McDonald's Smells A Recession Coming From People Ordering Fewer Fries

It's easy to argue that a company as successful as McDonald's really doesn't need to drum up any more customers. Not only are the Golden Arches and Ronald McDonald's notoriety known worldwide, but the company boasts an annual revenue of more than $23 billion — that's quite a lot of fries.

Quite a lot, but maybe not enough. Even though fries are as essential in a McDonald's order as air is in lungs, customers appear to be shunning the salty potato slices — and they're not being replaced with anything else. McDonald's is coy about the exact reduction in fry sales its restaurants are experiencing but notes that the problem is wide-ranging, affecting its markets in the U.S. as well as Europe. The fast food chain believes that the drop in interest is a direct result of people saving money and expects America to enter a mild recession as a result. But why are French fries being singled out for the chop — and what is McDonald's doing about it?

Lower fry sales may be just the beginning

"Recession" is a word we've all become familiar with, and it is defined as more than a few months of poor economic activity that affects various sectors. McDonald's recognizes that the reduction in fry sales indicates that people are cutting back on spending, possibly because they feel like they have less to spend due to inflation. Fries are easy to drop from an order because they are a side dish rather than a main meal and can be cooked easily from scratch or frozen at home.

McDonald's struggling to sell French fries does not solely meet the criteria of a recession, but if other industries report poor sales figures, the economy may have overarching struggles. Whether or not a recession is coming, McDonald's can't sit back and allow fry sales to fall without trying to stem the problem. That could be why the company is promoting Free Fries Friday, which, you guessed it, permits people placing an order of at least $1 through the McDonald's app to receive complimentary medium fries. It truly will be a sign of economic trouble if McDonald's fails even to give its fries away.