In an effort to regain some lost ground in its key demographics, McDonald’s opted to try something fairly revolutionary in today’s fast food marketplace – fresh beef. Other chains have made the switch, and now it seems McDonald’s is going to give it a try.
The transition will get a test run in a handful of Central Texas restaurants, most in the Dallas area, according to reports in CNN. But don’t expect the fresh beef on the Big Mac or cheeseburgers. Turns out the only sandwiches to receive the freshening up will be the quarter pounder, double quarter pounder, bacon clubhouse and homestyle burger, which is only available in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
In an interesting twist, the test is already happening, and Micky D’s opted not to tell a soul. Customers have been enjoying fresh meat since November, and at this point, it’s uncertain whether or not they noticed the difference.
The alternative is McDonald’s practice of “flash freezing” its beef. In other words, right after the meat is ground and formed into patties, it is flash frozen to “seal in the fresh flavor”. Typically, it’s two or three weeks before the burgers become one of the Billions and Billions served at McDonald’s restaurants.
At this point, nobody is saying whether or not this experiment is a success, or whether it will be expanded to other restaurants or scrapped, just one of the countless ideas in a string of experiments the company has tried over the decades. Other current tests include a low-calorie breakfast selection and specialty spiced fries at limited locations.
The parallel tests will help McDonald’s decide which current consumer trend to follow, and whether fresh or healthy will define their next company-wide menu additions.
In the past, McDonald’s “healthier” options really haven’t fared too well. Most people seem to accept, when they pull in under the arches, they are not there for the low-cal, no-carb offerings. But every once in awhile the company does find a winner when it tries to update the menu and supplement classics like the Big Mac and Filet-O-Fish.
Which new item will find its way onto the main menu? Looks like customers in Texas and California will decide … and they may not even realize they’re voting.