Following a sneak peak of changes to the Dollar Menu during McDonald's 3Q earnings call in October, the company has rolled out the revamped value offerings as the "Dollar Menu and More."
According to CEO Don Thompson, the platform is designed to provide "value beyond the $1 price point." He expects the updated menu to generate an average of 13 to 15 percent of total sales, similar to its predecessor Dollar Menu.
The Dollar Menu was first introduced more than 10 years ago.
The new Dollar Menu & More includes items priced from $1 to $2 and a shareable option priced at $5. The new menu features more than 15 menu items including two new sandwiches for $1 and three new sandwiches for $2:
- BBQ Ranch Burger, a burger made with 100-percent beef and topped with mild BBQ ranch sauce, chili lime tortilla strips and white cheddar for $1.
- Buffalo Ranch McChicken, featuring seasoned crispy chicken with spicy buffalo and buttermilk ranch sauce, topped with lettuce for $1.
- Bacon McDouble, a burger made with 100-percent beef and topped with Applewood-smoked bacon, American Cheese, dill pickles and onions for $2.
- Bacon Cheddar McChicken, featuring seasoned crispy chicken and Applewood-smoked bacon and white cheddar, topped with lettuce and mayonnaise for $2.
- Bacon Buffalo Ranch McChicken, featuring seasoned crispy chicken with spicy buffalo and buttermilk ranch sauce, topped with Applewood-smoked bacon and lettuce for $2.
Many options from the previous Dollar Menu will still be offered for $1, including the McChicken, Grilled Onion Cheddar Burger, Side Salad, Fruit 'N Yogurt Parfait and large Sweet Tea.
McDonald's Double Cheeseburger and McDouble remain part of the Dollar Menu & More. The new menu also features 20-piece Chicken McNuggets for $5.
Having a $2 price point added supports additional margin growth for operators and allows customers a "value ladder," Thompson said during the recent earnings call, so they have multiple choices based on their discretionary spending.
"We also have a $5 price point, and so there's varying levels of affordability. We still continue to have our Extra Value Meals and premium-based products. We've definitely not forgotten our core, and the core classics. We haven't forgotten the innovative food pipeline. All of those things will play well together as we continue to come up with the most compelling menu offerings and compelling calendar for customers moving forward," he said.
Going after better-burger concepts
Also this week, the OC Register reported that some McDonald's restaurants in Southern California and Illinois are testing a build-your-own burger initiative, allowing guests to choose premium ingredients from an iPad menu.
The publication called the effort an "upscale burger test." More than 20 toppings and sauces are available for guests to choose from, including guacamole, grilled mushrooms and a creamy garlic sauce. The beef patty is "chargrilled to order."
The burgers are served open faced in an aluminum basket for $5.79, similar to some "better-burger" fast casual concepts.
At the Laguna Niguel, Calif., restaurant, customers can build their burgers using one of two iPad ordering stations. Employees are on hand to help them through the creation process, and are dressed for the occasion, wearing black and white chefs' aprons.
According to the story, once a customer selects their toppings, an employee re-enters the order on a separate tablet, and a third device is used for paying. McDonald's told the publication that it is too soon to tell whether these concepts will be rolled out nationally, and the tests represent "just one aspect of our broader menu innovation journey."
Read more about food and beverage promotions.