If You've Hoped For More Fish Options At McDonald's, Don't Count On It

If you're in the mood for fish and want a quick bite to eat, McDonald's isn't exactly the best option. Currently the only menu item that includes fish is the Filet-O-Fish, a sandwich made with a fried fish patty, tartar sauce, and half a slice of American cheese. In 2015, McDonald's did introduce the Old Bay Filet-O-Fish, but it was the same sandwich seasoned with Old Bay. The same year, the brand also offered the Filet-O-Fish Deluxe, which only added lettuce and tomato. After that, a popular ordering hack, combining a Double Cheeseburger with a Filet-O-Fish, was temporarily introduced in 2022 as an in-app exclusive called the Surf and Turf.

Aside from these variations of the Filet-o-Fish, McDonald's has never officially added any other fish options, and unfortunately for fans hoping for that to change, former McDonald's corporate chef Mike Haracz admitted in a TikTok that it's unlikely that the fast food chain will do so. If you want more options, your best bet is to stick to hacking together your own Surf and Turf sandwich, or asking for two fish patties instead of one.

Why McDonald's is unlikely to offer other fish options

While the Filet-O-Fish has its dedicated fans, it's clear that the majority of McDonald's customers gravitate towards the burgers instead. From a business standpoint, it doesn't make sense to add more fish if it's already in low demand. McDonald's does manage to sell an impressive 300 million Filet-O-Fish Sandwiches a year, however much of those sales are during the Lenten season, which is only about a month long. Big Macs, by contrast, are sold at a rate of 550 million per year.

At one point, McDonald's attempted to expand its fish offerings by introducing Fish McBites in three different sizes, but they were discontinued after only three months in 2013, contributing to an overall decline in sales. Despite being made of Alaska Pollock, the same fish as the Filet-O-Fish, Fish McBites still weren't received well by customers. It seems unlikely therefore that McDonald's would consider diversifying its fish offerings any further.

What would happen if McDonald's added more fish to the menu

Based on what happened with the Fish McBites, if McDonald's added more fish to its menu, customers probably wouldn't order it very frequently. In addition, as Mike Haracz pointed out in his TikTok, it would be accompanied by logistic difficulties. Alaska Pollock is mild, and if McDonald's introduced something with a stronger flavor, it would not only likely cause the kitchen and dining area to smell, but also potentially require its own fryers or else make the other fried items taste like fish. While this might be acceptable at seafood-focused establishments like Long John Silver's, it wouldn't bode well for a place that typically fries nuggets and French fries.


Replying to @Donald Starin Former #McDonalds corporate chef talks about the #FiletOFish with other fish. #mcdonaldssecrets #McDonaldsSecret #mcdonaldslife #McDonaldsMenu #McDonaldsTikTok #FastFood #FastFoodSecrets #FastFoodMenu #filetofishsandwich #filetofishchallenge #filetofishrecipe #mcdonaldsfishfillet #mcdonaldsfishfilet #mcdonaldsfiletofish #FYP

♬ original sound – Chef Mike Haracz

Nonetheless, the probability of anything other than Alaska Pollock making it onto the menu is slim to none, primarily due to the constraints of sourcing. McDonald's has a strict commitment to exclusively sourcing its Alaska Pollock from sustainable fisheries, and it does so in large quantities. As Haracz pointed out, it would be a significant challenge for McDonald's to find suppliers capable of meeting these specific criteria for other varieties of fish such as salmon. All things considered, it's apparent that the Filet-O-Fish remains the only practical fish option for McDonald's.