McDonald's brings back its dollar menu

by Monica Watrous
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McDonalds
McDonald's new $1 $2 $3 Dollar Menu will debut next year.
 
OAK BROOK, Ill. — McDonald’s Corp. is debuting the $1 $2 $3 Dollar Menu nationwide in the New Year, its latest in a series of value menu revamps in recent years. This iteration features items at three price points; $1 menu items include sausage burrito, McChicken sandwich, cheeseburger and any size soft drink; $2 menu items include Sausage McGriddles, two-piece Buttermilk Crispy Tenders, Bacon McDouble sandwich and a small McCafe beverage; and $3 items include Sausage McMuffin with Egg, a new Classic Chicken Sandwich, Triple Cheeseburger and Happy Meal.
The new Classic Chicken Sandwich features a buttermilk crispy chicken filet on a toasted bun with pickles and a creamy, sweet and tangy sauce.

“We built this new menu with variety and value firmly in mind,” said Chris Kempczinski, president, McDonald’s USA. “Our new value menu includes surprises like our completely new Classic Chicken sandwich, the inclusion of our Happy Meal and more. Whatever our guests crave — a delicious meal, a new taste, a mid-day snack or a family treat — they will find that $1 $2 $3 Dollar Menu provides them with value and choice.”

The $1 $2 $3 Dollar Menu is the latest revision in the fast-food chain’s evolving value story. Most recently, McDonald’s offered the McPick 2 promotion, which for $2 included two items from a selection of sandwiches and sides. As described by Mike Andres, then-president of McDonald’s USA, when the concept was first introduced: “The new platform will not be tied to a singular price point, but it will enable our customers the opportunity to bundle their own meals to suit their desire, which they have indicated to us is very important to them. Our overall goal with our value strategy is to first and foremost offer items that our customers want, to allow them to choose while still contributing to restaurant guest traffic and profitability.”

McDonald's new Classic Chicken Sandwich features a buttermilk crispy chicken filet on a toasted bun with pickles and a creamy, sweet and tangy sauce.
 
Before that, there was Dollar Menu & More, which featured products at $1, $2 and $5 price points. When that beefed-up bargain platform launched in 2013, then-president and CEO Don Thompson said, “As we stretch out the Dollar Menu a little bit more with Dollar Menu & More and provide some additional offers that will be even more appealing to some of the customers, we believe that it will continue to be a compelling offer and still best in class when we look at the overall marketplace.”

This latest attempt to woo cost-conscious consumers is among many efforts at McDonald’s to be more competitive in the marketplace, Kempczinski said during an earnings call in October.

McPick
McDonald's last value promotion was the McPick 2 promotion, which for $2 included two items from a selection of sandwiches and sides.
 
“One of the things that we have said to our franchisees in the US is we don’t have to win on value, but we can’t lose on value,” he said. “And that means we have to be competitive with our investments against the value program. And I think also, it’s no surprise that over the last, call it, three or four years since we rolled off Dollar Menu, we weren’t as competitive as we needed to be on value. 

“And so, what you’re going to see from us next year is us being really fully competitive with our nearing competitors with the value program there … our value program is going to be focused on $1, $2 and $3 price points for an everyday value piece of it. And then there will also be deals that we’ll pulse in and out throughout the year as a result of that.”

Dollar
McDonald's Dollar Menu & More launched in 2013.
 
Time will tell whether McDonald’s new value platform is a hit — or another miss. Meanwhile, Taco Bell, a subsidiary of Yum! Brands, Inc., is reminding its customers that, “bucking the industry trend of disappearing $1 menus… what sets Taco Bell’s $1 menu even further apart from national competitors is that $1 = $1.”

 
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