After posting four straight years of declining sales throughout the country, McDonald's has admitted to investors that the once thriving fast-food chain is down over 500 million customer visits during that same time. While some customers have been wooed by seemingly healthier, upstart restaurant chains, the vast majority of these lost customers have jumped ship to other established fast food chains. McDonald's CEO Steve Easterbrook sees the consumer shift to McDonald's closest competitors as somewhat of a positive, telling investors and the media, "those are the easiest customers to get back."

New menu items expected

Despite the country-wide roll-out of an all-day breakfast menu being well-received on social media, the change wasn't enough to win back customers who had left the chain.

So, McDonald's is developing greater menu changes over the next year, including tests for its Signature Sandwich line across America. (Signature Sandwiches, featuring higher quality meat and chicken, as well as fresh ingredients, were tested in some northern U.S. markets in 2016. The full customizable menu is already available in other national markets, including Canada.)

In an update to the existing menu, stores will be looking to cook its Chicken McNuggets without artificial preservatives, and fresh beef will be tested for some of the burgers that currently use frozen patties.

Easterbrook also noted that much of the fast-food chain's regular Business was lost when McDonald's retired its incredibly popular Dollar Menu.

The company hopes to win back some of those customers beginning this Memorial Day with a $1 Drink promotion. The regular summer sale that sees the price of all fountain drinks dropped to $1 usually lasts 100 days, but this year will be boosted to 150 days.

Tech advances and delivery possible

While McDonald's has already begun introducing self-service electronic ordering kiosks in some restaurants as a means to drive down costs, the company will begin work on an app that will allow customers to order and pay for their food using their cell phones, as well as a curbside pickup service outside of restaurants.

Food delivery may also be introduced into the national market, making McDonald's more readily available to those without immediate access to the restaurant. Some franchises already offer local delivery in major U.S. cities, such as New York City, but this would be a giant undertaking for a chain the size of McDonald's where 93% of restaurants are corporately owned. Delivery service is already available in many countries throughout Asia and has become hugely successful for the company.