McDonald's reported this week that sales at U.S. stores that have been open at least 13 months were down 0.1% in October. The first decline since March 2008 prompts Business Week to ask,
"What's Eating McDonald's?" It seems that rising unemployment, particularly among men 18-35, is the main culprit. Store traffic is off considerably during the morning commuter hours, when the chain
makes 25% of its sales, Matthew Boyle reports.
And despite the hype, insiders tell Boyle that McCafé has not been the game-changer McDonald's had hoped it to be. "They're not lighting the world on fire," says one franchisee. Next summer, McCafés are expected to also sell smoothies.