McDonald’s Has New Plan to Win Back Their Low-Income Customers Who are Not McLovin’ New Prices

By: Savvy Dime Staff | Published: Feb 16, 2024

Most customers remember the jingle “ba-da-ba-BA-BAAA, I’m Lovin’ It”. The catchy jingle with an addictive hook plays in our minds from the early 2000’s, but it seems these days with inflation, McDonald’s wishes to curb this financial stress, and to do so that involves some big changes.

 McDonald’s is making plans, when it comes to attempting to win back their customer base. And this means pulling out all the special marketing ropes to get the job completed. But how exactly will this work? And can the fast-food chain truly get its low-income customers to buy a Big Mac and French Fries again? One can only wonder since inflation has really hit customers hard. And the only way McDonald’s can be the hero in this story is to give customers what they want, an excellent deal for the money.

Thanks to sticker shock prices, low-income families are rethinking those not-so exciting Happy Meals as dining at McDonald’s is getting way too expensive for their wallets.Facing ridiculous high-food costs, the chain’s prices skyrocketed 10% last year, with a Big Mac combo meal setting customers paying as high as $18; hikes this year are set to jump another 2%-3%. Though MsDonald’s CEO promises to curb inflation, aimed at low-income customers falling out of love with the fast-food giant. Focusing on “affordability” to try luring customers back to its big yellow arches.

California’s Minimum Wage Increase Works into a Strategic Menu Options for Customers

The reason prices have increased thanks to inflation, has a lot to do with California’s Minimum wage increase which works into the Strategic Menu options for customers at McDonald’s. With the wages increased, this helps customers be able to actually pay for a meal and not feel the burn in their pocket book. And if they happen to have a credit card handy, they can order ahead of time and not feel compromised financially. With more States taking notice of Calforina’s minimum wage increase, it is the biggest hope that more places will do the same. It can help reduce the stress levels of inflated prices. But with the strategic menu items for customers, these more reasonably priced items are more ideal.

Customers will have the option of a cheeseburger, hamburger, for ($1.89!), and several bakery items, sundaes, and coffee beverages off the dollar menu. This may be just in some selected McDonald’s locations, and is a familiar practice, but what gets even stranger is the add-ons of items for $1, $2, $3? My guess is these items featured are the stars of the show. And like the daily extras, they tend to shine at a golden price range. As tempting as these offers are, the real question is can this cheaper menu really bring in customers for a cheeseburger and a large fry?

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McDonald’s Dollar Menu items on a tray in a Chinese restaurant. A hamburger and a grilled chicken sandwich, with a large french fry and a drink.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

It is a true quest for value in an environment of continuingly increasing prices, the McDonald’s Dollar Menu gives you options for your money. And this is truly what customers seek for, value for their income. These items that look promising, are worth getting when you have an option of a great meal with a deal.

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Using Vintage Ads for 2024’s Customer Base

It is no question that McDonald’s is pulling out all the tricks in their hats. And one in particular they are attempting to revive is “vintage ads” we recall from the start of the franchise.

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Vintage iconic McDonald’s characters celebrating Grimace’s birthday

Source: Wikimedia Commons

McDonald’s celebrated the biggest revival yet, by bringing back the iconic character known as, “Grimace” to celebrate his birthday with a Grimace milkshake. Highlighting this furry purple mascot with a limited edition campaign, with products and a tv commercial featuring Ronald McDonald Charities.

Making Major Changes to the Burgers

It comes to no surprise to win back their customers, the fast-food chain has decided to make some changes, especially when it comes to their signature burgers.

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A Big Mac Hamburger from McDonald’s fast-food chain.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

The changes to be made are, revamp the buns to brioche bun that is sliced with a thicker bottom to retain heat. There are also changes coming to their cheese, tomatoes, and lettuce.

Stopping Customers from Eating at Home

Customers are feeling the pain at fast-food chains, especially McDonald’s and eating at home just makes sense for their wallets. And since inflation has really hurt low-income families it adds to common logic.

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McDonalds French Fries and sauces..

Source: Wikimedia Commons

CEO Chris Kempczinski said “Eating at home has become more adorable, “The battle ground is with the low-income consumer.” The CEO has to show how valuable it is to go back into his chain, especially when people are finding it convenient and affordable to eat at home with high-prices draining their wallets. 

Making these changes will not be easy for the fast-food franchise, but when it comes to convenience McDonald’s is coming up with the right strategies to get customers off their couches and back into the golden arches.

McDonald’s Rebranding Strategy with Interior Shifts

The American Fast-Food chain is using a marketing strategy by changing its interiors.

Interior design of McDonald’s in rebranding shift.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

McDonald’s restaurant interiors in the last decade have faced a lot of scrutiny from how it has impacted their customers’ health. With not very clean floors, possibly being concerned over sticky seating. However, the American iconic fast-food chain has proved it can reinvite itself to the party, and survive the most crucial times with a smart rebranding strategy. This is highlighted through some eye-catching interior design details and adding even more space and structure. Opening up spaces, to bring more light in to feature its menu options, as well as showcase some cool new interior features.

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Happy Meal for Adults with a Twist

To keep up with McDonald’s rebranding strategy, they are bringing back Happy Meals for Adults! It sounds kind of interesting and fun, but the twist is they are including very special new toys.

McDonald’s happy meal in a corner of a building with the sun pictured.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

McDonald’s is releasing a limited edition happy meal for adults, complete with a very special toy. It’s a modern take on the beloved McNugget buddy toys that were popular in the 80’s and 90’s. You can also choose from a 10-piece Chicken McNuggets or the beloved iconic Big Mac Box. This strategy is attempting to create a nostalgic vibe and keep customers world-wide for coming back into their restaurants and it seems to be working. When we see McDonald’s as a popular hashtag on social media outlets. Even with the hype, it seems to be the perfect way to remind customers why they love the fast-food franchise to begin with and continue to flock inside.

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McDonald’s Beats out Starbucks with Targeting Market

In 1996, author and journalist Thomas Friedman famously wrote: “No two countries that both have a McDonald’s have ever fought a war with each other.” The theory hasn’t stood the test of time, but the branding for McDonald’s definitely has.

McDonald’s restaurant near an eating area with customers getting orders to-go.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

The target market for McDonald’s is shown on a global scale and covers a massively broad age group, from kids to senior citizens ranging from 6-70 years old. A married woman aging from 41-56, makes of the demographics who enjoys a particularly tasty McDonald’s breakfast. These numbers are very impressive, which makes the fast-food giant even more popular than Starbucks coffee franchises.

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Financial Reports and Ranking

Despite the success that McDonald’s saw in the early 2000’s, it unfortunately saw quite a dip following 2020. This was thanks to the recent inflation crisis and customers tightening their wallets.

McDonald’s logo and restaurant in the city.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

This drastically changed course following 2022, 2023 with revenue jumping from $23.18B to $25.01B in 2023. This total number of income was generated thanks to the sales of new goods added and services provided by their restaurants.

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Listening to Consumers and Changing

McDonald’s is all about the marketing strategy, but one particularly interesting move is seeing the fast-food joint taking feedback from its customers and changing things. Yes, they are actually considering what the consumer wants to see differently, whether it is new menu options or a shift in how the restaurants are shown. McDonald’s is letting you decide and it feels really good.

Hamburger that is a “Beyond Meat” option for customers

Source: Wikimedia Commons

McDonald’s is generating a revamp in brand imaging by actually responding to its consumers and modifying its marketing and communication techniques regularly to meet customer’s satisfaction. This is even true in the meat alternative option, where some consumers who don’t eat meat want an alternative, but still being able to enjoy the fast-food giant’s products. The option rolled out for customers, especially on Twitter/X is a “beyond burger” option which tastes like their iconic burgers without the meat. This strategy is to win consumers over and give them the freedom to choose goods in the process.

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Coming to a Conclusion with a Bottom Line

The popular fast-food chain McDonald’s is vastly making big changes, to help curb the inflation crisis for low-income customers so they can go back to loving it.

McDonald’s meal with a drink.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

The changes are savvy for the restaurant brand, and noticed by many with the headlines. What most customers are hoping is that they can get value from McDonald’s and enjoy those Big Mac’s with a smile.

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