Closer to Our Customers

Mr. Easterbrook, if you want to improve your relationship with customers - and stock values - trumpet your antibiotic-free commitment proudly.

Earlier today Steve Easterbrook, the President and CEO of McDonald’s, put out a 23 minute video talking about changes afoot with the fast food giant. He bluntly said, “Our recent performance has been poor.” 

In response, the market seemed unimpressed. Though this video unveiled the company’s “turnaround blueprint,” stock prices dipped. 

Here’s my advice to you, Mr. Easterbrook. You said that you want your company to get “closer to our customers.” My guess is that your customers care less about whether Doug and Ian are in charge and care more about the menu. 

One of the biggest and best changes to the menu is your recent move to antibiotic-free chicken. You should trumpet this commitment far and wide. After all, it puts you out in front of competitors like Wendy’s and Burger King on this issue, as well as the “eat fresh” brand, Subway. 

As my colleague Dev Gowda said in the Chicago Tribune about your antibiotic policy, “we’re lovin’ it.” 

The CDC conservatively estimates that 23,000 Americans die each year from antibiotic-resistant infections. And American consumers increasingly understand the link between this spread of superbugs and the overuse of antibiotics on livestock and poultry. 

So… can we get a second take with greater emphasis on your new policy? While you’re at it, perhaps you can unveil your timeline for antibiotic-free beef and pork. 


Steve Blackledge

Senior Director, Conservation America Campaign, Environment America

Steve directs Environment America’s efforts to protect our public lands and waters and the species that depend on them. He led our successful campaign to win full and permanent funding for our nation’s best conservation and recreation program, the Land and Water Conservation Fund. He previously oversaw U.S. PIRG’s public health campaigns. Steve lives in Sacramento, California, with his family, where he enjoys biking and exploring Northern California.