McDonald’s rolls out revamped burgers with “pillowy” buns

McDonald’s is making several upgrades to its burgers as part of the fast-food giant’s plans to improve its core menu items in an effort to grow sales, the company said Monday. 

Beef-burger sandwiches at the golden arches will now have a “juicier caramelized flavor” from a new grilling technique using white onions and will feature a gooey layer of “perfectly melted cheese,” all sandwiched between two “softer, pillowy buns” that are “freshly toasted,” the chain said. Big Macs will also come with more tangy Big Mac sauce.

“We found that small changes, like tweaking our process to get hotter, meltier cheese and adjusting our grill settings for a better sear, added up to a big difference in making our burgers more flavorful than ever,” said Chad Schafer, senior director of culinary innovation of McDonald’s USA in a press release

The changes come as McDonald’s doubles down on its Accelerating the Arches plan, a strategy to grow the company’s profits by throwing weight behind high-powered marketing initiatives and improving the quality of classic menu items. 

“In an environment where our customers are looking for the simple and familiar, our core menu items have never been more relevant,”  McDonald’s President and CEO Christopher J. Kempczinski said during an earnings call in January. 

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Celebrity power

In addition to upgrading old classics, the plan involves shifting the company’s marketing into high gear through celebrity partnerships, such as the brand’s Valentine’s Day partnership with Cardi B and Offset and voiceovers by “Succession” star Brian Cox

That strategy has so far paid off, the company’s filings show. The burger giant made $1.9 billion in net income in the fourth-quarter of 2022, an increase from the same period a year prior. Meanwhile, same-store sales rose 10.3% during the same period. 

This isn’t the first time McDonald’s has made moves to improve its existing menu items. In 2018, the burger chain began using fresh beef in its Quarter Pounders, a major change that had a large sales payoff. The company also launched its own take on a crispy chicken sandwich in 2021 after several attempts at getting the ever-popular sandwich right. 

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