In 2022, McDonald’s broke the hearts of many of its fans. The fast food giant announced it would be doing away with one of its all-time favorites: the McRib.
After giving it a “farewell tour” last year, writes The New York Post, the Golden Arches have changed course.
“We have good news, and we have bad news,” the burger giant said last year, as Food & Wine reported.
“The elusive McRib is finally back… BUT this could be your last chance to get it.”
McRib fans, at least in some locations, can rejoice at its stay of cancellation.
The “here today, gone tomorrow” marketing tactic may be gimmicky, reports Tasting Table, but it’s also proven lucrative….McDonald’s CEO Chris Kempczinski referred to the McRib as “the GOAT of sandwiches” — i.e., the “greatest of all time” — thanks to its unwavering ability to drive sales. Indeed, the sandwich’s return last fall was partly credited for increasing the company’s fourth-quarter earnings in 2022, so it’s far too profitable to banish from menus for long.
The bad news? While the company says that “some lucky fans” may find the saucy sandwich at their local McDonald’s location this fall, it has also expressed that the item will only return to “participating markets” for a limited time and will not be available nationwide. Nevertheless, diners who are hoping to get their hands on the sandwich seem to be celebrating the news on social media. “Thank the snack gods,” wrote one commenter on @snackolator’s post, while another lamented, “too bad it’s not a permanent part of the menu.”
The McRib has a storied history dating back to its introduction in 1981. It was initially conceived as a limited-time menu item to address the fluctuating pork prices that made it challenging to offer a consistent and affordable pork product year-round. The McRib featured a boneless pork patty shaped to resemble a rack of ribs, which made it a visually distinctive offering. Its unique appearance and barbecue flavor helped it stand out from other fast-food items.
While the McRib was introduced with great fanfare, it was temporarily removed from the menu in the mid-1980s due to lackluster sales. However, McDonald’s brought it back in 1989 as a promotional item, and it quickly regained popularity. This cyclical reintroduction strategy has become a hallmark of the McRib’s history, creating a sense of excitement and anticipation among customers each time it returns to the menu.
Over the years, the McRib has undergone various tweaks and changes in its recipe and presentation. In some regions, it has featured different types of barbecue sauces or slightly altered toppings to cater to local tastes. Despite these adaptations, the core concept of the McRib—a boneless pork patty slathered in tangy barbecue sauce and served on a bun—remains consistent.
Will we ever trust McDonald’s again?