NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- The future of mighty burger chain McDonald's ( MCD) is poised to be shared soon with franchisees starving for better sales to pay for the higher wages, as well as investors clamoring for improved profits after two brutal years of underperformance.
On Monday, May 4, the struggling Golden Arches, which has cooked up six straight quarters of sales declines in the U.S. and poor results in Japan, will unveil its latest turnaround plan at its Oakbrook, Ill., headquarters. With Wall Street watching and a legion of franchisees from around the world scheduled to attend, the stage will be set for new McDonald's CEO Steve Easterbrook to put his mark on the chain after successfully engineering a turnaround at the company's U.K. operations.
The fact that McDonald's waited for another occasion to reveal its plan rather than its earnings call suggests that big changes are in the offing. "We have selected that date because we believe these initial plans will be well enough baked out that it will be meaningful news to all the audiences that have an interest in what we're doing at McDonald's," Easterbrook said during the company's April 22 first-quarter earnings call.
One element is already in focus: reducing the bloated McDonald's menu, which has slowed traffic in double-lane drive-thrus to a crawl and is failing to connect with customers drawn to "healthy" Chipotle (CMG) burritos and organically sourced ingredients at Shake Shack (SHAK). Various news agencies recently reported that McDonald's has quietly cut seven sandwiches from its vast menu, including the Deluxe Quarter Pounder and six chicken sandwiches. Honey mustard and chipotle barbecue snack wraps also got axed.
TheStreet takes a brief look at three things Easterbrook and other McDonald's executives might share at the event: