While its golden arches are ubiquitous, McDonald's constantly expanding menu and the lack of a clear direction are being blamed for the hamburger giant posting one of its worst financial years in decades.
In the face of those poor results, the world's largest fast-food chain announced on Wednesday (January 28) that Chief Executive Officer Don Thompson will leave at the end of February and be succeeded by Chief Brand Officer Steve Easterbrook.
Increased interest in fresh and locally grown ingredients among consumers have placed the hamburger chain at odds with its own focus on volume and value -- hence their boast about the billions of customers served daily.
McDonald's has in the past few years tried to offer items that have what industry insiders call a "healthy halo."
"While we see that sea change of consumers looking for more healthy food, McDonald's core customer is looking for convenience so it's tough what they are trying to balance," Sarah Lockyer of Nation's Restaurant News said.
The chain's evolving menu and its seemingly conflicted objectives have sent an equally murky brand message to the much coveted 18-34-year-old demographic.
Millennials are looking for "brands that they understand" said Lockyer. "McDonald's really hasn't stayed relevant with that newer customer."
"Restaurants need to start with their food. That's what customers go to them for."
Easterbrook, will assume his new role as CEO in February.
"His expertise is marketing, its messaging, its menu, and that is what McDonald's really needs right now. So I think it was a very smart move," Lockyer said.