Deeper cuts at the chain could be on the way.
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On the company's conference call Friday, McDonald's USA President Mike Andres said its menu rationalization test is "clearly ongoing," as the chain has unveiled a lot of products during the last year and a half.
The cuts are aimed at simplifying a menu that's grown complex over the years and proved to be an obstacle in the fast-food giant's need for speed.
Indeed, McDonald's menu items excluding beverages, desserts or combo meals grew to 72 last year from 53 just four years earlier, according to market research firm Datassential.
Test results of the pared down offering saw "faster order times" and better performance compared to those with the longer menu, Andres said.
In a recent survey from Janney Capital Markets, some franchisees called for more cuts to the many with several expressing frustration with complicated Happy Meals and some McCafe offerings.
The Midwest franchise executive views the changes as a positive.
"The menu was confusing to the customer, and it was confusing to the people making the sandwiches," he said. "There were too many options for the customer, and our grill team wasn't on the ball enough."
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The cuts come as McDonald's is rolling out its customizable create-your-taste platform, a build-your-own sandwich option the company plans to begin expanding aggressively to 2,000 stores in the US this year. It is part of the Golden Arches' effort to turn around its struggling U.S. business and compete with restaurants like Chipotle Mexican Grill that have seen success with their customized offerings.
At a location in Laguna Niguel, California, a bacon cheeseburger combo meal ordered using create your taste will set customers back about $10 including tax—a pricey offering for a chain built on low-priced items.
Still, the location's general manager Salvador Garcia said in a phone interview that customers shell out for the burger and chicken sandwiches, which contain the same meat as those ordered at the counter.
"Definitely, customers are willing to pay that," Garcia said. "And they wait a little longer."