“Killing salads and other less popular, healthy items has helped McDonald’s speed up drive-thru times by nearly 30 seconds over the past year.”
Business Insider – In 2020, McDonald’s gave up pretending to be healthy.
The McWrap disappeared back in 2016. Then, in late March, McDonald’s announced it was slashing less popular menu items, including salads, grilled chicken, and yogurt.
The change was supposed to be a temporary move during the pandemic, but nine months later the “healthy” items have not returned.
“I’m trying hard to lose weight and there are days we have a busy schedule where take out is a must,” Rachel Fleck, a mother of four from Tiffin, Ohio, told Business Insider. “There is no form of chicken unless it’s battered and fried and no salads.”
Fleck said she has been going to McDonald’s less frequently since the healthy menu items have disappeared, instead visiting Subway or Wendy’s.
However, Fleck seems to be in the minority. McDonald’s same-store sales increased 4.6% in the most recent quarter, as analysts celebrate the chain’s success.
Why McDonald’s healthy menu items disappeared
The reason McDonald’s nixed its “healthy” menu items is pretty straightforward: They were just never all that popular.
McDonald’s added salads to the menu in the late ’80s, after rivals like Wendy’s and Burger King were already serving the menu item.
Salads and other healthy options typically serve as a counter to the “veto vote,” or an option for people — like Fleck — who would otherwise block a trip to McDonald’s if they couldn’t order a vegetarian or more nutritious meal.
But, salads have never been top sellers or as profitable as other menu items. To make matters worse, preparing salads slows down workers, making drive-thru wait times longer — a huge problem during the pandemic, as the drive-thru now makes up the vast majority of McDonald’s business.
Killing salads and other less-popular, healthy items has helped McDonald’s speed up drive-thru times by nearly 30 seconds over the past year, Restaurant Dive reported, citing a SeeLevel HX study. Franchisees have embraced the simplified menu, refusing to allow the items back on the menu or reintroduce All Day Breakfast … Read more.
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