McDonald's to rename its Dollar Menu

Not everything on the menu will cost $1, but the word 'dollar' was important to have. So the company got a little creative.

By Benzinga Oct 22, 2013 3:16PM

Marino Ahuatl works the drive through station at a McDonalds in Wheaton, Ill. (© Antonio Perez/Chicago Tribune/MCT via Getty Images)By Jim Probasco

After a year's worth of disappointing sales, McDonald's (MCD) has decided to try a little sleight of hand.

The fast food giant's Dollar Menu will now be called the "Dollar Menu and More." As in, not everything on the menu will cost a dollar. Some items will be $2. Some even $5.

The new menu rolls out Nov. 4 with ads starting Nov. 11, according to Advertising Age.

Who knows? It might work. The idea, of course, is to invoke potential cost savings with the phrase "Dollar Menu," plus the truth-in-advertising disclaimer "and more." It has worked in some dollar stores, where consumers are often hard pressed to find anything besides small bags of balloons for a buck.

Don Thompson has tried a variety of measures to boost sales. Top management has been changed, new menu items have been added, and now the menu content (and pricing) is being played with.

All this comes as the company warned Monday that sales at restaurants open more than a year would be flat in October and that the woes would continue in the fourth quarter. A combination of stiff competition and slow economic growth are to blame, according to McDonald’s.

Not everyone agrees with the company’s assessment. Hedgeye Risk Management restaurant analyst Howard Penney told Reuters that the company’s high-profile beverage expansion hid the fact that core items like hamburgers and french fries were not selling.

Worldwide sales at McDonald's restaurants open at least 13 months gained just 0.9 percent in the third quarter. These numbers fell short of analysts' estimates.

McDonald’s new “Dollar Menu and More” will replace the "Extra Value Menu," an attempt, perhaps, to communicate savings to consumers more clearly.

Fast food rival Wendy's (WEN) performed its own low price menu surgery in January, renaming its "99 Cent Menu" to "Right Price Right Size Menu." As with McDonald’s, the name change allowed Wendy’s to boost the price of some items and still tout the notion of value to customers.

McDonald's latest new food promotion features Mighty Wings -- just in time for football season. CEO Thompson, on the earnings call, said the item has not exactly been a raging success.

According to Thompson, "One dollar per wing was still not considered to be the most competitive in the current environment."

At the time of this writing, Jim Probasco had no position in any mentioned securities.

Read more from Benzinga

Oct 22, 2013 3:42PM
Wanna boost sales?  How about stop renaming menus and think about the ingredients that make up the food you are serving.  People are willing to spend a little more money for food that doesn't include pink slime.  How about real white meat nuggets, instead of crappy processed, pre-shapened, nuggets, for example.
Oct 22, 2013 3:31PM
Kind of like the "Affordable Care Act".
Oct 22, 2013 3:47PM
Will an increase in quality be included with the increase in price?  Just wondering.
Oct 22, 2013 3:30PM

".99 Cent Menu"?

"Found in the back of the freezer crap we have to cook now Menu"?

"Healthy!?'s your Healthy Menu"?

Oct 22, 2013 3:51PM
If they would stop with the new crap and go back to the basics, it would help.  I used to love McDonalds back in the 60s, 70s, when the hamburgers and fries were pretty good.  Make these two items the way they used to be back when I loved them and would patronize your restaurant again.  It's bad enough that the people cooking the food or whoever screw up your orders, but I would give that a pass if things would be like they used to be.
Oct 22, 2013 3:35PM
Oct 22, 2013 4:39PM
There is nothin good about McDonalds. Anything that is remotely good tasting and healthy is extremely over priced. A good example is their premium chicken wraps. They are almost $5 and after trying it once I concluded that based on quality and size, I wouldn't even pay $2 for it. Keep raising your prices and lowering your quality McDonalds. I'd rather spend that $5 at Subway anyways and not have to worry about my waistline later!
Oct 22, 2013 5:02PM
Remember --- for every pound of chicken sent to China for processing, 2 pounds of nuggets come back.
Oct 22, 2013 3:57PM
I got the runs just reading the word McDon.....

Awwwww, damn it.......
Oct 22, 2013 4:01PM
mc donalds is the original inventor of meat  glue
Oct 22, 2013 3:51PM
why not just call it value menue like EVERYONE ELSE D:

whatever, I don't like McD's anyways... everything is like Salt and Grease...
The McDonalds menu is not worthy of feeding to your neighbors dog...GOOGLE PINK SLIME and that is what you are eating...People too lazy to cook for themselves are poisoning themselves over the years with meat fillers and Dow Chemical Preservatives...and you wonder why the hospitals are full of people who enjoy a fast food meal and Coke everyday...Dumb & Dumber & Lazy 
Oct 25, 2013 11:06AM
When your stores consistently have rude, miserable employees serving cold and tasteless food the sales are going to drop. Its not brain science or rocket surgery. Further more re naming the menu that lists the cold and tasteless food does not make the food more appealing. A Big Mac used to taste great, now not so much.  
Oct 22, 2013 3:44PM

The Obama Strategy, mislead the customer with promises and then screw 'em!


You like that old hamburger? you can keep it!

You like ketch up on that old hamburger? you can still have it!

Get the same burger you like for less!

Save time and money and order on line!

Oct 22, 2013 4:04PM
"If you waited 10 minutes and checked the dumpster Menu"?
Oct 25, 2013 9:22AM
I agree with most of what has been said. The staff in McDonalds is constantly messing up your order. I can't ever leave the window before checking my order. you food is not cooked fresh, fries are cold burgers are soggy, the size of the shakes have ben decreased and price has gone up on everything. I guess they don't realize sales are down because they have raised prices and lowered quality.
Oct 25, 2013 6:31AM
I stopped going to McDonalds almost a year ago...I don't miss it a bit; I finally had enough of the poor service. I live in Toledo, Ohio and the service at Hill and Reynolds location was unbearable, the managers and the crew. I cant believe I use to eat that crap, bottom line u can feed me crap that's killing me and be rude at same time. I hope Mc Donalds  goes out of business
Oct 25, 2013 5:02PM
As a "former" and I stress,former employee of this disgusting franchise,I agree with every compliant here and any future ones to come,I and several of my coworkers quit because of the things they serve to people,yes we as conscious human beings will ingest whatever we please but I cannot in any way feel good about the "food" products I served while working there it is undoubtedly 80% unhealthy destructive,borderline biochemical warfare against its own consumers

I think that the McDonald' s Corporation should be glad to see that they are actually seeing a profit still.  The are some of us who have not had a wage increase since 2007 - or have had wage cuts.  I do not think they should be messing with the Dollar Menu - There are some people who save all month just to have enough to treat their family to a night out at McDonalds.  That does not say much for our society that a trip to McDonalds is a treat - and cause for celebration when "taking the family out to eat".

McDonalds - Please do not make any changes at this time to the Dollar Menu - instead cut the top 10% executives wages by 5% and see if that doesn't keep the numbers up there for the Share Holders.


Oct 25, 2013 11:51AM
McDonalds would do better if their food tasted better.  They are not famous for the taste of their food, they are famous (under the Golden Arches) for the most burgers sold.  Its fast and convenient but the taste could be a whole lot better.  At least Burger King's charbroiled burgers have some flavor to them.  Just saying.
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