OAK BROOK, Ill. – McDonald's Corp.  will replace its existing Dollar Menu  with the Dollar Menu & More  at all of its more than 14,000 U.S. restaurants as of Nov. 4, according to a Nation's Restaurant News report. National advertising for the new menu will begin Nov. 11.
The Dollar Menu & More previously underwent testing  in five markets and features $1 items from the original Dollar Menu, sandwiches for around $2 and shareable items such as a 20-piece McNuggets box for approximately $5, as CSNews Online previously reported. McDonald's announced the permanent addition of the new menu this week during its third-quarter earnings call.
"This is one of the ways that we can maintain the Dollar Menu in the face of rising commodity and labor pressures, but also get a little more margin basis on some of the products at $2 and some of the products at higher price points," McDonald's President and CEO Don Thompson said. "The franchisees  support this."
The company also reported during the earnings call that same-store sales rose just 0.7 percent during the third quarter despite McDonald's efforts to increase sales by moving its annual Monopoly game to July and supporting the launch of the limited-time offer  Mighty Wings with a national ad campaign. These initiatives lived up to expectations, but did not offset the weaker traffic caused by lower consumer confidence and less discretionary spending, Thompson said.
The national launch of the Dollar Menu & More is even more important due to expectations that the eating-out market will remain stagnant during the fourth quarter, according to the report.
"It does keep a base of customers," Thompson said. "While it only represents 13 percent to 15 percent of sales, you've got about a third of the customers that will leverage that Dollar Menu in some form or fashion. It is a strong part of the base."
Although it has a new name, the development of the Dollar Menu & More is similar to previous changes to the Dollar Menu, such as replacing the double cheeseburger with the McDouble, Thompson said, adding that such moves made it easier for the company to get through the recession.