Mighty Wings aren’t flying high with some McDonald’s franchisees. The latest survey of operators conducted by Mark Kalinowski, restaurant analyst at Janney Montgomery Scott, finds many compliments for the wings themselves but some disappointment with sales.
“Good product; too expensive,” one of the 29 franchisees surveyed (representing a total of 183 stores) says of Mighty Wings. Several other operators echoed that assessment of pricing. “Hard to sell for $1 per wing when we still have the Dollar Menu,” says one operator. “Pricing seems high when many retailers are offering for as low as 25¢ at happy hour,” says another. “Too expensive for this economy,” is another opinion.
Though the wings themselves get good marks, some operators question the sauce options. “Customer reaction is very positive, but if it doesn’t have hot sauce then it is just a piece of chicken. It’s running less than 2% of sales,” says one. On the other hand, another franchisee says, “Good product but it’s just plain dumb to offer so many dipping sauces.”
An operator who says there are too many items on the McDonald’s menu complains that Mighty Wings “are an extremely high food cost item.” Another says, “One dollar a wing, no matter what size they are. That is just too expensive in the consumers’ eye. Forty-seven percent food and paper cost for the operator is expensive, too.”
This site has frequently reported on the now-frantic pace of limited-time menu item introductions. Operators worry that consumers might just be worn out on LTOs. “New product introductions don’t seem to interest customers any more. Maybe we’ve overdone it. It seems we are wasting millions on advertising and getting nothing for it,” says one McDonald’s operator. “Limited time offers don’t work with this huge menu,” says another.
As a result of his survey, Kalinowski raised his September same-store sales forecast to +0.1% from -1.0%. Additionally, he lowered his October U.S. same-store sales projection to -0.4%. McDonald’s Corp. will release third-quarter results on October 21.