serve only cage-free eggs within the next decade. Globally the company is testing everything from table service to self-order kiosks to delivery. Expect 1,000 new Golden Arches to open this year around the world as about 500 U.S. restaurants get a refresh.
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