The fast food industry is one of the most lucrative and vast businesses in the World today. Companies such as McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Burger King, Chick-fil-A, and Popeyes, to name a few, are in constant competition with one another over which is the most superior, even though all are globally successful.
One of the most recent fast food “battles” that has taken over the nation was between Popeyes and Chick-fil-A, and it involved an American staple; the chicken sandwich. Now, McDonald’s wants to throw its hat in the ring at the chance to prove that they might have the best chicken options. For a limited time, McDonald’s has announced that they are expanding their breakfast menus nationally to include Chicken McGriddles and McChicken Biscuit sandwiches; previously these options were only available in a few regional locations.
McDonald’s is also currently in the trial phases of creating their very own crispy chicken sandwich, along with a deluxe version that would include lettuce, tomatoes, and mayo, however, the sandwich is currently only available in Knoxville, Tennessee and Houston, Texas.
With chicken sandwiches being the token of fast food desire for so many this past year, McDonalds franchise workers began to worry that their very limited chicken menu items would set them back exponentially. Especially in comparison to establishments like Chick-fil-A, who are known for their premium chicken sandwiches.
“Unfortunately, [customers] have to go to Chick-fil-A for the chicken sandwich they crave. We have great Chicken McNuggets and our McChicken is a very good product. But we do not compete in the premium chicken sandwich category, either grilled or crispy,” said the National Owners Association for McDonald’s.
Linda VanGosen, vice president of menu innovation at McDonald’s, recently stated in an interview that the increase in demand for more chicken-based menu items paralleled similar demands for an expansion on their popular breakfast menu. So in order to satisfy all customer desires, they combined both demands and decided to expand on the breakfast menu with the Chicken McGriddles and McChicken Biscuits.
She also mentioned that in the regional areas of the country where these items have already been implemented on the McDonald’s menu, customers have “enthusiastically welcomed” the newer chicken options that are now available nationally.
The move to integrate more chicken into their breakfast menu may seem like a weird choice considering that they’re competing with two companies that are known for just a standard chicken sandwich, however, for McDonald’s it actually makes perfect sense. As previously stated by the board, McDonald’s can’t compete with the likes of Chick-Fil-A when it comes to a traditional chicken sandwich. However, when it comes to breakfast, McDonald’s is the company that is not to be competed with; in terms of other fast food establishments.
McDonald’s is definitely the fast food leader of breakfast menus, so much so that in 2015 they started serving their breakfast items all day. So it makes sense that, as a company, they decided that if they wanted to contest with the likes of Popeye’s, they would need to play to their strengths; in this case, that would be breakfast. Other fast food establishments, such as Wendy’s, are following in the same footsteps in terms of breakfast, but the individuals working in corporate aren’t too concerned.
“We’ve seen competitors … ramp up their activity during this year. Breakfast is an important segment for us to protect and grow. We’re used to fighting for our share, and we’ll carry on doing that,” former McDonald’s CEO Steve Easterbrook said.
Eric Mastrota is a Contributing Editor at The National Digest based in New York. A graduate of SUNY New Paltz, he reports on world news, culture, and lifestyle. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.