You have got to have discipline and focus - on the customer and how you run the business.
Some of the analysts were saying, Now you're a cash cow, there's no growth at all, pay it all out in dividends, give me it all, you can't invest wisely.
McDonald's is almost 50 years old. For 47 years we had a pretty consistent track record of being able to deliver admirable sales.
So Europe's a big driver. And at one point, if the euro hadn't devalued, they would have been making as much money as the US with half the stores. Returns were higher.
Salads was a big indicator of that - there was a huge market out there for it. And why not tap it? Some of the things we are doing now around the globe are responding to customers. It's not because some guy sued you.
Playtime and toys are good for kids, or they wouldn't buy them. McDonald's can provide that experience. And having dinner with the family is good for kids.
I think we have a great track record on being relevant, on identifying consumer trends, needs and wants.
I think this year we'll open up 900 gross, we're closing some, so the net count is lower, but the 900 are spread all over the place. Some of the closures are relocations, where you're moving it to another place in the marketplace.
I talked about 12 to 18 months, and that's about reaffirming our foundation for sustained growth: getting the discipline back, getting the basics right, getting the customer focus back... so by the end of next year, I hope most of that's in place.
But, on balance, we seized the marketplace. We've got a great infrastructure. And yes it's struggling in some areas because of some external factors and some internal factors.
But we had a pretty diversified portfolio of businesses around the world and things tended to offset each other. But one or two years ago, we had a lot of things happening at the same time.
We cover hamburgers, chicken, veggie burgers, salads, we've got a pretty broad range. To me, McDonald's isn't only about the food. It's about the prices, it's about the way we eat.
I think we'll still be a family restaurant, we'll be contemporary, we'll be lifestyle, we won't be old, we won't be 60 years old in the view of the consumer.
But you know the second month I was here I put out a healthy lifestyles directive. The pundits will say it was because we were sued. Well that's what they say. It was never about that.
As I said, I haven't spent a lot of time thinking about partner brands.
And so if your competitors aren't growing, if there isn't a competitive reason to grow, and you want focus and discipline to add customers to existing stores, you adjust your strategy.
When you raise prices, you've got to make sure you get it to the bottom line. You can fritter it away because of the way you're running the business, with maybe not a totally disciplined approach.
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