Big Changes Could be Coming for McDonald's Dollar Menu

OAK BROOK, Ill. – McDonald's customers across the United States could see an updated version of the Dollar Menu that includes $5 items by the end of this year, according to an Associated Press report.

The fast-food giant recently stated that it has been testing new versions of the menu, called "Dollar Menu & More," in five markets. Its existing Dollar Menu was launched more than 10 years ago.

Although the company noted that no official changes have been made, it wouldn't be its first attempt to modify the Dollar Menu in recent times. Last year, McDonald's began encouraging customers to try the Extra Value Menu, which features menu items as expensive as $2. It returned its focus to the Dollar Menu in ads when sales dropped.

"We didn't deliver on simplicity and clarity," said McDonald's Chief Marketing Officer Neil Golden. If the Dollar Menu & More expands nationwide, McDonald's will retire the Extra Value Menu in favor of building on the strong Dollar Menu brand, he said.

Test results have been positive and are in the process of being shared with U.S. franchisees, Golden added. A minimum of 75 percent of McDonald's 180 U.S. marketing cooperatives must vote in favor of the menu revamp for it to be approved.

One version of the Dollar Menu & More being tested has three price points -- $1, $2 and $5 -- and "shareable" items like a 20-piece box of McNuggets, according to the report. A second test version has $1, $1.79 and $4.99 price points and includes more chicken items and burgers that come with bonus items such as bacon or an extra patty.

The new menu provides "a broader range of profitability" for restaurants, Golden said, noting that the overall percentage of sales the test menu generates is "similar" to that generated by the Dollar Menu — approximately 14 percent, according to past comments by company officials. 

Testing of the Dollar Menu & More menu has been conducted in Fresno, Calf.; Albuquerque, N.M.; Columbia, S.C.; the combined market of Hartford, Conn., and Springfield, Mass.; and Memphis, Tenn.

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