Frequent McDonald’s shoppers in the United States have a question: why doesn’t the menu seem to change?
In other countries, McDonald’s is noted for its variety of ever-changing offerings not available in the United States. For example, over in Canada, one can order poutine at McDonald’s — a dish composed of cheese curds, french fries, and gravy. In Hong Kong, one can even order a full wedding celebration, complete with an apple pie “cake” display.
For Americans craving some unique McDonald’s experiences, they may be wondering why people in other countries get to have all the fast food fun. Now, a former corporate chef for the company has come out and explained why for a video with over 156 thousand views.
@chefmikeharacz Replying to @faultycontent Former #McDonalds corporate chef talks about new items in the US. #mcdonaldssecrets #McDonaldsSecret #mcdonaldslife #McDonaldsMenu #McDonaldsTikTok #FastFood #FastFoodSecrets #FastFoodTikTok #mcdonaldsburger #McDonaldsBurgers #McDonaldsFries #McDonaldsChicken #mcdonaldschickensandwhich #mcdonaldschickennuggets #McRib #mcribisback #mcribszn ♬ original sound – Chef Mike Haracz
The problem, he says, is an issue of scale.
“85% of all of McDonald’s revenue business is in the United States,” explains TikTok user Mike Haracz (@chefmikeharacz). “If McDonald’s launched something new, they are changing the market value of that ingredient if it’s not something already in the system.”
He goes on to cite a story of blueberries at McDonald’s. According to Haracz, McDonald’s once considered creating an item with fresh blueberries. However, after doing a little math, they realized that the estimated volume that McDonald’s would have to order “used up the world’s resources of blueberries.”
By keeping the menu simple, McDonald’s does not have many supply issues — and while some may desire more interesting items, most Americans are perfectly happy with the McDonald’s they have.
“Really the biggest reason why specifically the US doesn’t do anything super awesome and cool is because of the ingredient resources and most US consumers just want cheap and fast,” Haracz summarizes. “They don’t care about a new type of flavor or new item.”
This isn’t universal, however; when one commenter pointed out that McDonald’s occasionally rolls out new sauces, Haracz responded that “New sauces that don’t need to be refrigerated are the easiest thing to Intro into the restaurants.”
In an email to the Daily Dot, Haracz elaborated on why regional items may still pose issues.
“This issue with regional specialties is that it loses the profit from scale. McD can make a lot more money by nationally launching an item and making it more efficient through scale,” he explained. “There are a few legacy regional items that are still out there, however, regional owner/oppressors vote on if they want that LTO in there restaurants.”
Still, that doesn’t mean the menu is static.
“In order to balance supply and demand, a new item every few months would be best to use up product and packaging,” he stated.
In the comments section, users shared their thoughts about the TikToker’s video.
“the answer would be to do regional specialties. no reason why everything has to be nationwide,” said a user.
“I travel for work. I’ve been in 36 countries in two years and I always go to McDonald’s to see what that country has!!” exclaimed another.
The Daily Dot reached out to McDonald’s U.S. and Haracz via email.