McDonald’s is upgrading its signature burgers as part of its ongoing efforts to improve its core menu items and attract customers. In addition to making its buns softer and cheese gooier, the fast-food giant plans to add onions directly to the patties. In addition, Big Mac sauce will be enhanced to enhance the burger’s flavor profile.
Chef Chad Schafer, Senior Director of Culinary Innovation of McDonald’s USA, stated, “We found that small changes, like tweaking our process to get hotter, meltier cheese and adjusting our grill settings for a better sear, added up to a big difference in making our burgers more flavorful than ever.” These upgrades will be applied to the Big Mac, McDouble burger, classic cheeseburger, double cheeseburger, and hamburger. The changes were first introduced in international markets and have already been implemented in some US cities, including Los Angeles, Seattle, Phoenix, and Las Vegas. They are expected to be available nationwide by early next year.
These updates come on the heels of other improvements to McDonald’s key menu items. In 2018, the company announced the switch to using fresh beef for its Quarter Pounders, a move that proved successful in boosting sales. In 2021, McDonald’s launched a crispy chicken sandwich to compete in the highly competitive chicken sandwich wars, which has been well-received by customers. “We are gaining market share in both chicken and beef,” said McDonald’s CEO Chris Kempczinski during a recent analyst call, highlighting the positive impact of improved burgers and new offerings like the chicken sandwich. “In an environment where our customers are looking for the simple and familiar, our core menu items have never been more relevant,” he added.
In the US, sales at McDonald’s stores open for at least 13 months increased by 5.9% in the fourth quarter of 2022, and rose by 10.3% for the entire year. By focusing on promoting its core menu items rather than introducing new products, McDonald’s aims to simplify processes and reduce friction in the kitchen. The brand has also utilized promotions such as celebrity meal platforms and adult Happy Meals to generate excitement around its signature items.
There are other fast-food chains that are revamping their main offerings, including McDonald’s. Last year, Burger King announced its intention to turn its business around. The brand has been improving its Whopper burger and increasing its visibility in advertising since then. Burger King conducted Whopper trainings for its franchisees in the fourth quarter of last year, and the brand attributed higher sales in the US to the Whopper’s success.
Following the success of previous menu improvements, McDonald’s will enhance its signature burgers in order to increase their flavor and appeal to customers. In a competitive fast-food market, McDonald’s is simplifying operations and boosting sales by focusing on core menu items and using promotions. Burger King and other brands are also improving their main offerings and attracting more customers in a similar manner.