Wednesday, September 02, 2015


Place: McDonald's
Lunch: Big Mac, fries, Hi-C Orange Lavaburst

McDonald's has announced that they'll have an all-day breakfast menu starting next month, and WOW did they get a ton of publicity out of it.  They were all over the news yesterday and today.

The menu will be limited and different in various regions...the south will get biscuit sandwiches and drop wraps while others won't, for example...because there's apparently a delicate balance of available space in the kitchen to support this endeavor.

I talked a bit about what I felt was wrong with McDonald's a few months ago when the dreadful McSirloin burgers arrived (and died a quick death).  One of the things I suggested was simplifying the menu.  I would like to elaborate on that.  Because what one of the world's biggest brands needs is unsolicited advice from a random guy with a blog and no practical restaurant experience.

First off, strip the menu of all burgers except:

Double Cheeseburger
Quarter Pounder
Double Quarter Pounder
Big Mac

That's it.  No burgers with tomato, ranch, or grilled onions.  Most of these burgers use just a few interchangeable ingredients.  The Big Mac is the most exotic offering listed, and all it uses differently is the double decker bun, lettuce, and special sauce.

Second, strip the menu of all chicken sandwiches except MAYBE McChicken.  You are NOT Chick-Fil-A, McDonald's, and you never will be.  Lose the premium chicken offerings.  I can't imagine these are anything but major money losers.

Third, lose the wraps and salads.  Nobody goes to McDonald's to eat healthy.  If you want to keep the apple slices and yogurt thingy, fine, but only if they're profitable to you.

Keep Chicken McNuggets and the fries, of course.

That leaves Filet-O-Fish.  I love the Filet-O-Fish, even as simple and overpriced as it is.  I don't know what the sales numbers are for that, but I almost wonder if it should become a seasonal item for Lent.  If it's good for McRib, why not.  That's how a lot of other chains handle fish.  If it's profitable year-round, great.  But if not...

As for beverages, keep McCafe.  That seems to be working for you.  That's fine.

Is that enough cutting to do a complete breakfast menu all day?  Because here's where I'm going with this...


Simplify the menu enough that you can offer EVERYTHING at ALL OPERATING HOURS.  Burgers and fries for breakfast.  Heck...Egg McMuffin and fries for breakfast.  Big Mac and hash round for dinner.  Instead of creating a situation where customers have to understand which breakfast offerings are available after breakfast hours.

Once you've cleared the garbage out of the kitchen, address pricing.  Because I'm guessing the classic burgers are so bloody expensive these days because those burgers are subsidizing losses on the premium sandwiches.

Think about it, McDonald's.

Get back to McBasics.