More bad news for McDonald's: According to NPR, the fast-food giant is experiencing a record sales decline in Japan. The company has lost around $303 million this year — its worst loss since going public 15 years ago. This is the second year in a row that McDonald's Japan stores have reported a net loss; sales were down around 15 percent in 2014.
The company has received a slew of bad publicity in Asia in recent years, shuttering 130 restaurants in Japan and several in China last April. In 2014, video footage surfaced that showed McDonald's Chinese supplier of chicken nuggets using expired meat and mishandling food. Then in 2015, several people reported finding foreign objects — including what appeared to be a chunk of vinyl — inside its nuggets. After the public snafus, McDonald's closed over 150 stores in Japan and is also remodeling many of its nearly 3,000 stores. But chocolate-drizzled fries apparently haven't been enough to save its Japanese business.
Meanwhile, the chain's future in the U.S. is looking a bit brighter: In an effort to reverse a years-long sales slump accompanied by labor disputes and marketing failures, the company ousted its long-time CEO and replaced him with marketing executive Steve Easterbrook in early 2015. Since then the company has attempted to appeal to health-focused millennials by switching to milk and chicken not treated with antibiotics, cutting ties with suppliers who were accused of animal torture, and promising to make the switch to cage-free eggs. Its recent all-day breakfast debut has been a hit, and the chain just reported an increase in sales for the second quarter in a row. (There is the small issue of that $5 million mozzarella stick lawsuit, however.)