McD’s Plays Chicken with Burger Rivals
Burger King, Hardee’s, Carl’s Jr., Jack in the Box and numerous other chain and independent fast-food and fast casual restaurant’s have tried to cash in on the so-called beefier burger trend. So where has McDonald’s, the one of billions-of-burgers-served fame, been during all this? Concentrating on building its business with chicken sandwiches and salads, that’s where.
According to research from NPD Group, McDonald’s may be moving in the wrong direction. The research firm said dinnertime burger sales at fast-food chains are at a three-year high while salad sales are falling off after three years of growth.
Harry Balzer, vice president at NPD Group, told Crain’s Chicago Business, “It’s pretty clear that burgers are back.”
Over the past several years, McDonald’s has focused on introducing higher-priced chicken sandwiches and salads to its menu. During that time, it has not introduced a new burger option for the legion of McDonald’s patrons.
According to Wade Thoma, vice president of menu management at McDonald’s, there is no plan to introduce a new burger in the immediate future. “Right now, our priority is still on chicken,” he said.
“There’s always the danger of going too far and forgetting that your core customer still eats burgers,” said Janna Sampson, director of portfolio management at OakBrook Investments. “They may need to rethink that if they start to lose business to Wendy’s and Burger King.”
Discussion Questions: Is it time for McDonald’s to introduce a new burger item(s) to its menu? Do you believe the chain has lost its focus on its burger
business? Is it in danger of facing a hit to its business because it is trying to be all things to all people?