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    McDonald's Rethinking Deli Sandwich Debut

    Testing in five markets has not been profitable, according to a company consultant.

    McDonald's Corp. appears to be rethinking plans to add deli sandwiches to its menu, according to a report by the Chicago Sun-Times .

    The Oak Brook, Ill.-based company has stopped test-marketing the sandwiches in Richmond, Va., and is considering cutting back or eliminating the product in four other markets, including the Chicago suburbs, spokesman William Whitman said.

    Richard Adams, a consultant to McDonald's franchisees, said the sandwiches that at various times have been called "Deli Selects" and "Oven Selects" just aren't profitable.

    McDonald's developed the product in response to the surging popularity of deli sandwiches -- now a $19 billion market -- and the growth of chains like Subway and Quizno's. But McDonald's franchisees, who own most of the restaurants, found the sandwiches cost too much in labor and equipment, Adams said.

    "They're good sandwiches. But to be profitable, you'd have to sell them for $5 and $6 apiece, and that's just not going to happen at McDonald's," Adams said.

    The McDonald's sandwiches sell for prices ranging from $2.99 to $3.99.

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