McDonald's Dollar Menu Is Going Away, Mozzarella Sticks Are Here To Stay

McDonald's is replacing the Dollar Menu with the "McPick 2" in January. For $2, customers will get to choose a pair of items from the new menu which will include a McDouble, a McChicken, small fries, and mozzarella sticks.

The fast-food company made another bold menu change last month, as well. In a related Inquisitr report, McDonald's now serves breakfast all day. However, not all breakfast items are available.

Initially, the McDonald's all-day breakfast concept had many customers questioning choices, while some franchise operators were complaining about the additional costs. For the most part, however, the all-day breakfast has been a success, as customers seem to be "lovin' " the extra menu choices.

However, the Golden Arches have been struggling lately to gain any ground with low-cost items.

McDonalds changing dollar menu to McPick 2
[Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images]Since the elimination of the original "Dollar Menu" several years ago, McDonald's has been trying similar value-type platforms, yet with little success. They have not found the precise value menu combination to attract cost-conscious customers that was once a staple of the industry.

First, it was the "Extra Value Menu" in 2012 and the "Dollar Menu & More" in 2013. The Dollar Menu overhauls expanded choices for customers, but neither failed to really catch on. With some items costing upwards of $5, the menus proved too confusing to customers.

"As we moved away from the Dollar Menu, we didn't replace it with offers of an equivalent form of value. And customers have voted with their feet," CEO Steve Easterbrook said earlier this year.

Having a value menu is crucial to the company's marketing efforts, and the "McPick 2" is McDonald's latest attempt to win back deal seekers. Many analysts were expecting the new menu announcement, and see it as a positive move for the company.

McDonald's senior vice president of marketing, Deborah Wahl, is convinced the "McPick 2" concept is what customers want. "Customers are looking for choice and flexibility. That's sort of the new definition of value," she said in a recent statement.

To give customers even more "choice and flexibility," McDonalds will be adding a new item to the menu. In a report from Fox News 6, mozzarella sticks were successfully tested at 125 Wisconsin stores this past summer as part of the "Lovin' Value Menu." As a result, McDonald's will make the fried cheese sticks a permanent part of the menu nationwide. They plan to charge $1 for three sticks with a side of marinara dipping sauce.

With the nationwide launch of mozzarella sticks, one franchisee hinted that McDonald's may be looking into other snack-type menu items.
"People are snacking more often these days and looking for more options to create a right-sized meal for them. Mini meals allow them to do just that at an amazing value."
McDonald's adding menu items like mozzarella sticks.
[Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]Rival fast-food chains are experimenting with their own similar bundle-type value menu choices.

Wendy's replaced its 99-cent offerings with the "Right Price, Right Size" menu, yet found the change ineffective. However, they did achieve success with the "4 for $4" deal, which consisted of a Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger, chicken nuggets, fries, and a drink.

Additionally, KFC has introduced the $5 Fill Ups boxes, and Subway launched the Simple $6 Menu.

Unlike the initial response to the all-day breakfast, McDonald's franchisees seem to fully support the "McPick 2" menu. After much discussion, the franchisees voted to approve the new menu, which was finalized on Monday, according to the Wall Street Journal.

As operators have to pay for their own supplies and ingredients, some wonder if franchises in higher cost areas will lose money with the new offer. When asked, McDonald's would not give specifics, only saying that the "McPick 2" menu is designed to bring customers in the door.

The McDonald's "McPick 2" menu will start January 4, 2016, and will be available for five weeks. After which, the company may make some changes, but many expect the mozzarella sticks are here to stay.

[Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images]