McDonald’s revives Dollar Menu name with $1, $2 and $3 items

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At McDonald’s, Patrick T. Reardon writes, you will find small daily communities of workers, immigrants, students and old friends. | AP file photo

NEW YORK — The Dollar Menu is making a McComeback.

McDonald’s is reviving the name of the once-popular value menu next month after a two-year absence, but this time the items will cost $1, $2 or $3.

Offering cheap eats has become a winning strategy for the world’s largest hamburger chain, and a way to fight off other low-priced chains. In October, it attributed a rise in a key sales figure during the third quarter to its $1 sodas and a two-for-$5 promotion called McPick 2. And as more people visited its restaurants for deals, McDonald’s said some also bought pricier burgers stuffed with crispy onions or guacamole, which helped sales.

McDonald’s dumped the original Dollar Menu, with items costing $1, about four years ago as franchisees complained that their profits were squeezed by a rise in ingredient costs. But the move hurt sales as customers went elsewhere for low-priced fast food. In 2013, it launched the Dollar Menu & More, with items costing as much as $5, but discontinued it about two years ago and replaced it with the McPick 2.

The “$1 $2 $3 Dollar Menu” will become a permanent part of the McDonald’s nationwide menu starting Jan. 4, the Oak Brook-based company said Monday. It tested other names, but customers liked the Dollar Menu one best, said Chris Kempczinski, who oversees McDonald’s Corp.’s U.S. business.

“It’s something that still resonates,” he said.

There are a dozen items on the new menu, including a sausage burrito for a buck, a bacon McDouble for $2 and a Happy Meal for $3.

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