Toward the tail end of March 2017, McDonald’s unveiled its next major menu overhaul: fresh beef quarter pounders by mid-2018. On Tuesday, the company updated its progress on the widespread initiative. As of March 6, fresh beef, cooked to order, is now being used in all Quarter Pounder and Signature Crafted Recipe burgers at about 3,500 restaurants across the U.S. McDonald’s said the program is on track for rollout to all participating restaurants in the contiguous U.S. by early May (Alaska, Hawaii, and U.S. territories not included).
“The switch to fresh beef quarter-pound burgers is the most significant change to our system and restaurant operations since All Day Breakfast,” says McDonald’s USA president Chris Kempczinski. “Over the past two years, we have been listening to our customers and evolving our business to build a better McDonald’s. We are proud to bring our customers a hotter and juicier quarter-pound burger at the speed and convenience they expect from us.”
The markets now serving fresh, cooked-to-order fresh beef in Quarter Pounders include:
- Salt Lake City
Over the next month, McDonald’s said it “will be rapidly completing the transition to fresh beef quarter-pound burgers, cooked right when ordered, in additional markets, including Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle and more, with full rollout to participating restaurants by early May.”
McDonald’s piloted the burgers in Dallas and Tulsa and saw a 90 percent customer satisfaction from guests who order the burger, and 90 percent intent to repurchase. The burgers have no fillers, additives or preservatives, and include the Quarter Pounder, Quarter Pounder with Cheese, Double Quarter Pounder, and Signature Crafted Recipe burgers.
In addition, McDonald’s announced a new premium sandwich headed to menus in April—the Garlic White Cheddar. The Signature Crafted Recipe sandwich is made with a fresh beef, quarter-pound burger or chicken (Buttermilk Crispy or Artisan Grilled Chicken) and will be available at all U.S. restaurants.
The burger features a combination of creamy garlic aioli and crispy garlic chips piled with a tomato slice, iceberg lettuce, and real white Cheddar cheese.
The fresh-beef move for McDonald’s joins several other health-focused goals for the chain, which committed to sourcing cage-free eggs by 2025 in the U.S., and to serving chicken not treated with antibiotics important to human medicine. McDonald’s also said, by June, 100 percent of Happy Meal combinations offered on Happy Meal menuboards will be 600 calories or fewer, and 100 percent of those offerings will be compliant with the new nutrition criteria for added sugar, saturated fat, and 78 percent compliant with the new sodium criteria. That news came as McDonald’s removed cheeseburgers from Happy Meal menuboards and cut the portion size of its fries.