The fast food sector of the food and beverage industry has been struggling the past decade or so. That’s because, of course, American consumers are getting savvy to healthier foods, something that “fast food” typically is not. But in addition to wanting healthier foods, Americans can also be pretty picky eaters: we like the idea of customizing our food. That is another thing “fast food” typically is not (customizable).
But, as the old adage goes, “adapt or die,” and so companies like McDonald’s has had to learn to make some changes. Accordingly, McDonald’s chef Michael Haracz explains, “We started with All Day Breakfast, updated our Chicken McNuggets, offered new Mac sandwich sizes for every occasion and now we’re introducing Signature Crafted Recipes because they are inspired by our customers.”
What are these “Signature Crafted Recipes”? Well, the fully customizable Signature Sandwiches are upscale burgers and chicken sandwiches which feature new flavors like Pico Guacamole, Sweet BBQ Bacon, and Maple Bacon Dijon.
The company, of course, hopes that this new line of menu items will appeal to the more savvy burger lover without alienating those who have remained loyal to the Golden Arches for decades. As McDonald’s senior director of US marketing, Julie Wenger, states: “When people come to McDonald’s they tend to come for sort of their classic favorites, and we know that those same customers are sort of looking for different flavors and new flavors, and they may not think of McDonald’s for that. What we learned from customers is there’s a little bit of skepticism about whether or not McDonald’s can really bring these great flavors through premium ingredients.”
In addition to the menu changes, the stores and uniforms will be getting overhauls too. For one, approximately 650 restaurants will have self-service ordering kiosks and/or table service within the year (for a total of 2,500 stores to offer these upgrades). The uniforms, of course, will become more trendy, stylish.
Now, there is no way of knowing how this is going to progress. After all, much of this is uncharted territory for a company that used to just do simple burgers and fries. An ever-changing, ever-expanding menu makes it difficult to keep costs down; and sometimes, trying to please everyone is not the smartest strategy. Still, the company knows that they need to make some changes in order to stay afloat in this highly competitive food service world.