McDonald’s is launching fresh beef Quarter Pounders. The talk of fresh beef is no longer just talk, it is now reality. On Tuesday, the burger chain announced that it has started selling fresh beef patties for its Quarter Pounders to almost 3,500 domestic restaurants thus far and is planning to supply about 14,000 locations in the U.S. by May. Alaska and Hawaii locations are not included in the rollout.
Fresh beef at McDonald’s has been in the works for a long time, but came to reality at a time when all fast food restaurants battle for the attention of consumers and the cash inside their wallets.
Limited time menus, dollar menus, and beverage discounts have been all launched as they attempt to entice diners to their establishments.
McDonald’s has tried to tightrope between inexpensive deals and top quality food over the past few years. The burger behemoth has worked to upgrade the quality of their menu and the transparency over where its sources ingredients from.
The company has ended antibiotics from chicken nuggets, brought in fruit options and taken soda out of the Happy Meal.
The president of McDonald’s U.S. Chris Kempczinksi said McDonald’s is a burger business and there is no better place to begin than with burgers.
The fresh beef launch at McDonald’s has been worked on for over four years, helped along a company employee who has been with them over 40 years, Joe Jasper, who owns 20 franchises in and around Fort Worth, Texas and was the first franchisee that tested fresh beef.
Jasper has been on the innovation team for the food and menu at McDonald’s for 15 years and was tasked with developing ways to evaluate burgers made by the company.
One worry when the developing process began was not slowing down the drive thru. Therefore a fast way of cooking the fresh patties was needed and the fresh burgers actually cook between 20 and 40 seconds quicker than do frozen patties.
Franchisees were skeptical of the fresh beef patties as were investors and even some of the McDonald’s corporate team. Many worried that adding the fresh beef would end up slowing productivity down and create food safety risks they deemed unnecessary.
However, Jasper was able to show the franchisees that fresh beef was a great choice and was able to get their support.
And now all the hard work preparing it has become a reality across the chain of burger restaurants in the U.S.