McDonald’s has some meaty ideas waiting in the wings. After the successful return of Mighty Wings for a promotion in Atlanta in 2012, the chain will test the fried, bone-in treats in 500 stores in the Chicago area starting this week through early March.
McDonald’s is also working on new wraps and salads, but it’s chicken wings—too messy for lunch crowds eating in work clothes—that could draw casual dinner customers, says Jack Russo, an analyst at Edward Jones. Currently, dinner represents only about one-fifth of the chain’s business. Since the company sells more chicken than beef, and as beef prices are expected to rise, McDonald’s is trying new poultry items. In the chicken industry, wings have grown in popularity to become the second-best-selling part behind breast meat.