After a year of flubs, McDonald's gets back to burgers
With sales suffering as a string of novelty menu items missed the mark, the fast-food chain's latest offering is a good old-fashioned sandwich with bacon.
By Vanessa Wong, Bloomberg BusinessWeek
You could say 2013 was a year of experimentation for McDonald's (MCD): Fish McBites came out in February, McWraps in March, and Mighty Wings in September—all relative novelty items for the fast-food giant.
All that innovation amounted to a 0.2 percent drop in U.S. same-store sales over the year. Maybe that's why for its first permanent addition to the menu in 2014, McDonald's is sticking to basics: a new burger.
The Bacon Clubhouse, available in beef or chicken this week, is the chain's first burger besides the Big Mac to be topped with special sauce. It comes with leaf lettuce --- not the shredded stuff -- and a thick slice of tomato. Taking a cue from Wendy's (WEN) fancy bread strategy, the Clubhouse is served on an "artisan roll." A reviewer on Grubgrade.com called it "the most satisfying burger I've ever had from McDonald's."
The company recently slowed product launches as it works on improving operations and service. "We acknowledged last year that we probably did things a little bit too quickly in terms of the Egg White Delight and then the McWraps and then the Quarter Pounders with the various toppings," McDonald's Chief Financial Officer Peter Bensen said at a conference on Tuesday, "and that was a big stress to the restaurants."
As part of its turnaround, McDonald's plans to "refocus on the core," Bensen added -- meaning favorites like the Big Mac, Quarter Pounder, French fries, Chicken McNuggets -- as well as breakfast. Any new items introduced this year will be easier to prepare with the chain's new kitchen equipment. McDonald's spokeswoman Tyler Litchenberger says the Bacon Clubhouse Burger will be a "core menu item."
The new sandwich shouldn't be too unfamiliar for McDonald's kitchen workers. Burger Business describes it as basically a Clubhouse Angus -- a sandwich the chain tested in 2012 -- with a quarter-pound patty, lettuce, tomato and a new bun.
The emphasis on sandwiches was also a prominent theme in the new Dollar Menu and More launched in November, which includes new items like the BBQ Ranch Burger, Buffalo Ranch McChicken, Bacon McDouble, Bacon Cheddar McChicken and Bacon Buffalo Ranch McChicken.
McDonald's 2014 menu pipeline "is designed to introduce new products and limited-time offers at the right pace and price points," Bensen said. Executives are certainly hoping a milder form of menu innovation will go down easier than last year's bold experiments.
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Reason #1 why I do not eat at McDonald's :
The sandwich you get on your tray does not resemble the picture above. Not even remotely close.
Eating at Mcdonalds is like listening to ABBA. Everybody says they suck, but won't turn the channel when a song comes on, till somebody else walks into the room.
We are all quiet suckers for mindless dribble.
Lemmy K and dacruiser
you are correct, I have a friend that used to do marketing photography gigs for a lot of big name food companies. She told me that they would spray paint the burgers and condiments or simply use the plastic or wax representatives for burgers, the one that was weirdest to me, the cereal commercials on TV, They use White Elmer's Glue to represent the milk on the cereal, you know how there is always a few drops of "Milk" on the flakes just sitting there!
Just make a great hamburger for a decent price. Those who think they should be able to eat everything for a dollar can go to a soup kitchen.
All mainstream and chain restraunts pay big money to advertising agencies to make the food in those commercials look so good and the portions tend to look larger. Not to mention the majority (I said MAJORITY.. not all) of the younger generation of kids working in those fast food restraunts do not know what it is to have pride in their work. We all know the pay is not competitive, the tempo is usually pretty fast paced, there may only be one manager to run the kitchen, serving area, dining area and of course tackle the administrative tasks as well.
Also, really take a look at McDonald's... They don't know food at all - They know real estate. their food is not good but every location they put a restraunt is a winner. It's about the real estate. The location brings them the business.
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