The McDonald’s McRib, a sandwich that has 70 ingredients but no rib meat, was first introduced in 1981 and wasn’t much of a hit. But in the years since, it has established a cult following, and when it returns to the menu sporadically, those admirers come out of the woodwork. That scheme is both incidental and deliberate, and understanding it requires a lesson in McDonald’s business model, supply-chain logistics, and marketing.
This brings us to the McRib- a confluence of several people’s work and an accident of history. To wit, it exists because McDonald’s underestimated the demand for Chicken McNuggets and needed an additional item to offer to balance things out a bit.
The goal of a restaurant like McDonald’s, when adding a menu item, is either to bring in new customers that would not have eaten at a McDonald’s or to get existing customers to choose a higher margin item than ……
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