Almost nine out of ten Americans order from McDonald’s at least once a year, according to Joe Erlinger, president of McDonald’s USA, during the company’s earnings call on Thursday.
The company operates 14,000 restaurants in the United States, which equates to one restaurant for every 24,000 people. Erlinger said both restaurant operators and consumers got a trial in New England and Phoenix for the loyalty app that McDonald’s expects to introduce nationwide later this year.
“85 % or more of the US population visits McDonald’s at least once a year,” he claims. “And so, if loyalty will create frequency, considering the base of customers we have in the US, this is just huge unlock for us.”
Erlinger did not specify where or when he obtained his information. Nonetheless, data from Placer.ai, a company that tracks retail foot traffic from smartphones, shows that the number of people visiting McDonald’s restaurants is increasing since falling in 2020.
The degree of recovery varies depending on the state and time of day. By the number of restaurants, California, Texas, Florida, Ohio, and New York are McDonald’s largest markets. According to Placer.ai reports, visitors to McDonald’s restaurants in Ohio and Florida are nearly back to pre-pandemic levels, Placer.ai reports, but footfall in California and New York remains significantly lower. And the data show that the number of morning visits is now increasing after falling in 2020. At the same time, the number of lunchtime visits increased during the pandemic but is now declining.
McDonald’s reported that, while overall visitors are down, comparable sales in the United States surpassed pre-pandemic levels in the first quarter. According to the chain, this was due to more consumers placing larger orders for delivery.
According to CEO Chris Kempczinski, approximately 75% of its restaurants worldwide now offer delivery.
According to Erlinger, McDonald’s reported nearly $1.5 billion (R21.7 billion) in digital revenue in the first quarter alone in the United States through its app, in-store kiosks, and delivery.
Government stimulus payments have also aided revenues, according to Erlinger. He went on to say that the company’s latest chicken sandwich was selling like hotcakes. While revenues are now above pre-pandemic levels in both the United States and Canada, the market in Europe remains “tough,” according to Kevin Ozan, McDonald’s chief financial officer.