The McWrap was supposed to redeem the hamburger chain’s reputation. It had healthy and fresh ingredients like cucumbers, few calories, and was even designed by someone with a Culinary Institute of America background. Basically, it was the opposite of everything on the McDonald’s menu, which turns out to also be the reason why a year and a half after its introduction, it’s become the Achilles’ heel of franchises. “Our kitchen comes to a halt when we get an order for a McWrap,” an operator tells The Wall Street Journal. McCorporate says assembling one shouldn’t take more than 60 seconds, but owners complain workers can’t memorize all the steps, so the process often stretches out to more like a minute and a half — too long, especially with efforts being redoubled to reduce the Golden Arches’ drive-through wait times.
How to be fast and satisfy that all-important millennial customer base clamoring for so-called “premiumization” is the existential balancing act all fast-food chains now face. In the case of McDonald’s, experts say, this probably means excising some of the more complicated 121 menu items. Ironically, eighty-sixing the McWrap might not even speed things up very much: One franchise owner says they sell a mere 140 for every 1,000 cheeseburgers.