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Golden fool: Why less is more when it comes to fast food

A recent story revealed that sales in the United States for McDonald's, easily the largest and most notable fast food restaurant in the world, are slipping, down from previous years.
Sounds as though those "Golden Arches" are getting a little tarnished recently, right? Or perhaps the general public is starting to say so long to the burgers and French fries on a more regular basis and instead are opting for home cooked meals. Maybe, money is an issue and although fast food is relatively inexpensive, the majority might be deciding to save what extra money they have and skipping the Extra Value Meal option on a regular basis.
Turns out, industry experts are pointing the finger directly at McDonald's having what some would call a bloated, complicated menu that is all over the place. No longer is the fast food chain known just for its burgers and fries but also has added wraps, various breakfast items that go beyond just the famed McMuffin sandwiches and even an arrangement of salads for the healthier eater in your party.
But all those options are no reason to celebrate for McDonald's and subsequent sales that aren't so great, or at least up to par with where they'd like to be as an organization. As much as we want to believe sales being down is the consumer wanting to eat more or save money, truthfully less might be more when it comes to fast food eating as a whole, not just McDonald's.
Anyone who has watched reality television shows that center on food and restaurant business owners, "Restaurant Impossible" comes to mind immediately, knows just how paramount a precise, focused menu is to customers. "Restaurant Impossible" and host Robert Irvine always make it a point to not so gently break the news to the owner that a 10 page menu isn't going to do anyone any favors, particularly the person balancing the books for the restaurant itself.

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Having too many options is annoying for customers. Today's clientele enjoys having food at their disposal that is specific to a restaurant, sort of like ordering sea food at a sea food restaurant or a generic family dining spot that isn't really known for their fresh catch of the day.
The same could be drawn back to McDonald's and the increased competition from comparable restaurants. The more popular fast food chains like Subway or Chipolte don't vary much from what they do well and are doing better financially than the hodgepodge that is McDonald's. If you want chicken sandwiches, you go to Chik fil A. If you want oatmeal or fruit for breakfast, you find your way to the table in your kitchen or dining room.
McDonald's and its all things to all people mentality, might sound good in theory or on paper but from an execution standpoint, it's clunky and hardly would be considered customer friendly. Instead it creates an air of confusion for the consumer and ultimately makes it easier to forgo McDonald's for more of a specialized and specific fast food stop.

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