A group representing national franchisee owners of McDonald's restaurants on Wednesday balked at their parent company for not offering a chicken sandwich that fairly competes with southern rival Chick-fil-A.
"A Chicken Sandwich at McDonald's should be our top priority," the National Owners Association board said in an email addressed to fellow operators. "JFK called for a man on the moon; our call should be a category leading chicken sandwich."
McDonald's carries Chicken McNuggets and the McChicken sandwich. But the board wrote in the email that they do not compete in the premium chicken sandwich category, with either a grilled or crispy option.
"Chick Fil A's results demonstrate the power of chicken," the board said.
While McDonald's does offer a rotating menu of premium chicken sandwiches in select markets in the U.S. and Canada, they are not sufficiently enticing to move customers away from Chick-Fil-A, the board said.
"Chick Fil A invented the Chicken Sandwich, but we can do one better," the board's note said.
U.S. franchisees formed the National Owners Association last year as the Chicago-based company pushed discounts and expensive store renovations that owners felt were weighing on their profitability.
Shares of McDonald's were up 18 cents at $212.25 in trading on the New York Stock Exchange.