Earlier this year McDonald’s (MCD) – Get McDonald’s Corporation Report added some secret menu items to its actual menu. It was a sort of brilliant move because it let the fast-food chain promote new menu items without actually adding any new ingredients.
That’s a page straight out of Yum! Brands (YUM) – Get Yum! Brands, Inc. Report Taco Bell’s playbook where you use the same palette of ingredients to make lots of different menu items. McDonald’s take on it, called “Menu Hacks,” offered fans a chance to formally order menu items that previously had been part of an unofficial secret menu.
The problem with secret menus is that store employees don’t always know the exact recipe which leads to inconsistency and bad experiences. Two of the members of the Menu Hacks menu involved putting a food often considered a side dish on top of a burger or other patty.
That included the Hash Brown McMuffin (a McMuffin with the chain’s hashbrown in between the egg and sausage) and the Crunchy Double (chicken nuggets over a burger), TheStreet’s Veronika Bondarenko reported. Call it a take on the idea of putting french fries directly on your sandwich made famous by Pittsburgh’s Primanti Bros. shops.
Now, McDonald’s has taken that idea a little farther.
McDonald’s Makes a New Burger a Whole Meal
McDonald’s has not jumped on the whole giant burger trend the way its rival Burger King has. That Restaurant Brands International (QSR) – Get Restaurant Brands International Inc Report chain has taken a bigger is better approach at many of its global outposts (though not in the United States). Wendy’s (WEN) – Get Wendy’s Company Report has taken a similar approach globally by making it easy — and even sometimes encouraging — fans to pile on the burger patties on signature sandwiches like The Baconator.
That’s something McDonald’s has done in China where it offers a series of hamburgers under the “Angus Max” banner. Now, the chain has added a new burger to that lineup that takes things to a whole new level Chewboom reported.
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“The Triple Cheese Angus Thick Beef Burger features a thick Angus beef patty topped with a slice of cheddar cheese, cheese sticks, and cheese sauce. They also offer the option to buy an extra packet of cheese sauce for pouring over the top of your burger for a waterfall-like cheese effect,” the website shared.
Adding cheese sticks — what Americans think of as mozzarella sticks in appearance (although the type of cheese is not specified) — is the gamechanger here. That’s a new move for McDonald’s and it’s something that would easily translate to its U.S. menus.
McDonald’s Wants Simple Menu Innovation
The fast-food giant has been using a plan, “Accelerating the Arches” to drive growth, That plan has three pillars conveniently tied to the chain’s name, an M, C, and D pillar, shared CEO Chris Kempczinski during the chain’s fourth-quarter earnings call.
One of those pillars laid out how McDonald’s plans to approach its menu in the next year.
“C stands for our commitment to the core menu,” he said. “Our delicious core is something people rely on and return to again and again. Our core classics comprise roughly 70% of our food sales across our top markets. They drive growth and profitability and we saw that this past year.”
Adding new sauces (or even a bold topping like cheese sticks) can build on that core without requiring major changes or a lot of new ingredients.
“We’re building on the strength of core equities like Chicken McNuggets and McChicken sandwiches, which have seen significant growth as we continue to focus on improving our large Chicken Sandwich offerings around the world,” he said. “…Markets are also making our delicious and popular 100% all-beef burgers even better with improved cooking procedures and new buns.”