The Real Reason These McDonald's Want To Keep A Reduced Menu

A few months back, shortly after most restaurants closed down their dining rooms in an attempt to slow the spread of the COVIV-19 virus, McDonald's made some major alterations to the way its franchises would operate. They announced that locations nationwide would not only be suspending the all-day breakfast, but also operating with a reduced menu, dropping items such as salads, grilled chicken sandwiches, and chicken tenders. The menu changes were made in order to simplify operations at a time when the chain was operating with a reduced workforce.

While their announcement at the time indicated that all such changes were intended to be temporary, Inc. nonetheless speculated that it was perhaps more of a ploy to quietly prune certain less-profitable items from the menu on a more permanent basis. Well, now that things start getting back to normal (or at least to the "new normal," whatever that turns out to be), it seems that a number of McDonald's franchise owners would like to keep that shorter, simpler menu on a permanent basis.

Why McDonald's franchisees feel a shorter menu is better

The reason many McDonald's franchise owners wish to keep the menu as is can be summed up in one word: efficiency. Blake Casper, chairman of the National Owner's Association (the owners being McDonald's independent franchisees) told his members, "The limited menu and ease of operations are allowing our teams to focus and provide blazing fast service... We are convinced. Keeping our menus simplified is your NOA's number one priority."

McDonald's managers have been reporting that they're now able to fill orders at record-breaking speeds, thus putting the "fast" back in fast foods. It seems the over-complicated pre-pandemic menu was slowing things down and thus possibly hurting sales, and it may prove to be a bad decision for McDonald's to return to trying to please all of the people all of the time when they're better suited to pleasing those who simply want to grab a quick Big Mac and fries at the drive-thru window and then be on their way. 

Sales figures seem to bear this out, as Restaurant Business reports that not just Mickey D's, but other fast-food restaurants have reported doing more business than ever in the month of April despite operating on a drive-thru only basis. While we don't know just yet exactly how things are going to pan (grill?) out, one thing's for sure —– the "new normal" at the Golden Arches, as elsewhere, is bound to bring a number of big changes.