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McDelivery? McDonald's may have plans

While McDonald's investors will have to wait until May 4 to get a full picture of the chain's turnaround plan, a recent trademark application reveals what could be up the fast food giant's sleeve. (Tweet this)

Last Wednesday, the company filed an application to trademark the word "McDelivery." Companies often file trademarks for new business or marketing initiatives before they are announced to the public.


A customer carrying an order at a McDonald's restaurant.
Tim Boyle | Bloomberg | Getty Images
A customer carrying an order at a McDonald's restaurant.

New CEO Steve Easterbrook has stressed the need to be bold at McDonald's, whose domestic performance has flagged, and transform itself into a modern, progressive burger company.

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When asked for comment, McDonald's spokeswoman Lisa McComb wrote in an email that "there's nothing to share at this time." The chain has tweeted in the past it does not offer delivery in the U.S. because it wants to "ensure the quality & temperature of our food to customers."

Some New York City locations already offer delivery through Seamless, a third-party delivery service. Abroad, McDonald's also offers delivery in some countries, including the Philippines, China, Singapore and India.

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While delivery could exacerbate operational difficulty at the Golden Arches, Easterbrook has signaled he is willing to tackle the tough problems, including testing all-day breakfast in the San Diego area—something the chain has repeatedly said was too difficult in the past.

Before taking the helm, Easterbook addressed potential delivery at the chain in a December interview at the AKTA Innovation Series, saying there are "loads of reasons" why McDonald's doesn't offer delivery in the U.S. and while none of them are wrong, the chain could be more innovative in that arena.

"Frankly if we can't solve something like that with the resources we have …, then that's a failure on our side. So I mean that's where you just want to unlock the curiosity of our own minds and just be bolder, more innovative, take some risk. It's not that big of a risk and have some fun," he said.

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The chain had previously filed for a trademark for "McDelivery" in 1993 before the trademark was cancelled in 2002. In 1993, it began testing delivery in some Virginia restaurants, the New York Times reported at the time.

Early on Wednesday, McDonald's met Wall Street's revenue estimates but delivered worst-than-expected earnings and comparable restaurant sales globally and in the United States.