I'm Axin' It

Wave goodbye to crap! (AP photo)

Wave goodbye to crap!
(AP photo)

McDonalds finally took the axe to eight unbeloved menu items — the Deluxe Quarter Pounder, six various chicken sandwiches, and the honey mustard and chipotle barbecue snack wraps. Here’s more from Bloomberg:

“It was a ‘rolling removal,’ meaning restaurants discontinued serving them as their supply depleted,” said Lisa McComb, a company spokeswoman.

McDonald’s new chief executive officer, Steve Easterbrook, is facing six straight quarters of declining same-stores sales in the U.S., along with pressure to sell healthier fare. While axing some sandwiches helps to condense the bloated menu, McDonald’s still has about 40 more items than it did in 2007, according to menu researcher Datassential in Los Angeles.

“They could cut their burger number in half,” said Michelle Greenwald, a marketing professor at Columbia Business School in New York City.

“If you have a good burger, a really, really good burger, you don’t need a million,” she said. “They should go for quality and not quantity.”

I tried the Deluxe Quarter Pounder a while back, and it was definitely an improvement over the regular QP, with better toppings. The lettuce and tomato gave the burger a freshness the regular one lacks. The next time I tried one, it was drowning in so much mayonnaise that I couldn’t eat it. Obviously, quality control remains a problem.

But McD might have been onto something with the Deluxe. If they could train their people to top the thing consistently, the Deluxe should be the new Quarter Pounder — but with the old name. In other words, make deluxe the new standard. The company could do the same with other standard fare, too. Put the beef tallow back in the fries, improve the quality of the buns, more fresh veggie toppings, and please do something with that miserable little standard hamburger patty.

Shrink the menu down to a sane number of favorite old items, but enhanced.

“Same menu, better food.”

Now that could save the chain.