Your Quarter Pounder may taste a little different in the coming weeks.

McDonald’s says it’s switching from frozen beef to fresh in some 14,000 U.S. locations by early May. The company officially rolled out the concept at 3,500 stores today. Sorry about your luck, Hawaii and Alaska. You’ll still get frozen beef.

It’s the latest in a series of moves by the chain (which have included dollar menus and removing antibiotics from its chicken) to woo customers as competition increases in the food industry.

So what led to the decision? It certainly wasn’t a cost-saving strategy. Suppliers spent roughly $60 million to adjust for the transition and kitchens in restaurants had to be changed as well to create separate drawers for the patties. In the end, it came down to a few issues. In recent years, consumers have shown a growing preference for fresh products overall, an offshoot of the “buy local” movement. The collective belief among restaurant-goers is that foods, once frozen, don’t taste quite as good. Whether that’s accurate or not, it’s affecting how diners select where they will eat.
Speed

Fresh beef cooks faster than frozen, which could cycle customers through faster. The downside, though, is many fresh burgers aren’t started until the customer places an order, whereas McDonald’s would historically cook batches of burgers in advance.

Wendy’s, Whataburger, and In-N-Out are three competitors that use fresh beef in their burgers—and they’re part of the reason McDonald’s has had 500 million fewer transactions at its U.S. stores since 2012. And one of the reasons for that is Wendy’s brutal marketing campaign highlighting its use of fresh beef versus McDonald’s. (“The iceberg that sank the Titanic was frozen, too,” one ad stated.) Wendy’s, Whataburger, and In-N-Out are three competitors that use fresh beef in their burgers—and they’re part of the reason McDonald’s has had 500 million fewer transactions at its U.S. stores since 2012. And one of the reasons for that is Wendy’s brutal marketing campaign highlighting its use of fresh beef versus McDonald’s. (“The iceberg that sank the Titanic was frozen, too,” one ad stated.) It’s part and parcel of what they’ve been trying to do to create a different perception of McDonald’s.”

The firm has been testing the appetite for burgers made from fresh beef for about a year. The premium quarter pounder and other offerings are now available at about 3,500 McDonald’s restaurants in the US, including in Miami, Orlando and Nashville.

These products are sold alongside existing burgers made using frozen meat.

Over the next month, fresh beef burgers will become available at restaurants in Los Angeles, Houston and San Francisco.

 

via What Really Happened http://ift.tt/2G7FMiG

Tagged with →  
Share →

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *