McDonald's is in crisis mode after six straight quarters of declining sales in the US.
As the burger chain implements a massive plan to save business, one company it should look to for guidance is Denny's, writes Craig Giammona at Bloomberg.
The diner chain, which is best known for its all-day breakfast, has pulled off a major turnaround in recent years by changing its menu and image.
Denny's just recorded its biggest quarterly increase in same-store sales in 12 years, Giammona notes.
What are Denny's keys to success? Bloomberg broke it down into four factors.
1. Denny's established a clear brand identity. “We have a brand with a very clear DNA as a diner, and we understand what it means,” Denny's CMO John Dillon told Bloomberg.
McDonald's, on the other hand, is constantly introducing new brand angles, and it has been openly criticized for the lengths it goes to remain relevant.
2. Denny's successfully targeted millennials. The company increased its Twitter presence and used a more personable, humorous voice to communicate with young diners.
The company also created a series with College Humor, a popular website that produces comedy videos, Bloomberg notes.
3. Denny's improved its relationship with franchisees.
Tensions between McDonald's and its franchisees is at an all-time high.
Denny's was in the same position with its franchisees during a sales slump in the early 2000s. CEO John Miller focused on repairing the company relationship with its operators, and as a result, many of them were persuaded to spend as much as $300,000 on restaurant upgrades that expedited the company's turnaround, Bloomberg notes.
4. The diner started making better food.
Denny's menu is continuously updated to fit the needs of the customer. New menus are printed twice a year, according to Bloomberg.
"Part of Denny's success is providing choices and balance on their menu," according to The Street. "That's why Denny's is able to attract everyone from baby boomers to millennials to its restaurants, as they offer everything from breakfast to $10 entrees."
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