The following commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet's guest contributor program, which is separate from the company's news coverage.

NEW YORK (

Trefis

) --

McDonald's

(MCD) - Get McDonald's Corporation (MCD) Report

is spearheading initiatives overseas to stay ahead of the competition.

The leader in the hamburger fast food category also competes with

Starbucks

(SBUX) - Get Starbucks Corporation Report

in the specialty coffee market.

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In France and southern Europe, McDonald's is equipping an additional 250 restaurants with self- order kiosks to provide a more convenient ordering experience for customers. In the U.K., it is bringing a touch prepayment option to all of its 1,200 restaurants this summer. This would provide even greater speed and convenience to the customers.

McDonald's installed a user-friendly point of sale system in 7,500 restaurants across the U.S. to ease the workload of its crew. More than 70% of its restaurants in Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa increased their peak-hour guest counts through optimized operations and capacity initiatives.

In Europe, McDonald's is targeting 850 restaurant re-modelings and another 500 in Asia.

In the U.S., the company is delivering convenience and accessibility through extended hours, which continues to drive sales and guest counts. McDonald's launched Fruit & Maple Oatmeal in the U.S. in the first quarter, which strengthened its overall nutritional profile. The company also plans to launch frozen strawberry lemonade in May along with the new unique smoothie flavor this summer.

We have a $78.40 price estimate for McDonald's stock, roughly in line with market price.

See our full analysis for McDonald's stock

here

.

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