Big Mac Deal No Big Boost

Reuters; 9th May 1997

McDonald's Corp hasn't achieved the kind of sales boost it was looking for by reducing the price of its hallmark Big Mac sandwiches 75 percent to 55 cents, according to a story in Friday's electronic edition of the Wall Street Journal.

Citing a company survey of about one quarter of McDonald's 3,000 U.S. restaurants, the Journal said sales have fallen by as much as 6 percent over the prior year.

The numbers are preliminary since the deal is set to last at least through December.

But franchisees said consumers have been confused by the rule that french fries and a soft drink also must be bought to qualify for the lower-priced sandwich.

"There was a lot of anticipation for this to kick in, and it hasn't yet," said Bob Srygley, who operates four stores in Arkansas.

McDonald's executives said they are monitoring the promotion and are ready to make any necessary adjustments.

A company spokesman told the Journal that comparable sales "are tracking projected trend lines we had for the early stages of the campaign. We are seeing a lift for total sandwich sales."

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