Bill KirbyOnline news editor for The Augusta Chronicle.

Kirby: McDonald's tricky menu not to blame for slow sales

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Never order food in excess of your body weight.

– Erma Bombeck

Here’s one that might make you scratch your head, McDonald’s is blaming its disappointing 2013 sales revenues on the suspicion that its menu is too complicated.

That’s right, the Golden Architects think we can’t figure out how to order a hamburger.

The weekend editions of The Wall Street Journal quoted company execs speculating they might have tried to offer too many entrees, bottle-necking kitchens, slowing down food preparers and irking customers.

They offered examples, some chuckle-worthy, but I don’t think that’s their problem.

As someone who has eaten at a McDonald’s in a majority of the 50 states, I admire their consistency. If I’m speeding down an interstate in another state at 10 o’clock at night, I can almost guarantee that the double cheeseburger I get in Sweetwater, Tenn., is going to taste like the one they serve 1.87 miles from my house.

And it will probably taste pretty good.

I know there’s a bunch of other stuff on the menu, but I don’t want to eat it so I don’t waste time reading about it ... and you don’t have to tell me the number of calories it contains, either.

It’s a cheeseburger, not a cucumber salad. I got that.

I’m not sure why McDonald’s sales numbers dropped in 2013, but I’d look elsewhere for blame.

McRib, anyone?

DEFINING SUCCESS: Bill Wood, of Hephzibah, offers these definitions.

ADULT: A person who has stopped growing at both ends and is now growing in the middle.

BEAUTY PARLOR: A place where women curl up and dye.

CHICKENS: The only animals you eat before they are born and after they are dead.

COMMITTEE: A body that keeps minutes and wastes hours.

INFLATION: Cutting money in half without damaging the paper.

YAWN: An honest opinion openly expressed.

VIDEO TIME: My Kirby’s Augusta history videos continue this week with the story about our town’s forgotten neighborhoods: Shake Rag, Lick Skillet, Dublin and Canaan. It’s on and YouTube.

TODAY’S JOKE: Robert Symms shares this.

Some of my co-workers and I decided to remove the small, wooden suggestion box from our office because it had received so few entries. We stuck the box on top of a seven-foot-high metal storage cabinet and then promptly forgot about it.

Months later, when the box was moved during remodeling, we found a single slip of paper inside. The suggestion read, “Lower the box!”
Reach Bill Kirby at (706) 823-3344

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corgimom 01/28/14 - 09:04 am
No, actually, it's true, when

No, actually, it's true, when you offer consumers too many choices, they become confused and often wind up not purchasing the product.

When you go to McDonalds, the menu is bewildering, you try to look for something that you want to see if it's on the menu (because you never know, they change it so much) and it's very difficult to find what you're looking for- and I'm a very fast reader.

McDonald's menus aren't the same all over the country, when I go to San Diego, they often don't have things that are here in the South. And their biscuits are absolutely terrible, because they tweak them to California tastes, they aren't good like they are here.

hoppy 01/28/14 - 03:44 pm
Look forward to reading your columns

I really enjoy reading Bill Kirby's columns.

On this one I have to say Bill Kirby needs to read his third paragraph. The issue is the extensive menu not cheeseburger vs cheeseburger. If you know you're getting a cheeseburger that's great. However, some of us don't get the same thing always. In fact, I very rarely visit McD's. One time I did for breakfast and they were using the electronic menu that flashes screens. I knew vaguely what I wanted, but couldn't find it. It was very frustrating and has stopped me from future visits.

corgimom 01/29/14 - 05:24 pm
I absolutely hate to go

I absolutely hate to go grocery shopping, because there are so many choices, it's confusing and takes too long.

Take laundry detergent, for instance. Back in the day, you picked whatever brand you wanted, picked the size you wanted, and there you go.

Now, Tide (just to name one) has a variety of scents, free and clear, with or without Downy, with or without Febreeze, made for HE or not, with or without stain-fighters, and on and on and on. It's exhausting to try to figure out what you need to buy.

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