McRib Sandwich Makes Its Return Later Than Usual This Year

Fans of the McRib sandwich had what was likely an agonizing wait this year, as the cult-favorite sandwich that usually arrives in October is finally here, a few months behind schedule.

McDonalds across the country started rolling out the McRib sandwich this week, NPR noted. The sandwich, with its mix of gooey barbeque sauce, onions, pickles, and pork trimmings squeezed into a boneless rib shape, didn’t come out until December this year as the restaurant chain hoped to boost its sales later in the quarter.

The delay had been hard on McRib superfans. Alan Klein is the creator of the McRib locator and has been following the McRib as it debuted on menus across the country. In the fall, he told NPR that he felt displaced with the sandwich’s delay.

“In some ways it feels like such a long time to wait. But really, when it’s a whole year, a couple more months, it makes it all the more worth it when you finally can have it,” said Klein.

McDonalds first sold the McRib nationally in 1994, and the sandwich gained an oddly devoted following who would often travel long distances to find locations selling them. In 2010, the sandwich again went nationwide for a limited time in the fall.

The later debut of the McRib sandwich is aimed at boosting McDonalds sales during the slow winter months when fewer diners are venturing out to buy meals.

“The winter is seasonally a slower period,” said Howard Penney, restaurant analyst and managing director at Hedgeye Risk Management, told Ad Age in the fall when McDonalds announced the McRib sandwich delay. “A lot of people underestimated the massive impact the weather had on sales.”