Day 6

Can McDonald's survive?

Larry Light, former Chief Marketing officer for McDonald's USA, on the future of the fast food giant.
A customer dines behind a window at a McDonald's restaurant. (Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg via Getty Images) (Bloomberg via Getty Images)

On Monday, McDonald's announced that their sales slump had continued last month. The fast food giant issued a statement acknowledging, “Consumer needs and preferences have changed... McDonald’s current performance reflects the urgent need to evolve with today’s consumers, reset strategic priorities and restore business momentum.” 
"It's huge stakes," says Larry Light, former Chief Marketing Officer for McDonald's USA and current the chair of the consulting firm Arcature. "It is a crisis. McDonald's has unfortunately lost its way. The consumer has changed and McDonald's stood still." 

Robert Carter, executive director of the marketing research firm NPD Group Canada, points to the success of "fast casual" chain restaurants like Chipotle. "Over the last five years that's been the fastest growing part of the US market," he says. "We expect it to be the fastest growing part of the Canadian market for the next five years."