McDonald's Brings Wings to Windy City

Published in CSP Daily News

Former CEO Fred Turner, a creator of McNuggets, passes away

Fred L. Turner

OAK BROOK, Ill. -- McDonald's launched its new Mighty Wings chicken wings at nearly 500 Chicago-area stores this week, according to The Chicago Tribune.

Available for a limited time, the wings are sold in three-, five- and 10-piece portions starting at $2.99, and are accompanied with ranch or buffalo sauce.

The Mighty Wings, which were previously tested in Atlanta, come after the chain's first same-store sales drop in more than nine years in October, said the report. Wall Street analysts have since criticized McDonald's for its lack of successful new products.

Atlanta McDonald's franchisee J.M. Owens, who tested Mighty Wings last year, told BurgerBusiness.com that it was "extremely successful. We were delighted. As you know, Atlanta is a very diverse market with a large African-American base and an emerging Hispanic base. The Mighty Wings over-indexed with African-American consumers who really embraced that product. The wings are a cross between chicken on the bone and a spicy chicken wing and, served dry, I think they're a great product."

While same-store sales improved in November, sales are expected to remain soft throughout the winter. Meanwhile, competitors such as Burger King and Wendy's are seeing improving sales after years of lagging behind the golden arches, the Tribune said.

Meanwhile, one of the most integral figures behind the McDonald's brand died on Monday. Fred L. Turner passed away due to complications from pneumonia at the age of 80. He was one of the company's first employees and served as CEO from 1974 to 1987, reported The Los Angeles Times.

Turner co-developed the Quarter Pounder with a California franchisee, and oversaw the creation of Chicken McNuggets, the Egg McMuffin and the Happy Meal.

Turner began his career in 1956 at the age of 23 when he answered an ad looking for franchisees. He was soon hired by corporate to oversee operations and training, and became a protege of founder Ray Kroc. He created the original operating and training manual--a version of which is still in use today--and in his basement in suburban Chicago started the company training program known as Hamburger University.

Within 12 years of joining the company, Turner was appointed president and chief administrative officer, and succeeded Kroc as CEO in 1973. He served as chairman of the board from 1977 to 1990.