McDonald's is no stranger to promotional items -- from the annual Shamrock Shake to the elusive return of the McRib, the fast food chain keeps fans on their toes with new, limited-time menu offerings. One of the most talked about promotions of the year was McDonald's celebration of its mascot Grimace on the week of his 52nd birthday. The Grimace Shake received mixed reviews due to its confusing blend of tangy berry flavors and creamy texture, but it still gained massive popularity on TikTok. The shake, along with a special-priced cheeseburger meal, was only available for a limited time at participating restaurants nationwide. While that might sound like it was widely available to consumers across the nation, according to a former McDonald's corporate chef, not all locations are willing to offer the latest promotional item.
Apparently, deciding which "participating restaurants" will offer new promotions has more to do with democracy than anything else. TikToker @chefmikeharacz shared that McDonald's franchise owners in each region will vote to decide whether or not they will offer the newest promotional item. According to this TikTok creator, corporate McDonald's often wanted every one of its restaurants to offer each promotional item, but franchise owners have the right to abstain from offering additional items. With so many items already on the menu, some store owners may not see the promotional items as worthwhile, especially when the limited-time food items require different preparation techniques that could slow down a store's daily operations.
Why Most McDonald's Promotional Menu Items Don't Become Permanent
Some fast food promotions are low-key just marketing scams –- oftentimes, companies are looking for any way to get customers to return to their establishments. But every so often, promotional items see massive success, and are sorely missed amongst fans when they're gone. In the TikTok explaining why some McDonald's franchises don't offer the latest promotional item, discouraged consumers expressed their desire for certain popular items to become permanent menu options. One commenter reminisced, "I'm just mad McNugget Buddies aren't back." Another commenter asked the question that many McDonald's fans are dying to know: "Why can't the McRib be a regular item on the menu?"
When it comes to the McRib, McDonald's counts on fans to miss it so there'll be higher demand when it returns. As much as fans miss favorites like the McRib when it disappears from menus, the massive popularity of the limited-time item actually creates more incentive for the company to keep it off the permanent menu. If the sandwich was offered year-round, McDonald's likely wouldn't see as drastic of an uptick in sales. When an item is available for a limited time only, it encourages curious consumers to visit sooner rather than later for a chance to try the latest offering before it is taken off the menu. Ultimately, promotional items give frequent fans variety while luring less loyal customers inside to experience the newest thing.
Read the original article on Mashed.