McDonald’s Finally Wants To Clean Up Their US Offerings

Patcharaporn Puttipon4289 /
Patcharaporn Puttipon4289 /

For years, the McDonald’s menu has remained largely the same. The snack wraps left back in 2016, the McRib comes back about once a year, and the Shamrock Shake is guaranteed to be in short supply. As Americans, we only get limited new ideas, while Canada gets pizza (damn good too), or Japan gets unique seasonings on their special Shaka Shaka fries.

Now, the writing on the wall is being noticed by Ronald and friends; the burgers taste like dehydrated cheap meat. The fresh toppings, moist meat, and crisp toppings are just rushed and overlooked now. If you go back and watch the old (circa 1980s) training videos on YouTube and compare that to what you receive now, and you can see the standards have slipped big time. As a result, the American consumer is more than happy to go to other drive-thrus.

Starting in 2016, they made some small and subtle changes to their Big Mac formula to update it slowly. With over 50 changes being made, it now features two smaller patties and is coated with more special sauce and fresher ingredients. A lack of freshness with the lettuce, cheese, and pickles was among the chief complaints from customers. The buns will retain the same rounded and plump form, but the sesame seeds will be sprinkled on to ensure a more homemade look.

With McDonald’s coming in 13th in a Technomic survey, only 28% of nearly 49,000 respondents were enticed by a McDonald’s burger. Other options like Five Guys Burgers, Wendy’s, and In-N-Out destroyed them in comparison. Their freshness, customer service, and time for an order all come in with significantly higher marks. Simply put, McDonald’s has turned into the failed company they always wanted to avoid.

Their franchise model leaves much to be desired. A lack of consistency from location to location, overly salted to mask the taste of old food, fries that are also coated in salt, and the never-working ice cream machines all drove people away too. Now that they are taking responsibility for driving their model into the ground, many wonder if it will be a story of too little/too late.

For consumers who have been tracking these changes, these 50 small adjustments included things that cleaned up the look and flavor of the “all-beef” patties. Granted, they aren’t necessarily making healthier choices with these changes. Consumers in Australia have similar tastes to Americans, and they have had these “new” Big Macs since 2018, and thus far, consumers have largely liked the change.

Right now, these completed changes are available at limited US locations, with all locations expected to be on board by October 2024. With the slower rollout of the changes, McDonald’s prevents people from having to just take the changes all at once and ensures their plants and employees are all up to speed with the changes in real-time and appropriate responses as they go along.

Deciding to mess with a formula they slowly adjusted to save money is something that surprised many Americans. Given the changes in the price due to Bidenomics and inflation, people are already having a hard enough time justifying the cost, so if it’s not better than they expect, they’ll say something. Some will use their voice, others will use their money, but either way, they’ll quickly know the deal.

Changing a classic menu or menu offering is something that every restaurant goes through from time to time. From changes in supplier offerings to people altering their diets, a business needs to be able to see the writing on the wall and now that the rest of the globe has had their meals changed up, it’s time for the US to get our changes!!