With a healthy economy, one would not expect 2018 to be marked with a price race to the bottom. However, that is exactly what was outlined at the end of 2017, when McDonald’s, Taco Bell and Jack-in-the-Box announced plans to drop prices and expand their value menus, with others likely to follow suit.
Whether to add convenience for consumers or cut costs for operators, self-service kiosks, mobile ordering and delivery had a watershed moment in 2017. No longer are these technologies and services relegated to small, niche brands; instead they are used by powerhouses such as McDonald’s, which partnered with Uber Eats for delivery and added both self-service kiosks and mobile ordering, and Taco Bell, which matched the latter – its parent company announced a delivery partnership with Grubhub in early 2018.
Consumers are more knowledgeable and concerned about the ingredients in the foods they eat at fast food restaurants than ever before. They do not want to simply avoid fast food, instead voicing their opinions and hoping that offerings will be adjusted.
Part of the problem for McDonald’s is its reputation and history of being associated with unhealthy food choices, exemplified by the film Super Size Me. Whether this reputation is warranted or not, McDonald’s made several significant steps that helped increase its sales and position it for a future reminiscent of its glory days.
Fast food tends to conjure up images of juicy hamburgers and French fries, but 2017 marked the year of the chicken. Even McDonald’s, the home of the Big Mac and the Quarter Pounder, released Chicken Tenders.
Other fast food stories of 2017 included the rise in catering and the continuing deterioration of silos across fast food. Many chains are expanding their catering reach and resources, fulfilling the needs of business meetings and family gatherings.
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