OAK BROOK, ILLINOIS: Restaurant chain McDonald's is applying "forensic analytics" in its pursuit of innovation and growth, according to chief executive Steve Easterbrook.

He highlighted the approach in a quarterly earnings call during which he also reported increasing customer satisfaction scores and cross-market innovations.

"We are making improvements that our customers are noticing to serve hotter, fresher food with improved overall service experience," he said. In the US market, for example, the first quarter had seen a 6% improvement in customer satisfaction scores compared to a year earlier.

He attributed that to increased investment in quality, including supply chain improvements like using only cage-free eggs or removing antibiotics harmful to human health from the poultry supply chain, as well as "deep attention to detail" on more mundane matters like toasting buns.

"We're applying forensic analytics across all aspects of our businesses," he added, whether that involved addressing changing demand at each price tier or new service innovations.

As an example of the former, he held up the new Signature Collection – at the top end of the price range – which was piloted in the UK in the first quarter.

Service developments have included the continued roll out of self-order kiosks, table service, and a mobile app. ""We're providing customers with more choice and flexibility, as we make progress toward McDonald's Experience of the Future," Easterbrook explained.

As part of that future, McDonald's last week announced it would be introducing Samsung Galaxy tablets into its UK restaurants, to enable customers to play games, use social media or browse the web.

Easterbrook also said that a new segment operating structure was allowing the brand to spread successful local market innovations more quickly: "The rollout of All Day Breakfast in Australia in the first quarter was a testament to our ability to move winning plays quickly between markets."

It is also seeking to develop a more focused approach to its marketing in the US and has issued a request for proposals to three major holding companies as it wants a single creative agency to come up with creative and strategic ideas.

Data sourced from Seeking Alpha, Retail Focus, Advertising Age; additional content by Warc staff