What Should McDonald's Corporation's (MCD) New Menu Look Like?

McDonald's Corporation is re-examining its menu and ingredients, but what changes should it make?

by Josh Selway

Published on Dec 16, 2014 at 11:46 AM
Updated on Apr 20, 2015 at 5:32 PM

McDonald's Corporation's (NYSE:MCD) is stuck. For starters, its stock has been trapped in the $85-$100 range for the better part of three years now, and with its sales numbers just getting worse, the struggles for the world's largest restaurant chain are likely to continue for the foreseeable future. But even more concerning is the fact that the company's products are stuck in the past. The burgers look to be the same ones my parents were eating 30 years ago, and the fries still hold the same salty crunch they've always had.

The problem is, though the burgers and fries are delicious (I will not entertain an argument on this), consumers these days want something more: healthy, clean food. That is why McDonald's has recently decided to revamp its menu in 2015, by downsizing it, and allowing customers to personalize their food, a la Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (NYSE:CMG). Mike Andres, President of McDonald's USA, even alluded to doing the unthinkable: "Why do we need to have preservatives in our food?" he asked. "We probably don't."

Well then.

I don't know about you, but I'm waiting in tense anticipation. In the meantime, I decided to give my take on which McDonald's products should remain on the new menu, which ones definitely shouldn't, and presented some ideas for items they could add to the menu.

Definitely Should Make the Cut

McD's said its simplified menu will feature just one Premium Chicken sandwich, and one Quarter Pounder with Cheese option. However, I think these stalwarts should stay:

  • McChicken: This isn't the most glorious item out there, but every legitimate dollar menu needs a simple chicken sandwich. When I'm hungry and in a hurry, this is my go-to. Will it still have my heart if they remove the preservatives, though? Tough to say.

  • Premium Chicken Bacon Clubhouse Sandwich: Nothing with bacon should be removed from the menu. Still, the name of this sandwich could be shortened, as this can cause problems considering McDonald's shaky intercom system. One caveat: you should only be allowed to get it crispy style.

  • Deluxe Quarter Pounder: For when money isn't an issue and you want to roll up your sleeves and just get wild.

Should be Removed Immediately

  • Jalapeno Double: Not even a jalapeno single. No jalapenos. No.

  • Mac Snack Wrap: We're just better than this as a society, plain and simple. Fortunately, McDonald's said it plans to offer just one Snack Wrap on the trimmed-down menu, compared to three.

  • Filet-O-Fish: This decision is purely based on the fact that if the product goes, the advertisements will be gone as well. Plus, fish from McDonald's -- even at the "new" McDonald's -- doesn't sit right with me. Honestly, I don't trust fish from any restaurant that is not adjacent to a body of water.

  • McRib: "It's baaaaack!" Again and again, McDonald's plays this game where it takes the McRib off the market, then celebrates its return like it's not a piece of cardboard masked in barbeque sauce. Since this thing just keeps coming back, someone out there must buy it. Whoever you are, I will find you.

Should be Added Immediately

  • Monster McRings: Burger King has onion rings that I enjoy immensely. This may be a path McDonald's wants to consider. For some reason, I envision McDonald's onion rings as massive rings, like six inches in circumference. Why? I have no idea.

  • Chile McFlurry: I've always felt that there were not enough McFlurry options. The Chile McFlurry would be a double-edged sword for McDonald's; not only would it provide customers with a new, tasty treat, but it would also serve as a way to use any leftover hamburger meat. There is potential for a parfait spin-off, as well.

  • Breakfast Big Mac: A Big Mac with pancakes for buns. You can order this regardless of the time of day. Add syrup for an extra $0.50 -- and kick Yum! Brands, Inc.'s (NYSE:YUM) Taco Bell breakfast renaissance in the teeth.

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