Convenience over Craft: McDonald's Swaps Out Its Signature Menu Items for More Standardized Fare
Convenience over Craft: McDonald's Swaps Out Its Signature Menu Items for More Standardized Fare

The popular burger chain plans to manage order complexity in the hopes of reducing speed-to-market time and boosting sales.

In early 2017, burger juggernaut McDonald’s rolled out a Signature item menu line which included “Pico Guacamole, Sweet BBQ Bacon and Maple Bacon Dijon sandwiches, available with either beef or grilled or crispy chicken,” according to an article in QSR, that is “now being phased out in favor of convenience and speed, which simply garner more promise than customization these days,” according to the article.

“This past quarter, U.S. traffic fell 2.2 percent compared to a 1 percent uptick in the prior-year period,” the article said. According to the article, McDonald’s executives attribute much of the traffic lag to “an operations slowdown” that was “the consequence of adding complexity into the menu, like fresh beef, Signature Crafted items, all-day breakfast, and more.” The article also said, “While that balance was previously worth the trade-off, convenience has shifted priorities for McDonald’s.”

The modern-day consumer is changing the way the restaurant industry does business at all levels, and “the rise of digital pathways and off-premises business lends credence to a changing consumer,” the article said. Interestingly, in response to a more sophisticated consumer, McDonald’s has recently implemented changes that  appear to go the other way: “Removing complexity is clearly a key goal in 2019 for the brand, as evident by McDonald’s recent decision to significantly slice the size of its overnight menu,” the article said.

As quick-service franchishors navigate the waters of a changing restaurant landscape, they must decide if they’ll compete through customization, craftsmanship or convenience. It seems that, at least for now, McDonald’s has cast its vote for the latter.

Read the full article here.

Image Source: McDonald's