Chicken tenders, McDonald’s white whale, return to the menu


McDonald’s is trying to sell chicken tenders, which means it must be a day ending in y.

There are a few crucial menu items that McDonald’s is known for. Big Macs and McNuggets year-round; McRibs when you’re #blessed. Fries, obviously. McDonald’s has even forayed into fancier offerings, mostly to much success though which some glaring missteps. The one food the chain can’t get right, however, McDonald’s white whale, is chicken tenders. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t trying.

Recently, McDonald’s has begun to test new Buttermilk Crispy Chicken Tenders in parts of Alabama, after testing the item back in March in North Carolina. Chicken Tenders were previously on the menu under the name “Chicken Select Tenders” back from 2002 to 2013 and briefly in 2015.

Apparently, this latest round of testing has inspired McDonald’s HQ enough to add the menu item, which is 100 percent white meat enders, marinated and battered in a buttermilk and spice blend, to their website.

One of the franchise owners in the testing area, Jason Black of Birmingham-area, said that the impetus to test chicken tenders came from the success of the buttermilk crispy chicken sandwich.

But, the question remains, should you be excited about this development? Well, that’s a hard maybe. Sure, chicken tenders are delicious and perhaps McDonald’s have finally cracked the recipe that will make them a success. But at the same time, consider the context. Are you really going to order tenders when nuggets are on the menu? If you’re seeking out tenders, are you really going to McDonald’s?

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Still, USA Today points out that this development is in fact just another indication that McDonald’s is shifting, pivoting even, to a more “adult” menu. Rather that hit the stunt flavors and food, the OG burger joint is attempting to craft a menu grown folk are excited about.