McDonald’s to switch to “Chipotle-like” positioning in 18 months

McDonald’s is plotting a complete overhaul, both from inside and outside. The world’s No. 1 biggest fast food chain is set to transform its menu and switch to a new branding. This evolutional process will take about 18 months, and after this reconstruction the world will see a new McDonald’s built around healthier foods, authentic homely atmosphere and sustainability-driven philosophy. In some way, in terms of positioning McDonald’s will be similar to the rapidly  growing Chipotle Mexican Grill chain.

Photo: McDonalds arch by Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg,

BusinessWeek reports that the repositioning won’t focus on visual identity overhaul, but it will go much deeper, helping the chain become a “more trusted and respected brand,” as Don Thompson, McDonald’s chief executive noted. Consumers will see a significant shift towards better value, service and more eco-oriented marketing—earlier, the company announced it will be serving sustainable beef by 2016 and add more vegetable and fruit options to its menu.

This move will help the brand put an end to the ongoing concerns about high-calorie food McDonald’s serves and in this way contributes to the world’s obesity problem, adding negative features to its corporate image. The goal is not to just reformulate the menu, but also to turn McDonald’s venues into the spaces where “customers will feel good about.” At the moment, the company is on the stage of collecting insights and planning changes—it has turned its West Coast restaurant into a “learning lab,” where it will be testing new approaches and getting immediate feedback from customers.

The company is to simplify the menu, add more items that sync with healthier lifestyles (breakfast food, and coffee and ice shakes), will revolutionize the core items on the menu—Big Mac, Egg McMuffin and fries—by adding more sustainable and premium feel, will also provide more modern amenities as Wi-Fi to the venues, expand its digital efforts, and more.