4 ways McDonald's is about to change

McDonald's sees sales growth of 3%-5% starting in 2019

McDonald's has one major goal for 2017: win back customers.

The burger chain's multi-year turnaround effort, which found success with its All-Day Breakfast promotion, hasn't quite come to fruition...yet.

During its investor day in Chicago on Wednesday, the company's executives touted several big changes that the chain will be making to win back the more than 500 million visits it lost since 2012.

"To deliver sustained growth, we have to attract more customers, more often," CEO Steve Easterbrook said.

McDonald's focus will be on four pillars: menu innovation, store renovations, digital ordering and delivery.

"McDonald's appears to found their focus on profitability through disciplined efforts to reduce costs and focus on the consumer experience including consumer-facing technology, improved convenience in payment and delivery and value to drive more customer visits throughout the day," Darren Tristano, president of Technomic, told CNBC.

"For the world's largest restaurant company, this means playing catch up with younger consumer expectations while continuing to engage older generations of consumers that grew up with McDonald's," Tristano said. "Creating alternatives for customization, delivery, payment and ordering processes provides challenges but they are necessary to adapt to the evolving consumer foodservice experience."

New items on the menu 

Expect to see McDonald's "step up" its menu innovation in the U.S., said Chris Kempczinski, McDonald's USA President.

The company recently launched three different sizes of its classic Big Mac and will continue to add new items to its domestic stores. Including, a nationwide roll out of its "Signature Sandwiches" — customizable and more upscale burgers and chicken sandwiches — later this year.

Renovated restaurants

Say goodbye the white metal chairs and bold red and yellow colors. The chain's stores will also be getting an update.

McDonald's is committed to becoming a "modern and progressive burger company," and will be adding self-service ordering kiosks and table service to some of its stores. Employees will now spend more time in the front of the restaurant, delivering food directly to the tables and offering traditional dining hospitality.

McDonald's "experience of the future" is coming to about 650 restaurants this year, bringing the chain's number of these stores to nearly 2,500.

Digital ordering

The Golden Arches will continue to expand its mobile order and pay platform. While late to the game, the company is expected to launch the product in 20,000 restaurants by the end of 2017.

Easterbrook noted back in November that McDonald's is focused on how customers order, what they order, how they pay and how they want to be served. Customers can pay with cash, credit, debit, Apple pay and Android pay and will soon be able to order through the company's mobile service.


Delivery is also an avenue that McDonald's is exploring. The company, which has a large delivery presence in Asia — which accounts for 10 percent of system sales in that market— is hoping to capitalize on the growing industry demand by offering delivery in America. It is currently testing out several models, both in-house and via third-party providers.

McDonald's in early stages of multi-year turnaround: Analyst

The company said 75 percent of the population in its top five markets — America, France, the U.K., Germany and Canada — are within three miles of a McDonald's and 85 percent are within five miles of a chain.

McDonald's CEO Steve Easterbrook will appear on CNBC's "Squawk on the Street" Thursday at 9:00 a.m.

(UPDATE: This story was updated to reflect additional information from McDonald's regarding lost dining occasions given at its investor day.)