In China, McDonald’s January sales were hurt by “consumer sensitivity” around the chicken industry, according to the statement. Yum! Brands Inc., which owns KFC, said its China same-store sales tumbled in the fourth quarter after a former poultry supplier was investigated for selling chicken with high levels of antibiotics.
In the U.S., fast-food eateries are vying for budget- conscious customers who are seeing smaller paychecks. Yum’s Taco Bell is selling new items including loaded grillers and a Cantina Bell steak burrito, while Burger King Worldwide Inc. has recently introduced a molten fudge sundae and new chicken nuggets.
“People’s paychecks have shrunk because of the payroll tax,” Bryan Elliott, an analyst at St. Petersburg, Florida- based Raymond James Financial Inc., said in an interview yesterday. Elliott rates McDonald’s shares market perform.
“I expect that to have a measurable impact on restaurant demand this year,” he said.
Comparable, or same-store, sales are considered an indicator of a company’s growth because they include only older restaurants. McDonald’s December comparable-store sales were unchanged globally.
There are more than 34,000 McDonald’s locations worldwide and about 80% are franchised.