McDonald's competes in the highly competitive fast-food industry. This industry is currently expected to grow over 22% from 2012 to 2017, eventually reaching a total market value of $224 billion. The expected growth rate of the industry overall offers McDonald's the potential to grow. Although the fast-food industry is expected to expand, it is also changing as consumers have begun to shift their focus towards healthier choices. McDonald's is now faced with the challenge of effectively adapting to the changing industry in order to remain a market leader and continue to grow. .
McDonald's' biggest competitors in the fast-food industry are large chains including Wendy's, Burger King, Taco Bell, and Subway. All of these competitors remain an immediate threat, as they are quickly adapting to the changing industry. In addition to these direct competitors, McDonald's is also facing high competition from many fast-casual restaurants as well as specialty café and coffee shops. The fast-casual industry is growing in popularity with McDonald's' key customers, and therefore rapidly becoming a substitute for traditional fast food restaurants. .
In addition to fierce and growing competition, the McDonald's brand is also facing mounting issues. Due to the majority of the McDonald's locations being owned by franchisees, consistency within McDonald's marketing and branding is lacking. As such, customer complaints have significantly increased due to rude and slow service. Also, employee dissatisfaction and turnover are increasing due to locations being understaffed and overwhelmed. Improvements to the overall customer experience are crucial in order to regain customer loyalty and capture new consumer markets. .
Macro-Economic Trends and Industry Forces.
One relevant and recent trend to impact the fast-food industry is the move towards healthier eating habits. Consumers are making more health conscious decisions about what they eat, in-turn forcing restaurants to offer healthier and more diverse menu options.