McDonald’s chicken sandwich boosts 2021 sales

Consolidated revenue at quick service chain McDonald’s grew 57% to nearly $5.9 billion in 2021 compared to a year ago.

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Consolidated revenue at quick service chain McDonald’s grew 57% to nearly $5.9 billion in 2021 compared to a year ago, the quick service restaurant announced July 28th in its second quarter earnings call. The increases were attributed to strong sales of the crispy chicken sandwich, as well as the reopening of dining rooms globally as pandemic restrictions recede.

The brand added the Crispy Chicken Sandwich, the Spicy Chicken Sandwich and the Deluxe Chicken Sandwich to menus nationwide on February 24.

The Crispy Chicken Sandwich is a white meat chicken filet topped with pickles on a buttered potato roll, while the Spicy Chicken Sandwich is topped with Spicy Pepper Sauce and the Deluxe Chicken Sandwich features additional toppings of lettuce, tomato and mayo.

The quick service chain was under intense pressure to release a competitive premium chicken sandwich offering. In July 2019, the board of the National Owners Association (NOA), a group of McDonald’s franchisee owners, called chicken sandwiches a top priority to help bring in more customers and better compete in the chicken sandwich wars, which boosted sales for the entire quick service restaurant chicken market.

CEO Chris Kempczinski credited new menu items, like the crispy chicken sandwich, and celebrity promotions with South Korean pop band BTS, as the main drivers in sales increases for the brand.

“My challenge to our marketing team here at McDonald’s is what’s the next great idea,” he said.

Other sales highlights

Global same-store sales rose 40.5% in the April-June 2021 period compared to 2020, which was the height of the pandemic. In addition, systemwide sales increased by 48% to $28.21 million this quarter.

However, not all growth can be attributed to an easing of COVID-19 restrictions.

“Our performance is a continued demonstration of the broad-based strength and resiliency of our business as global comp sales in the second quarter increased nearly 7% over 2019," Kempczinski said.

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