McDonald's Corp. (MCD), struggling to project a healthier image amid complaints about its high-calorie food, is having a hard time persuading customers to buy salads.
Even with such names as Bacon Ranch and Southwest with Crispy Chicken, salads make up 2 percent to 3 percent of U.S. restaurant sales, Chief Executive Officer Don Thompson said today at an investor conference. By contrast, the Dollar Menu generates 13 percent to 14 percent of sales, he said.
"I don't see salads as being a major growth driver in the near future," Thompson said at the Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. Strategic Decisions Conference in New York.
Instead of advertising salads, the company may push hamburgers and chicken sandwiches, said Thompson, who added that there are other ways to sell more fruits and vegetables. For example, some of the chain's new McWraps have tomato and cucumber slices, as well as shredded lettuce.