McDonald’s new Hacks menu taps into the power of co-creation
McDonald’s recently announced that for a limited time, starting today, January 31, patrons will be able to purchase four special menu items via a new “Menu Hacks” section of its app, or at participating restaurants.
These franken-order offerings were inspired by some of the chain’s most frequent and loudest customers on social media. Interestingly, the customer must assemble the creation themselves from individual meal items provided that serve as the components for the hack.
This whole approach demonstrates a new, unique twist on the meanings of “social listening,” “user-generated content” and “co-creation.” Consumers are constantly interacting with brands in unexpected ways and the hacks menu is a nod to those innovating post-purchase. Selling these items under a special designation gives credit to customers’ craftiness while acknowledging the power they hold.
There are also some smart spins on loyalty embedded within this program. QSR growth usually operates inversely to grocery. In the grocery space, there’s often more opportunity in leveraging loyalty to drive larger baskets, whereas in QSR, the obvious opportunity comes from gaining order frequency. In selling the hacks as all the required meal items together, this program inherently maintains an increased basket. That basket is further increased by the fact that the new deal’s scheme is centered around the hacks menu options, which add in other items and/or drinks.
Three of the four hacks are associated with promotions that are dependent upon where they are ordered from McDonald’s app or from UberEats. This move means differentiating the delivery channels, allowing for cleaner data analytics, incentives for using McDelivery and benefits to UberEats for being a partner.
The brand has partnered with several TikTok influencers to advertise the hacks, building off the momentum it gained with Gen Z through its most recent celebrity partnerships. The strong influencer connection to this campaign begs the question of what mass crowdsourcing from every day visitors could look like. Considering that the chain launched its loyalty program just last year and is relying so heavily on its app and TikTok presence to promote this initiative, there seems to be an abundance of potential for more hacks menus in the future.
McDonald’s last week reported that its 2021 U.S. comparable sales climbed an impressive 13.8 percent (14.3 percent on a two-year basis). The company credits much of its success to its focus on “the 3D’s”— digital, delivery, and drive-thru — all of which are relevant to the Hacks campaign.
- ‘The Hash Brown Goes Where?!’ For the First Time Ever, McDonald’s® USA Officially Introduces Fan-Inspired Hacks to Menus – McDonald’s press release
- McDonald’s Menu Hacks
- McDonald’s adding menu hacks like a Double Cheeseburger with McNuggets or a Filet-O-Fish – USA Today
- McDonald’s Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2021 Results – McDonald’s press release
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What can retailers learn from McDonald’s hacks menu program? What could McDonald’s improve the next time it offers a hacks menu?