Merchant Innovation

McDonald’s And The Death Of The Dollar Menu

The “fast food” moniker has gained something of a negative reputation as health and fitness trends have exploded in recent years, but at least McDonald’s is proving that “fast food” can also describe its willingness to adapt to changes in the market.

After tweaking its famed Dollar Menu for months, USA Today reported that McDonald’s is finally pulling the plug on the low-cost offerings in favor of more comprehensive deals for diners. Deborah Wahl, chief marketing officer for McDonald’s, told reporters Monday (Dec. 28) that the fast food chain would pivot to the new McPick 2 menu, which will let shoppers combine two items for $2 total.

“We think it will be able to serve this customer group that hasn’t felt like they’ve gotten everything they wanted in that choice and flexibility they are looking for,” Wahl told reporters, as quoted by USA Today.

While McDonald’s may have kickstarted the arms race of low-priced fast food options with its innovative Dollar Menu so many years ago, it’s hard to see the move toward the McPick 2 menu as anything but a reaction to similar pivots by competitors. Wendy’s, Burger King and Kentucky Fried Chicken have all offered some form of an affordable combination meal for months.

According to Wahl, though, it’s better to show up late than never. After learning a valuable lesson by listening to consumers’ complaints about the long-standing limited availability of McDonald’s breakfast menu, Wahl feels that the new McPick 2 menu is well-positioned to succeed.

“What we learned from all-day breakfast is that when we listen to customers, they do reward us,” Wahl told USA Today.

So, does this mean, after years of rumors, the Dollar Menu is finally dead? Yes and no. While the Dollar Menu is no longer an institution offering, Wahl explained that some individual stores may still run regional promotions for nostalgic fast food diners.

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