After a four and a half year stint, McDonalds has pulled the plug on its select line of Angus burgers. Since sales had been down 1.2% in the first quarter, McDonalds opted to embrace a lower priced menu by dropping the highly priced burgers. The move moved McDonalds’ sales up .7%.
While this doesn’t seem like big news, consider Carl’s Jr./Hardee’s response on how to beat McDonalds’ menu change. Andy Puzder, CEO of Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s, has posted a video to introduce the fast food chain’s Reclaim Your Angus campaign, saying “We were the first major fast food restaurant to serve 100% Black Angus beef burgers and now we are the only one.”
This is a very strategic way at solidifying its brand of “Eat Like You Mean It,” which is positioned directly against the QSR trend of lighter, cheaper offerings. It’s no wonder that Carl’s Jr./Hardee’s has been improving its market share, even in breakfast, and our experience in the fast food industry tells us it’s one of the few fast food brands that’s different and better than the competition.
McDonald’s still rules the roost in the industry, but it shows that the best way to steal market share is to position yourself against the competition, not copy it. McDonalds is a tidal wave force that pushes the trends in the QSR marketplace, but you simply can’t steal market share from McDonalds by being McDonalds.