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/ Source: TODAY
By Scott Stump

The menu at McDonald's is slimming down.

Say goodbye to the chain's artisanal burgers and chicken sandwiches, as the fast food restaurant announced in a short news release on Wednesday that it will "move away from the Signature Crafted Recipes line on our national menu" to focus on its Quarter Pounders.

McDonald's is making a second change to its menu this month by phasing out its Signature Crafted burgers and sandwiches. Mike Blake / Reuters

In its announcement, the company cited positive customer feedback favoring its bacon-topped and deluxe Quarter Pounders, which were introduced earlier this year, as the reason for focusing on those items while ditching the Signature Crafted burgers and chicken sandwiches.

The burgers and chicken sandwiches featured condiments like maple bacon dijon and pico guacamole, compared to the usual (and cheaper) burger toppings like pickles, onions and ketchup. The change will now allow restaurants to ditch the pricier ingredients.

The end of offerings like a mushroom-and-Swiss burger and the bacon smokehouse artisan grilled chicken sandwich comes just two years after the Signature Crafted items were first introduced to the menu to keep up with fast-growing competitors like Shake Shack, which are known for using premium ingredients and experimenting with different flavor profiles.

Lately, McDonald's has been turning its focus to the ingredients used in its most popular items, rather than customization. Last year, the brand announced that it had removed artificial colors, flavors and preservatives from most of the burgers on its menu.

The latest menu change comes less than two weeks after McDonald's announced that it would be trimming its late-night menu down to eight categories in favor of faster service. The announcement went over like soggy fries to some night owls as items like the Filet-O-Fish and some chicken sandwiches won't be available around the clock at location that stay open past midnight.

Part of that change included the removal of Signature Crafted burgers and sandwiches on the late-night menus. Now they are being phased out entirely.

The Signature Crafted offerings are the latest items to be chopped from the menu since McDonald's began introducing different fare from classics like the Big Mac and Quarter Pounder in the early 2000s.

Between 2000 and 2003, the chain introduced short-lived foods like the McPhilly Cheesesteak, bratwurst and even a corndog, according to Reader's Digest. Some items, like the Fruit 'N' Yogurt Parfait, however, proved popular and have remained on the menu since.

At the time, the company was facing increasing competition from restaurants like Panera Bread, according to The Wall Street Journal, and sought to add more items with fresh ingredients to its own menu.

Now, it's the Signature Crafted series that will join the likes of the McPhilly Cheesesteak in McDonald's menu history.