McDonald's Limits Antibiotic Use in Chickens

8-MCDONALDS-blog427Until now, McDonald's approach has been, yes, to offer some healthier menu items, but more so, to promote their current food. John Oliver poked fun at the company's ad campaign, "Our Food, Your Questions":

"There's something a little suspicious about the way that they're celebrating the fact that their food is made out of food."  

This week, McDonald's is taking real action: limiting the antibiotics that are used in chickens. Steve Easterbrook just took over as CEO on March 1 after a 12-year history with McDonald's in the U.K. According to The New York Times, this is Easterbrook's "first major act": 

"Mr. Easterbrook's first major act as C.E.O. was to announce that within two years all the chicken served at its restaurants would be free of antibiotics, or at least those antibiotics also used in humans. It was a big move for McDonald's, which is one of the biggest buyers of chicken, and one that pleased health officials who see overuse of antibiotics in animal husbandry - and the resulting antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria - as a serious threat to human health."

The company hopes Easterbrook will turn around failing McDonald's restaurants throughout the world as he did in the U.K. This Business Insider chart of same-store sales shows that the company has work to do.

McD same store sales

 Image source. Chart source.

Discussion Starters: 

  • Assess McDonald's announcement about antibiotics. What effect do you think this will have on suppliers, consumers, and investors? 
  • Easterbook declined comment for The New York Times article. Why would he decline, and is this a good move?
  • What other communications or actions should the company take to restore the image and increase revenue?