CHICAGO – McDonald’s plans to introduce fresh beef burgers in all U.S. restaurants by early May, the fast-food chain’s latest move aimed at drawing customers, boosting sales and propelling the business into the future.
Quarter Pounders and Signature Crafted burgers will be made with patties that are cooked upon ordering. All other burgers, including the Big Mac, will continue to be made with patties that are prepared in advance and then frozen. The announcement follows 18 months of testing in order to refine the cooking process so it doesn’t result in longer wait times for customers, said Chris Kempczinski, McDonald’s USA president.
“McDonald’s is known for speed and convenience. What we had to figure out is how do you cook only when someone orders it, but do it in a way that doesn’t impact service times. When people come to McDonald’s, they’re not going to wait 5 minutes for a burger,” Kempczinski said at a media event at an Oak Brook McDonald’s on Monday night.
Fresh beef is already available in some 3,500 restaurants in various markets across the U.S., but it won’t be available in Chicago until the beginning of May, the company said. The company tested the new offering at locations in Texas and Oklahoma.
For McDonald’s customers, any impact to serving time and price will be minimal, Kempczinski said. For the Golden Arches, the hope is to sustain and even accelerate the company’s turnaround.
“At the end of the day, McDonald’s is a burger company,” Kempczinski said. “For us, there is no more important place to focus on improving the quality of our food than the burger.”
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