McDonald's Delays Cult Favorite to Boost December Comps

McRib comes but once a year, usually from late October through early November. But this year McRib fans will have to wait until late December for McDonald's pork-sandwich-turned-cult-hit. For that, they can blame the weather. Or, more specifically, last year's weather.

According to a memo obtained by Ad Age from McDonald's Operators National Advertising Fund, the chain's national-franchise council, the McRib marketing window was originally scheduled for Oct. 22 through Nov. 11. But "after looking at ways to strengthen the fourth-quarter 2012 OPNAD calendar," McDonald's made the decision to move the sandwich promotion to the latter half of December, the memo said. McRib will get TV, radio, digital, in-store, social media and PR support.

McDonald's is holding out the star performer in hopes the product will drive sales to meet those of December 2011, which were up a whopping 9.8%. That's a tough comp, but McDonald's won't be alone in trying to beat it. Fourth-quarter 2011 and first quarter 2012 marked one of the mildest winters in years, which had a hugely positive impact on restaurant sales generally. Read More