McDonalds to cut 8 menu items

McDonald’s Corp. executives said Wednesday they will cut eight items from its menu in January as part of a broader effort to overhaul its service model to meet the needs of different type of customers.

In an informal discussion with Wall Street analysts, chief executive Don Thompson and McDonald’s USA president Mike Andres described a radically different service model that uses a combination of mobile and Web ordering and customization.

Executives also suggested that they will focus on improving the quality of food the quick-service burger chain offers by analyzing the ingredients in every item and focusing on the “authenticity” of its food.

“We must and will win with food,” Andres said.

Executives also said that the company’s customization platform, Create Your Taste, which it plans to offer in 2,000 units next year, is a major part of its plans.

“Create Your Taste is not a test,” Thompson said. “It’s a rolling implementation now.”

The chain is working to turn around its U.S. business. Same-store sales have fallen 2.3 percent this year, and they declined 4.6 percent in November.

In addition to cutting eight menu items, the chain will also reduce the number of Extra Value Meals it offers. Executives would not comment on which eight items and which Extra Value Meals are slated to be cut. Executives acknowledged that eight items is not many, considering the total number of items on McDonald’s menu, which has more than 100 offerings. Even executives could not definitively say how many items the chain sells.

Andres said the items that are cut will make operations easier.

“It’s not significant in terms of percentage,” Andres said. “It is significant in terms of the impact on the back of the line.”

Early tests did not result in lower sales, Andres said, suggesting that the items cut were “probably lower sellers.” He also indicated that more cuts could be forthcoming.

Andres said 80 percent of the chain’s sales are from “a very small subset of menu items.”

Executives also said the cuts would leave room for different regions to offer products that sell better in their local markets.

While executives acknowledged that they still need new menu news, in the future that would come through the Create Your Taste platform.

“We don’t need to have a big menu board to offer variety,” Andres said. “The variety is determined by the customers themselves.”

Thompson and Andres suggested that McDonald’s total service model would undergo a comprehensive change, giving customers different methods of ordering.

By reducing the menu, executives hope to reduce customer confusion and increase speed for some orders, particularly through the drive thru.

“The drive thru is about speed,” Thompson said. “You want to make sure it is delivered quickly so you’ll be on your way. You don’t get out of your car for a reason.”

But they also said they could use other ordering options, including mobile ordering and payment, as well as touchscreen kiosks that provide different methods for customers to order their food based on their immediate needs.

Customers who want to come inside, get their food and leave quickly will be able to use mobile or Web ordering to speed that process. And customers who want a better experience can order customized burgers through Create Your Taste.

“This is not exit, stage left,” Thompson said. “This is a balance between core classics and offering new menu items.”

He also said the customization strategy may help “reassert McDonald’s burger leadership.”

“Customers have expectations of eating out, and they have expectations of McDonald’s,” Thompson said. “Those aren’t always the same thing.”

Executives said they will work to once again become the top destination for families — a designation the chain lost this year amid intense competition from Atlanta-based chicken chain Chick-fil-A.

McDonald’s has already taken a big step in that direction by planning to include Cuties California clementines as a seasonal option in Happy Meals. In the days after that announcement, Twitter sentiment on the idea was 100-percent positive, Thompson said.

“That never happens,” he said.

Back

What Clients Say About Patrice & Associates

  • Dear seekers, I would like to tell you about the amazing experience I had working with Scott Jacobson of Patrice and Associates.  In my twenty plus years working as an executive chef I have worked with many career advancement and placement specialists, but none who took the time and directed care that Scott provided me.  His primary goal was to understand exactly what I was looking for and to tirelessly work towards that end.   He focused on my objectives and opened many doors for me.  He gave me invaluable insights into the positions I was considering and guided me as a friend and confidant would.  He understood my strengths and presented me in my most favorable light.  Through his research and diligence he assembled the most pertinent references for me, highlighted my experiences and career achievements.   He found me the exact job that I was looking for.  He was instrumental in negotiating my contract and made sure I was satisfied with every aspect of that contract.  His work did not end there.  Scott has contacted me at various stages of my employment just to check in, and most importantly, to see how I was doing.   Thank you kindly Scott for going above and beyond your duties.  It was a pleasure getting to know you.  Any of you fortunate enough to work with Scott will quickly find all of this to be evident. Sincerely, Chef Jonathan Pflueger  Scott found me the exact job that I was looking for.
  • Just wanted to express my appreciation for FaLisa and your company for helping me find a great opportunity with Panera Bread. FaLisa was great with making sure we found the perfect fit and not just the perfect salary ! Keep up the great work FaLisa, thanks a lot to you and Patrice & Associates Hospitality Recruiting - you make a difference!   Thanks, Brian Salliey Patrice & Associates Hospitality Recruiting - you make a difference!
  • I appreciate what Sherri and Patrice and Associates Hospitality Recruitment did for me and my career.

    Sherri Balzer is an excellent job recruiter. I had been working with her for more than 3 months where I had multiple job interviews with different companies. She is always very detailed, caring, patient, and most of all very professional. I turned down multiple job offers because they were not a good fit for me and Sherri understood my reasons. Instead of losing hope in me she kept working hard looking for other companies that suited my skill set and knowledge. We found the perfect company and I got the best job offer available. I appreciate what Sherri and Patrice and Associates Hospitality Recruitment did for me and my career. Respectfully,

    Andrew Figueroa

    I appreciate what Sherri and Patrice and Associates Hospitality Recruitment did for me and my career.
  • I referred a friend to Patrice & Associates Hospitality Recruitment

    Kim Marzett has been great! Alongside her professional demeanor, she answered all of my questions freely. She has a very welcoming personality, and helps you every step of the way! I referred a friend to her. I was impressed and appreciative! I referred a friend to Patrice & Associates Hospitality Recruitment
  • Patrice & Associates Hospitality Recruitment is by far the best recruiting agency.

    I just wanted to say thank you to Corina for setting me up with Redstone American Grill. I appreciate all the time and research you and your team have done to make sure that I was prepared for my interviews. Patrice & Associates Hospitality Recruitment is by far the best recruiting agency I’ve worked with in my 25+ years of experience. I’ll be your client for as long as I’m in this field. Alexandre Vincent Patrice & Associates Hospitality Recruitment is by far the best recruiting agency