McDonald’s has to balance the needs of its customers and its franchise owners. Those two groups often have very differing needs.
Franchise owners want to maximize profits by operating as efficiently as possible. That means sometimes not offering menu items customers like because they’re too hard to make or otherwise complicate restaurant operations.
Customers don’t care about whether a franchise owner has to add an extra person in the kitchen or whether making a beloved menu item slows down production. They want what they want whether that be breakfast at midnight, or a customized version of a menu item that’s complicated for the kitchen.
McDonald’s (MCD) – Get Free Report has generally sided with its franchisees over its customers. That’s why it dropped “All-Day Breakfast” during the pandemic and never brought it back even though customers loved it.
That’s also why the company got rid of its beloved “Snack Wraps,” at least in the United States. They took a long time to produce and required a bespoke process that slowed down the chain’s production.
Customers have clamored for them to be brought back and while McDonald’s has made jokes about their return they have never actually done it. Now, the company has hinted that it’s going to bring back the Snack Wraps line, or at least a version of it.
McDonald’s has been aggressive in adding chicken-based products.
Image source: McDonald’s
McDonald’s plans to get aggressive with chicken
McDonald’s, in a press release issued in conjunction with its Investor Day, said it plans to keep growing its chicken business. Currently, the chain shared that its chicken business has become on par with its beef business and it plans to grow that.
That platform currently includes Chicken McNuggets, McChicken, McCrispy and McSpicy.
“This includes plans to offer McCrispy in nearly all markets around the world by the end of 2025 and to expand McCrispy into wraps and tenders. These planned innovations and new menu offerings reflect the company’s ability to test and scale quickly to serve customers,” the company shared.
That’s not McDonald’s directly saying it plans to bring back a McCrispy version of the Snack Wrap, but it’s a heavy hint in that direction.
McDonald’s bets on delivery and drive-through
In addition to expanding its core menu offerings and reinvesting in chicken, McDonald’s also shared plans to continue to expand the ways customers can be served outside the chain’s restaurants.
Currently, the company expects 30% of its delivery orders to come through its app by 2027. McDonald’s expects to invest in its technology to improve its ability to fill those orders.
“To ensure McDonald’s restaurant teams are able to deliver the speed, convenience and freshness customers expect when they place a mobile order, the company will expand its U.S. pilot of ‘Ready On Arrival’ across its top six markets by 2025,” the company shared.
Ready On Arrival is a technology that lets workers begin putting together mobile orders before they get to the restaurant. It’s designed to cut down on wait times and raise customer satisfaction.
McDonald’s also noted that it’s the largest drive-through player in the world with over 27,000 in operation around the world. The company plans to lean in on that advantage. The chain shared that its ability to identify good locations and lock them down at good prices has given it an edge.
“This competitive advantage in drive-thru also presents significant opportunities for growth. Enhancements, such as improving the physical layout of the drive-thru with additional lanes, creates additional capacity, which improves speed and efficiency and ultimately leads to sales growth and strong returns,” the company added.