McDonald's, which has been struggling to juggle a variety of new menu items, says the McRib won't be available nationally this year.
The fast-food chain says it's leaving it up to local franchise groups to decide whether to offer the pork sandwich, which comes with pickles, onions and barbecue sauce. That's a change from the past three years, when McDonald's had put the McRib on the national menu as a way to boost sales in the latter half of the year.
(Read more: The next McDonald's attempt to shake up burger biz)
Now the company is going back to the days when the sandwich was a regional offering. The lack of widespread availability in years past in some regions helped give the sandwich a fabled status, with one fan even creating a McRib Locator to help people find the sandwich.