On Tuesday McDonald's (NYSE:MCD) revealed mixed results for the fiscal quarter that included the most intense pandemic impact to date. Sales dove in April and May, and while trends improved in recent weeks, the fast-food giant continued to lose ground as economies reopened in June.

Executives highlighted some encouraging takeaways from operating results through COVID-19 disruptions, saying in a conference call with investors that customer satisfaction improved in nearly all of its major markets and reached a new high in the core U.S. division. That segment benefited from McDonald's steady service through the restaurant industry disruption that started in March. Fast-food fans also approved of menu changes and loved Mickey D's ability to shave as many as 20 seconds off of its average drive-thru processing time.

A group of friends share a fast-food meal.

Image source: Getty Images.

"We know how to run great restaurants," CEO Chris Kempczinski said, "and that operating prowess has been put to the ultimate test during the pandemic."

McDonald's is still working on returning to growth in the U.S. even as rivals like Chipotle (NYSE:CMG) are already expanding again. The chain believes the customer satisfaction boost gives it an advantage in this fight going forward, and so management is planning to dramatically boost marketing spending in the second half of 2020. "There is an opportunity for us to get aggressive in going after [market] share," Kempczinski said.

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