McDonald’s has undergone some dramatic chances recently, including both the CEO and HR Director’s leaving.
But it’s interesting to note that there are also come positive outcomes regarding the recent changes, as well. Chris Kempczinski who took over as CEO after Steve Esterbrook’s release, is the person who was hired from Kraft Heinz in 2015 to focus on strategy, business development and innovation. And, that’s precisely what he’s done – he’s been busy upgrading the restaurants to help lure in more customers. Under Kempczinski’s direction, the chain moved to refocus on its core customers and has worked to modernize its domestic restaurants by asking franchisees to remodel stores and introduce new equipment such as self-ordering kiosks (franchisees operated 93% of McDonald’s restaurants across the globe last year). As a result, some 9,000 restaurants in the U.S.have been renovated, (ref WSJ). To ensure that this happened, in 2017, the company offered to pay 55% of the cost of the changes, and in 2018, it said that it would invest $8 billion together with its franchisees to modernize restaurants. Both Esterbrook and Kempczinski are being credited with “articulating a vision to remake McDonald’s amid major shifts in the restaurant industry,” (ref WSJ). Kempcrinski is described as very analytical with an ability to simplify complex opportunities, and as the face of the transformation, which executives remain assured will offer a competitive advantage. Interestingly, Kempcrinski is the first McDonald’s CEO not to have operations experience – but, perhaps more importantly, during his career he has been known as “the guy you could give the point to on a big strategy project.” Sounds like it’s working.