Regarding iconic fast-food chains, McDonald's has long reigned supreme, not just for its classic burgers and Happy Meals but also for its legendary french fries. However, lately, the Golden Arches has hinted at the possibility of adding a unique side dish to its menu, and fans are buzzing with curiosity. In this article, we'll delve into this intriguing development and explore the world of fast-food sides.
The One and Only: McDonald's Fries
McDonald's has always been synonymous with its signature french fries. These crispy, golden delights are adored by fans worldwide and are often considered the gold standard for fast-food fries. Even as competitors like Wendy's and Burger King have revamped their fry offerings, McDonald's fries continue to hold a special place in many's hearts (and stomachs).
While McDonald's prides itself on its superior fries, it hasn't ventured far into the world of side dishes. Sure, there are apple slices as an alternative for kids' Happy Meals, but those seem more like a marketing ploy than a substantial menu item. Moreover, the chain once had salads, but they were eventually dropped due to lacklustre customer interest.
Burger Rivals Get Adventurous
In contrast, McDonald's rivals have explored a broader range of side dishes. Wendy's, for instance, offers salads and serves baked potatoes with various toppings. Not to mention, they've ingeniously repurposed old hamburgers to create their chilli.
Burger King, under Restaurant Brands International, has been even more inventive with its side dish offerings. It stands out as the sole major fast-food burger chain to feature onion rings on its menu. In some markets, they've even introduced "Frings," a delightful fusion of french fries and onion rings.
Adding to the lineup, Burger King serves mozzarella sticks, and their Chicken Fries, though marketed as entrées, can certainly double as a side dish. In the United States, however, McDonald's has remained steadfast in sticking with its iconic fries and not expanding its side dish repertoire.
McDonald's Playful Tease
McDonald's is known for its playful social media presence. They often engage with fans in quirky ways. For instance, when Taylor Swift released tickets for her "Eras" tour, McDonald's humorously compared the challenge of getting tickets to enjoying one of their discontinued Snack Wraps in the U.S.
Recently, McDonald's dropped a cryptic hint on its Facebook page. The post, made on August 25, teased a new side dish: "Officially entering our Buttered Corn era Butter add this as your side for a full meal!"
Fans were left intrigued, but also somewhat perplexed. What was this new side dish, and when would it appear on the menu? The post generated over 75,000 comments, many of which expressed mixed feelings.
Fan Reactions and Snack Wrap Nostalgia
The reactions to McDonald's hinting at a new side dish were mixed. Some fans expressed disappointment, like Lacey Nicole Buchanan, who wrote, "We could have shaker salads again, but they give us corn?"
Others reminisced about the discontinued Snack Wraps, which are still available in McDonald's Canadian outlets. Keith A. Rubino lamented, "Nobody asked for this— y’all were TOLD — MULTIPLE TIMES to bring Snack Wraps back, and ya didn’t listen."
It's worth noting that Burger King recently introduced its version of Snack Wraps in the U.S., capitalizing on their popularity.
Why No Snack Wraps at McDonald's?
Many fans have fervently requested the return of McDonald's beloved Snack Wraps, yet the chain has not obliged. The reason? Franchisee resistance. A significant portion of McDonald's outlets, 93% to be precise, are owned by franchisees. These wraps complicated kitchen operations and added extra labor costs, which outweighed the sales they generated.
This resistance from franchisees also led to the discontinuation of McDonald's All-Day Breakfast, despite customer demand. The cost-benefit analysis in the fast-food world is a delicate balancing act, and sometimes fan favorites don't cut.