McDonald’s Prepares $200 Million Marketing Campaign

The fast food chain is starting to deploy a promotional plan to push its chicken and breakfast menus.

June 19, 2020

CHICAGO—More than a thousand U.S. McDonald’s restaurants are once again welcoming diners at their tables inside stores, QSR Magazine reports. To return to pre-COVID-19 levels, the company is injecting $200 million in a new marketing campaign, in addition to ongoing advertisement monies from company and franchise stores.

Recently, McDonald’s domestic figures registered lower traffic numbers, especially in the morning daypart. However, even with limited seating, the chain said it had nearly reached 95% of pre-COVID-19 numbers. Fewer guests spent more in the store, but breakfast in particular suffered at McDonald’s and other restaurants, too. According to The NPD Group, the morning meal transactions dropped 18% at major restaurant chains in the week ended June 7, compared with the same time frame a year ago. Prior to the pandemic, breakfast was one of the fastest growing dayparts in the foodservice industry, as noted in NACS Magazine in January.

“I think it's fair to say breakfast is a critical daypart for us, and so, as we start to really get into the recovery phase, getting back at breakfast business is going to be critical for us. I think the point we are trying to make on breakfast is it takes time. It's a disruption to routines. Re-establishing those routines does take time, but we plan to be very aggressive and make sure that we get back the breakfast business,” said McDonald’s CFW Keven Ozan during an April call.

CEO Chris Kempczinski said the brand will start reinvigorating breakfast again as the chain will use part of the new marketing push to target the AM daypart. McDonald’s faces more breakfast competition, as rivals like Wendy’s make inroads. Wendy’s recently said its breakfast menu has fared better than expected during the pandemic.

Kempczinski said McDonald’s would be expanding beyond the limited menu it brought in to help the chain through the pandemic. The chain also hinted it would soon put a new chicken sandwich on its menu, possibly the Crispy Chicken Sandwich it had been testing earlier in the year.