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McDonald's is struggling to attract Americans back to its restaurants

Still, McDonald’s noted that it was the fourth straight quarter in which comparable-store sales rose in the US, despite “softening industry growth”.

Image: AP Photo/Alan Diaz

MCDONALD’S IS LOOKING for ways to win back customers, less than a year after the world’s biggest burger chain reported that sales rose a disappointing 1.8% in the US up to the end of June.

That’s even with the benefits from all-day breakfast, which began in October.

That rollout has been the most notable move so far under CEO Steve Easterbrook, who is fighting to turn around two years of declining customer visits. McDonald’s has called the launch a success and said it plans to expand the offerings on the menu this autumn.

Easterbrook promised “even more news” soon related to the tweaks McDonald’s has been making to improve the image of its food.

That push is intended to confront one of McDonald’s most fundamental problems: the perception that its burgers and fries are processed junk food.

Changes

Fast Food-Price Fight Source: AP/Press Association Images

Already, the company has made changes including switching to butter from margarine for its Egg McMuffins, and testing Chicken McNuggets made without artificial preservatives.

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At its restaurants, McDonald’s is also trying to increase speed and cut down on wrong orders — one of the biggest reasons for unhappy customers. Easterbrook cited the potential of self-order kiosks and the McDonald’s mobile app to take out “many of those human interactions where complications can arise”.

In the meantime, McDonald’s still appears to be struggling to attract more customers. It said the sales bump in the most recent quarter reflected a 3% price increase, and people on average ordering items that tend to cost more.

Still, McDonald’s noted that it was the fourth straight quarter in which comparable-store sales rose in the US, despite “softening industry growth”.

Read: 13 signs your Supermac’s addiction has gone too far

Read: McDonald’s is taking some of the mystery ingredients out of McNuggets

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