McDonald's is getting rid of its Chicken Selects and Fruit & Walnut Salad and considering cutting Angus burgers as it tries to freshen up its menu with more limited-time items.
The world's biggest hamburger chain recently introduced Fish McBites and is planning a new McWrap chicken sandwich that will be larger than its Snack Wraps.
After years of outperforming rivals, McDonald's has been struggling as competitors including Burger King and Wendy's step up their marketing and menu offerings. Fast-food chains are also fighting to attract customers at a time when people are being more careful about where they spend their money.
In a shakeup late last year, Oak Brook, Ill.-based McDonald's ousted the head of its U.S. business. The move came after a key sales figure dropped for the first time in nearly a decade. CEO Don Thompson, who took the top spot this summer, has said the company has a strong pipeline of new items for 2013.
As for the Angus Third Pounders, which were introduced in 2009, McDonald's said in an emailed statement that it is evaluating options.
But earlier this week, the Kentucky New Era news website quoted a McDonald's franchisee's Facebook post noting the discontinuation of the burgers, along with the Selects chicken fingers, which were introduced in 2004, and the Fruit & Walnut Salad, which came out a year later.
"Sorry if one of these were your favorite, they just did not sell well enough nationally," the website quoted the franchisee, McEnaney Enterprises, as saying. That post has since been removed.
In the meantime, some McDonald's operators may welcome the company's plans to stop serving some items.
"The menu at McDonald's has gotten so broad and so jumbled that nothing sells in large numbers," said Richard Adams, a former McDonald's franchisee who now consults for franchisees. "This business was built on simplicity, and that's kind of gone out of the window in the last decade."