McDonald's Japan logs first customer increase in 33 months

posted on February 4, 2016

McDonald's Japan saw customer traffic at existing stores increase in January for the first time in 33 months, marking a recovery from the quality and food safety issues that erupted in 2014.

The customer tally likely increased more than 10% from a year earlier, and same-store sales apparently jumped around 30%, according to preliminary data provided to some involved parties.

Sales rebounded sharply as fallout from the quality scandal ran its course. In January 2015, revenues plunged 38.6% on the year with a 28.5% decrease in customers. Many people shunned the fast-food chain after its use of expired chicken came to light in summer 2014, followed by news that vinyl fragments and other foreign matter were found in food served at multiple locations.

Efforts to shore up the business are paying off, too. McDonald's in 2015 renovated around 400 stores and shut down some 100 money-losing locations, which helped push up sales at the remaining sites.

Revamping of the menu also contributed. New items with vegetables were offered, and a change in meal set composition allowed customers to choose side items such as salads. "Recently I started going [to McDonald's] again because they offer more vegetable items," said a homemaker in her 30s.

source by nikkei
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