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McDonald's Updating Menu and Prices

McDonald's Updating Menu and Prices

Increased pressure from rising commodity prices and competing chains is forcing McDonald's to modify its existing menu offerings. The number of items available on its US menu has increased from 60 items to about 145 items since 2007 which has resulted in slower drive-through times and higher costs.

"It's gotten to the point where the operation has kind of broken down and that's all a symptom of the complication of the menu," said Richard Adams, a San Diego-based restaurant franchisee consultant and former McDonald's store owner. "They can't make the food fast enough," as reported by Businessweek.

A few of the menu updates include:

  • A low calorie McMuffin made with a whole-grain muffin and egg whites.

  • A new offering might be a Southwest burger with white cheddar, barbecue ranch sauce and tortilla strips for $1.

  • Fruit & Walnut salads and Chicken Selects are to be removed.

  • The Angus Third Pounder burgers are going to be replaced by two new versions of the Quarter Pounder.

  • Price increase are being tested for the McDouble and add-on options like bacon for the McChicken sandwich.

  • Caesar salads, the McSkillet Burrito, the Southern Style Biscuit and Steak Bagels may also disappear.

  • Three versions of the Chicken McWraps include a Chicken & Bacon, Sweet Chili Chicken and Chicken & Ranch.

Simplified Menu

Competition such as Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. has showed that a simplified menu can be as profitable, if not more so, than offering more complex items. The Businessweek article also mentions that, "The Denver-based burrito chain sells just five main food items, which are customized along a service line, as well as chips and guacamole and a kids' meal." Any additional menu items would complicate the process but may not necessarily translate to increased sales.