Skip to main content
Canada’s most-awarded newsroom for a reason
Enjoy unlimited digital access
$1.99
per week
for 24 weeks
Canada’s most-awarded newsroom for a reason
$1.99
per week
for 24 weeks
// //

A McDonald's restaurant sign is seen at a McDonald's restaurant in Del Mar, California April 16, 2013.

MIKE BLAKE/Reuters

You can't win friends with salad – and apparently, McDonald's is okay with this.

The CEO of the big arches announced at a conference this week that the company's salads are a failing venture, announcing that they make up for a narrow 2 to 3 per cent of total sales. The dollar menu – cheap burgers and fries – generates about 13 to 14 per cent, Don Thompson said.

Despite the company's vigorous push to market itself as health-conscious, the company may go back to pushing burgers. "I don't see salads as being a major growth driver in the near future," Thompson said at the Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. Strategic Decisions Conference in New York.

Story continues below advertisement

This comes the week after the company got schooled by a nine-year-old girl, who grilled the company on nutritious meals.

The failed strategy could be as simple as mixed messages gone awry: As a vegetarian and infrequent McDonald's customer, I find the salad items offensive – they're still covered in bacon or ranch chicken, and if I'm going to splurge on McD's, I'm going big – or at least for me, on the grilled cheese happy meal. (Don't knock it til you try it: the bun that regains its shape no matter how many times its poked should be reason enough.)

Or maybe the failure is trying to appeal to everyone, while appealing to no one: the U.S. menu has grown by 70 per cent – to a whopping 145 choices. What salad item could possibly thrive beside something called a McSkillet?

And in America, where apparently no one knows how many calories are in their Big Macs, is it any wonder people keep opting for the greasy, quick and delicious?

The healthy(ish) McWrap too, might face the same fate – as apparently a piece of chicken in a tortilla with some lettuce is too complicated and slows down service for the fast food giant.

Whether appealing to the calorie-counting health-conscious crowd, or the burger-craving grease folk, it seems like McD's can't win, either way: The forecast sent shares of the world's biggest fast-food chain down nearly 2 per cent to $99.92 (U.S.).

What do you think: Is McDonald's the last to know salads aren't cool? If you were running the show at McD's, what would you do – appeal to the healthy trends or stick to the tested and true greasy and quick?

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow the author of this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies