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McDonald’s menu might stay small and salad-free forever

A worker cleans Ronald McDonald for the reopening of the outlet after it was shut down as a precaution against COVID-19.
A worker cleans Ronald McDonald for the reopening of the outlet after it was shut down as a precaution against COVID-19.
Photo: NOAH SEELAM (Getty Images)

When McDonald’s closed its dining rooms and pivoted to a drive-thru-only model in response to the coronavirus pandemic, it simplified its menu to increase efficiency and decrease wait time. All-Day Breakfast was given the heave-ho, and some of McDonald’s less popular items—“Signature Crafted” burger options, salads, grilled chicken sandwiches, and chicken tenders—were put on hiatus. And if the the National Owners Association of McDonald’s franchisees get its way, the hiatus might become permanent.

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In a recent message to McDonald’s franchise owners, NOA chairman Blake Casper said that permanent adoption of the limited menu has become a goal for the association.

“The limited menu and ease of operations are allowing our teams to focus and provide blazing fast service,” read the statement in part. “We are convinced. Keeping our menus simplified is your NOA’s number one priority.”

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Casper’s message notes that the that the past few weeks have seen improved sales at McDonald’s locations throughout the country, and that service times are now at levels “we didn’t know were possible.” According to the industry publication Restaurant Business, McDonald’s pivot to a drive-thru-only operation has been wildly successful, with many franchises noting that even with their dining rooms shuttered, they’re beating last year’s sales. And really, who among us would be all that broken up about the loss of McDonald’s salad?

Allison Robicelli is The Takeout staff writer, a former professional chef, author of three books, and The People's Hot Pocket Princess. Questions about recipes/need cooking advice? Tweet @Robicellis.

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DISCUSSION

John Belushi pioneered this streamlined menu in the 1970's with his cheeseburger and Pepsi combo.

N.B. This reference will be lost on most people under the age of 45.