McDonald’s Explores Food Loyalty Program

The QSR is reportedly testing a new rewards scheme and may shelve All Day Breakfast.

September 28, 2020

CHICAGO—To boost sales, McDonald’s is reportedly readying an app-based food loyalty program, according to the New York Post, which cited a recent meeting between Morgan Stanley and several top McDonald’s executives, including CFO Kevin Ozan and U.S. operations chief Joe Erlinger.

In a Sept. 18 Morgan Stanly research report, brokerage firm analysts said a new food loyalty program could spur customers to order via mobile app, taking some pressure off the chain’s busy drive-thrus. Business at the QSR’s drive-thrus rose to nearly 100% of its sales during the height of the pandemic, compared with 70% pre-pandemic, Morgan Stanley said.

McDonald’s “expects to (finally) launch a loyalty program and is working on plans to test one, which could be a key mobile unlock,” according to the Sept. 18 note, the New York Post reports.

McDonald’s in recent weeks has seen a surge in demand for the Travis Scott meal, named after the rapper, which includes a Quarter Pounder with cheese, bacon, and lettuce; medium fries with BBQ sauce to dip, and a Sprite. On Friday, McDonald’s said only customers who order through the McDonald’s app can get the meal at the $6 price point—a change from the initial offer that rolled out on Sept. 8. It’s available until October 4 at participating restaurants. Demand has been so strong that many restaurants temporarily ran out of some ingredients.

McDonald’s already has a McCafé coffee loyalty program offering the sixth cup free after five purchases via its app. If it launches a premium coffee subscription program, it would be taking on Panera, which offers coffee and other drinks for a flat monthly fee. Rival Burger King had a short-lived coffee subscription program in 2019. McCafé serves about 500 million cups of coffee a day.

McDonald’s also may be permanently shelving plans to serve its breakfast menu all day, following a pandemic-inspired halt in March to streamline kitchen operations and speed up service. Since then, customers have asked when the all-day breakfast will return. Many McDonald’s restaurants are still not open for indoor dining and are relying on drive-thru, curbside and delivery services.

A McDonald’s spokesperson told Fox News, “As McDonald’s and franchisees evaluate if and how we bring All Day Breakfast back to our menus, we want to ensure these improvements will remain consistent for our customers. Any final decision will be made in partnership with our franchisees, based on consumer demand, and designed to drive the business while minimizing operational disruptions.” The QSR launched All Day Breakfast in 2015.

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