updated 11/18/2005 8:23:36 AM ET 2005-11-18T13:23:36

McDonald's Corp. is scaling back a test of its toasted deli-style sandwiches from five markets to two by year's end, officials said.

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Instead, the fast-food giant plans to focus on improving its core menu, said Marty Ranft, McDonald's vice president and general manager for the Ohio region.

The $3.99 Oven Selects sandwiches are coming off the menu in Columbus, Ohio and Louisville, Ky. The pilot has already ended in Richmond, Va. Sales of the sandwiches will continue in San Antonio and Rockford, Ill.

Some franchisees complained about the subs because of added equipment and labor costs.

Dennis Lombardi, a restaurant industry analyst at WD Partners in Columbus, said it's likely the subs weren't popular enough to justify the extra costs.

"McDonald's did essentially complicate the kitchen model," he said. "Franchisees certainly had some concerns about it."

McDonald's, which is based in Oak Brook, Ill., plans to try similar sandwiches in Britain. Ralph Alvarez, president of McDonald's North America, said if the test is expanded again in the United States, it likely would be in new markets.

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