Regarding McDelivery profitability - this is what McDonald's CEO told investors on the October 24 conference call:
Analyst question from Sanford C. Bernstein & Co.
So in terms of delivery, do you now have a large enough sample to draw some conclusions about the impact on comps? And also, can you talk a little bit about profitability? One of the things we hear from some of the private companies we speak to is that it's difficult to make delivery profitable even when it's outsourced to third parties and, therefore, doesn't require as much in upfront investments. Could you talk a little bit about what kinds of fixed and variable costs your franchisees incur and what kind of profitability you anticipate? Thank you.
McDonald's Corp. CEO responds
Right. I'll have a stab at that one. So I mean, clearly, we're getting enough of an early read to be encouraged by delivery. So we've pursued – delivery have pursued a very aggressive rollout program. And our primary lead partner on this one has been UberEATS. And effectively, we've looked to expand wherever UberEATS has coverage around the world. And they've actually been doubling-down on their expansion to help meet our ambition as well, so it's been working well as a partnership between the two of us. And yes, we're getting good early trading results.
What we are finding is, not surprisingly, the number of guest counts per store per day does correlate pretty highly to consumer awareness of this. So the markets that have been able to more effectively promote and raise the customer awareness are getting higher take-up per day. I'm not going get into the actual comp buildup on this one, but it's a meaningful contributor in the restaurants that offer delivery. As I say, I want to just make sure we're guarded about what we're saying. We're in 5,000 restaurants so far out of 37,000. So it's meaningful in those that offer it, but clearly we've got some ways to go to get the further scale across the global system.
In terms of profitability, it's important that the vast majority of our business is incremental because the way that we're working with the third party operators is – obviously, there's a commercial relationship between ourselves and a third party operator that would take some of our margin. So we need certainly more than half of this business, if not more than that, to be incremental. And we're certainly finding that we are well up that scale actually. It's really, really encouraging for us.
And part of the reason we know that is because we're beginning to collect the consumer data now as well. So we can actually get repeat visit information, daypart information. And the fact that more than 60% of our business comes in evening and overnight, we know is reinforcing the fact this is an incremental business opportunity, revenue stream that we weren't previously tapping into.
But we're also getting very strong repeat business from those that use it as well, which again further encourages us. And one of the things we are focusing on internally is what is there that we can do to get the awareness of the fact that we're offering delivery higher up in consumers' minds. So, yes, it's profitable. It's incremental business. And we're looking to continue to go hard at this. And we certainly know our operators are enthusiastic, as are we, as a corporation.
Source: Seeking Alpha transcript
"our margin"? ... Lots of words to say that Operator profits don't matter and all that matters is the small incremental sales increase on which the company and the shareholders take their full profits.