McDonald’s appoints UK born Steve Easterbrook as president and chief executive
In March 2015, Steve Easterbrook will take the helm as McDonald’s global chief executive, replacing Don Thompson who is retiring after 25 years with the brand. Easterbrook is an experienced chief executive, previously heading Wagamama and PizzaExpress.
Prior to the promotion, Easterbrook served in a number of key leadership roles across the brand’s global business, including president of McDonald’s Europe and most recently senior executive vice president and chief brand officer. Easterbrook now holds the responsibility of stemming the global fast food chain’s falling sales, following increasing competition from new fast food brands and growing consumer interest in healthier eating.
Marston’s reports festive sales growth.
Marston’s, the pub operator and brewer has reported a 4.8% sales increase over the festive fortnight, with a 12.5% hike on Christmas day. Like-for-like sales in the group’s destination and premium pubs, including Pitcher and Piano and Revere, grew by 2% for the 16 week period to the 24 January 2015. Marston’s’ tavern division also saw like-for-like sales grow by 2%, with a 5.8% increase on Christmas day.
Pubs are particularly well suited for the festive period and Allegra’s latest research has found that a third of consumers eating out on Christmas day chose pubs for their Christmas day meal. Marston’s served a record 60,000 meals on Christmas day across its estate.
McDonald’s reports global like-for-like sales drop.
McDonald’s has reported a 1% drop in global like-for-like sales for the full 2014 calendar year, with a 0.9% drop in the fourth quarter. Global revenue also fell by 7% in Q4. The brand has been hit by falling customer numbers and greater competition from newer fast food brands.
Meanwhile, the brand in the UK has experienced positive comparable like-for-like sales. McDonald’s UK has managed to escape the trend of declining sales by sticking to the core product offer. Furthermore, extensive refurbishments over the last few years have broadened the brand’s appeal in the UK to a wider customer demographic.
Bill’s set to report upbeat results
Bill’s, the Richard Caring backed all-day dining concept, is set to report turnover of £53.9m for the year to 27 July 2014, up from £27.m last year. EBITDA also increased to £7.7m from £3.7m.
The chain opened 18 sites over the period, and has since added a further 12 stores. The 53-strong brand plans to open approximately 20 restaurants over 2015 and is eyeing a total estate of up to 250 UK outlets. Allegra believes Bill’s will continue to benefit from successfully tapping into the growing trend of all-day dining.
Wasabi reports turnover increase and accelerated expansion
The London based sushi and bento chain, Wasabi, saw turnover rise to £70m in the 16 months to 31 December 2013, up from £40.7m in the previous year. The brand opened 11 sites during the period.
The 39-strong brand has also strengthened its openings pipeline for 2015, with three further sites secured in London at Oxford Street, Borough and Kings Cross. Wasabi also plans to accelerate regional expansion this year, with sites already confirmed in Cambridge and Luton Airport. With Itsu having launched regionally in 2014, 2015 is set to see an increasing presence of new fast food concepts in regional urban centres.