Leaked documents reveal that McDonald's is about to slash items from its late-night menu

Hollis Johnson/Business InsiderMcDonald’s is cutting items from its late-night menu.
  • McDonald’s is slashing its late-night menu, cutting items including buttermilk crispy tenders, Filet-O-Fish, and premium salads, according to leaked documents shared with Business Insider.
  • The slimmed-down menu, which will cut back on what McDonald’s serves from midnight until 5 a.m., will roll out at the end of April.
  • This is McDonald’s first major change to its late-night menu since the fast-food giant rolled out its “After Midnight” menu, which features both dinner and breakfast options, in 2013.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

McDonald’s is slashing its late-night menu.

The fast-food giant is rolling out a new late-night menu on April 30 at midnight, according to leaked internal documents shared with Business Insider. The updated menu will not have any new items but will significantly cut down on what is available from midnight until 5 a.m.

McDonald’s is cutting its Signature Crafted Recipes, artisan grilled-chicken sandwiches, buttermilk-crispy-chicken sandwiches, buttermilk crispy tenders, Filet-O-Fish, and premium salads from its late-night menu. Bagel sandwiches and Snack Wraps, which are served regionally, will also be cut from late-night menus.

“We always want our customers’ experiences to be simple, smooth and delicious – any time of day,” a McDonald’s representative said in a statement to Business Insider. “That means, day and night, we’re always looking for ways to serve them even better.”

“Starting April 30 (at participating McDonald’s restaurants nationwide), we’ll be simplifying what’s served after midnight so customers can get the most popular favourites as fast as possible,” the representative added.

McDonald’s late-night menu will continue to serve items including Big Macs, Quarter Pounder burgers, Chicken McNuggets, fries, Happy Meals, and the chain’s “All Day Breakfast” menu. McCafĂ© coffee drinks, as well as other sides and desserts, will also be available.

“Late Night service crew should be prepared to respond to customer questions about why an item is no longer available during late night,” an internal document said.

For example, customers seeking a Filet-O-Fish will be prompted to order a Big Mac or a Quarter Pounder instead.

Mcdonald's late nightKate Taylor/Business InsiderDocuments shared with Business Insider reveal plans for the new late-night menu.

Items that have been cut from the late-night menu will still be available for purchase during the rest of the day.

McDonald’s rolled out its “After Midnight” menu, featuring both dinner and breakfast options, in 2013. With the upcoming menu cuts, it’s clear that options such as McMuffins, breakfast burritos, and oatmeal were wise additions, as none of the six non-regional menu items being cut is a traditional breakfast-menu item.

In late January, Kevin Ozan, McDonald’s chief financial officer, said on a call with investors that the company is looking to “strategically balance the need to offset cost pressures with our customers’ willingness to pay.” In the most recent quarter, McDonald’s raised menu prices by roughly 2% in an effort to counteract the costs of rising minimum wages, higher food prices, and tech investments, such as its $US300 million acquisition of the artificial-intelligence startup Dynamic Yield.

Slimming down the chain’s late-night menu offers the chain a chance to cut costs through simplification, decrease food waste, and speed up service. For McDonald’s, the death of the 2 a.m. Filet-O-Fish is a small price to pay to keep costs low.

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