McDonald’s may be the most recognizable fast food chain in the world, with franchises across the globe. Staying in business for half a century requires not only a consistently solid product and experience but also the awareness and flexibility to know when it is time to make some changes.
Recently, for example, McDonald’s introduced a few new burgers as a means to compete with the many small, independent local burger joints offering artisan recipes that you typically can’t find at major chains. And, as such, McDonald’s added burger concepts like Mushroom & Swiss and a Bacon Smokehouse burger (and chicken sandwiches) to their menu. Other recipes experimented with ingredients like maple bacon and Dijon mustard or pico de gallo and guacamole.
And then almost as quickly as they might have come, McDonald’s whisked them away in favor of two new Quarter Pounder sandwiches. In fact, on its website, the iconic food chain posted, “Based on [customer] feedback, we’ll move away from our Signature Crafted Recipes line on our national menu. Our fresh new Quarter Pounder lineup brings customers more of the craveable, customizable, and delicious tastes they love.”
Essentially this move is to help streamline production in the basic McDonald’s kitchen. These restaurants have always been designed for efficiency and that means they don’t really have the space or capability to store all of the extra ingredients necessary to offer premium sandwiches, like mushrooms, onion rings, swiss cheese, and creamy bistro aioli.
Instead, the new Quarter Pounder offerings simply transform the classic Quarter Pounder with Cheese into more premium version. The Deluxe, for example, adds lettuce, tomato, and mayonnaise. The Bacon Quarter Pounder, of course, simply adds bacon to the existing Quarter Pounder.
Basically, McDonald’s wants—and needs—to simplify their menus. This includes shrinking its late-night offerings. As such, come the first of May, patrons will no longer be able to pick an Artisan Grilled Chicken Sandwich or a Buttermilk Crispy Chicken Sandwich or Tenders, or a premium salad between midnight and 5 am. Standard McDonald’s fare like the Big Mac and McNuggets and, of course, the Quarter Pounders, will remain on the late night menu.