It looks like McDonald’s is pushing further into better-ingredient positioning with its latest round of product testing. The fast-food giant announced October 29 that it has begun testing made-to-order chicken in 160 restaurants across Western Washington.
This isn’t the first time McDonald’s has touted fresh, not frozen sandwiches. Last spring, it began rolling out made-to-order fresh burgers in restaurants across the country. By March 6, fresh beef, cooked to order, was being used in all Quarter Pounder and Signature Crafted Recipe burgers at about 3,500 restaurants across the U.S. It completed the nationwide change in May.
The new made-to-order chicken sandwiches offer customers a new dining experience that breaks from the brand’s tradition of using frozen ingredients.
“Our focus on menu innovation is essential as we continue to evolve and build a better McDonald’s,” said Linda VanGosen, McDonald’s vice president of Menu Innovation, in a statement. “Our made-to-order Ultimate Chicken Sandwich and Ultimate Chicken Tenders reflect McDonald’s commitment to respond to customers’ desires for more chicken offerings, higher quality, and distinct, delicious flavors.”
On the menu across Washington, diners will have the choice of trying the new Ultimate Chicken Sandwich, made with a chicken breast fillet with Sweet Dijon Sauce, pickles, and an artisan roll. The Ultimate Chicken Tenders come in 4, 6, or 10-piece servings, which are lightly-breaded, seasoned, and made with all-white meat chicken. Also included on the test lineup are the Sweet N’ Spicy Honey BBQ Glazed Chicken Tenders, which are hand-tossed and glazed-to-order.
“We’re excited for our Seattle and Western Washington customers to be some of the first in the country to test the Ultimate Chicken Sandwich and Ultimate Chicken Tenders,” said Shari Nixon, McDonald’s Western Washington co-op president and franchise owner from Chehalis, Washington. “We look forward to hearing our customers’ response to our hot, made-to-order chicken offerings.”
In September, the company removed all artificial preservatives, flavors, and colors from the fresh patties keeping its promise to serving better ingredients and food on the menu. All U.S. locations now serve hamburgers, cheeseburgers, double cheeseburgers, McDoubles, Quarter Pounders with Cheese, double Quarter Pounders with Cheese, and Big Macs that no longer contain artificial preservatives, artificial flavors, or added colors from artificial sources.
McDonald’s USA president Chris Kempczinski said in a statement that this change follows in step with other moves the company has made to serve better ingredients, including pulling artificial preservatives from Chicken McNuggets and committing to serving cage-free eggs by 2025.