COVID-19 has made eating at McDonald’s much cheaper: charts

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McDonald’s (MCD) is offering a helping hand of online deals to lure in consumers who have decided to simply make their food at home instead of venturing outside to visit a drive-thru during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Or so suggests new data from veteran restaurant analyst Jon Tower at Wells Fargo. Tower notes a “material step up” in the number of deals at McDonald’s in May 2020 versus May 2019. The Golden Arches positioned itself to “grab market share” amidst the health situation and “seize” on market share opportunities from heavily pressured dine-in restaurants, according to Tower.

Deal activity for McDonald’s has been the most pronounced in major markets such as New York City and Chicago (as seen in charts supplied by Tower below).

McDonald's online deals rise in New York.
McDonald’s online deals rise in New York.
McDonald's online deals rise in Los Angeles.
McDonald’s online deals rise in Los Angeles.
McDonald's online deals are on an uptrend.
McDonald’s online deals are on an uptrend.

It’s unclear if the barrage of deals has done the trick for sales, however.

McDonald’s stock has lost 5% year-to-date and is among the worst-performing fast-food stocks around during that span as consumers have flocked to more delivery friendly options:

  • Wingstop: +36% year-to-date
  • Domino’s Pizza: +27% year-to-date
  • Papa John’s: +25% year-to-date
  • Chipotle: +18% year-to-date
  • Yum! Brands: -9.8% year-to-date
  • Shake Shack: -9.9% year-to-date
  • Restaurant Brands: -13% year-to-date
  • Dunkin’ Brands: -14% year-to-date
  • Starbucks: -15% year-to-date

McDonald’s said in a sales update in early April it had experienced a “significant” decline in its results in certain markets because of the pandemic. The company went on to post later that month a 3.4% decline in global same-store sales.

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