The shifting tastes of American consumers are as hard to pinpoint as the chicken parts of a McNugget. Which may be one reason why McDonald's offers such a wide range of choices — from the specialty McRib to a diet-friendly walnut salad. But while variety is a plus for picky eaters, it has become a headache for America's biggest fast food chain. Since 2007, the size of McDonald's menu has swelled by 70 percent, which has reportedly come at a cost of quality and service, according to emails obtained by Bloomberg.
"It's gotten to the point where the operation has kind of broken down and that's all a symptom of the complication of the menu," restaurant franchise consultant Richard Adams told Bloomberg.
How bad is the problem? Here a look at the numbers behind the glut:
Items on the McDonald's menu in 1948, including burgers, milk, coffee, and pie
Items on the McDonald's menu in 2007, according to Bloomberg
Items on the McDonald's menu today
Menu items — Fruit & Walnut salads, Chicken Selects, and Angus Burgers — that will reportedly be removed
Seconds McDonald's customers spent on average getting in and out of the drive-through last year
Seconds McDonald's customers spent at the drive-through in 2007
Seconds Taco Bell customers spent at the drive-through in 2012
Main menu items available at Chipotle, which bills itself as a healthy fast-food alternative
Percent increase in revenue at Chipotle in 2012 from the previous year
Percent increase in revenue at McDonald's in 2012 from the previous year
McDonald's Corp. revenue in 2012
Chipotle's revenue in 2012