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McFranchisees Question Mighty Wings Pricing

Filed under Advertising, LTO, News, Pricing

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.

McD_MightyWingAD“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.

13 Responses to McFranchisees Question Mighty Wings Pricing

  1. Dom

    It can’t help that McDonald’s is selling 20 piece nuggets for $4.99 either. They sell three wings for $2.99 in California, you can get an aditional 17 nuggets for $2 more, customers are going to choose the value in the nuggets.

  2. GPG

    I agree! The pricing is not well thought out.

    I can get twice as many wings dipped in sauce for the same price at Buffalo Wild Wings or Hooters!

  3. If a restaurant has a small menu an LTO can be exciting and drive some traffic. When a restaurant has a huge menu and is trying to be all things to all people (as is McDonald’s) an LTO is just more TV commercial clutter.

  4. JW

    I don’t care for wings, but when I do want some, McDonalds is the last place I would buy any. I only use the $1 menu at fast food restaurants (most of the time), so it would definitely be hard for me to pick 1$ per wing over a 20 piece nugget or a few McDoubles and a large sweet. I already know what I want before I go to any fast food restaurant, unless there’s a new LTO $1 menu item.

  5. Roy Cisneros

    Honestly they need to remove them from the menu. $1 a wing seems like a total ripoff. plus i’d never pay that amount for mcdonalds quality. the chicken nuggets taste like absolute garbage. why would i want to try their wings?

  6. Mike O

    I love the wings. They are made fresh. In size and flavor they blow away Buffalo Wild Wings. Good quality. Not what you would expect from a fast food restaurant. Give it at least a try once before forming an opinion.

  7. Wayne Conrad

    While I’m not typically a nugget person, I haven’t found McDonalds selections here to be good. The old chicken selects were often too small for the price and this seems like more of the same, no matter how good they taste. I also rather like the idea of LTO’s as I like new choices. As already mentioned though people don’t see the value here so are staying away.

  8. Kevin H

    Sounds like Mike O is a McDonald’s person. I’m not impressed with McDonald’s quality of ANY of their products. Is he serious about McDonald’s quality? We have a Hardee’s in our town. If you want to compare fast food quality to a sit down restaurant… let’s talk Hardee’s.

  9. Dylan S

    all i can say is…47% Food Cost???? MCOPCO has to be out of there mind. No wonder there Franchisees are up in arms over having to sell Mighty Wings!!!

  10. Dom


    Curious where you saw 47% food cost, that is very high. That would put the cost of each wing around 47 cents. If that is accurate franchisees should be happy it’s only 2% of their sales.

  11. He saw it in the post. According to Janney, one franchisee replied “Forty-seven percent food and paper cost for the operator is expensive, too.”

  12. Dom

    Not sure how I missed that, read it twice.

  13. Customer

    Tried ’em, liked ’em. Silly sauce options and at one outlet, they told me it’d be an 8 to 10 minute wait after I’d placed and paid for the order. Very annoying. And yes — they are too expensive but NFL quarterbacks don’t come cheap.