Executive Briefings

McDonald's Alters Supply Chain to Swap Frozen Patties for Fresh Beef

McDonald's Corp. is expanding a program that ditches frozen patties in favor of fresh beef, making another break with decades of fast-food practices in a bid to revitalize the chain. Fresh beef is now being used in some sandwiches in more than 75 restaurants in the Tulsa, Oklahoma, area, McDonald's said in a statement, extending trials that began in the Dallas-Fort Worth region, where the company is preparing fresh beef in 55 locations.

The push more than doubles the number of restaurants serving serving fresh meat, a sign the chain is stepping up competition with fast-casual eateries such as Smashburger and Shake Shack. In Tulsa, the change will apply to Quarter Pounders and Bacon Clubhouse burgers, according to the statement.

“These burgers are hotter and juicier than our previous quarter-pound patties,” said McDonald’s Chef Chad Schafer. They’re seasoned with a pinch of salt and pepper, he said.

McDonald’s has made other moves recently to improve its food, including switching to chicken raised without antibiotics important to human medicine. It is also using real butter, not margarine, in breakfast sandwiches, and removed high-fructose corn syrup from buns. Wendy’s Co. advertises that all of its beef is fresh and has never been frozen.

The fresh beef test is being conducted in just a tiny fraction of McDonald’s 14,000 U.S. locations. Changing the supply chain, as well as kitchen operations and equipment won’t be easy, or cheap, should the test go nationwide.

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The push more than doubles the number of restaurants serving serving fresh meat, a sign the chain is stepping up competition with fast-casual eateries such as Smashburger and Shake Shack. In Tulsa, the change will apply to Quarter Pounders and Bacon Clubhouse burgers, according to the statement.

“These burgers are hotter and juicier than our previous quarter-pound patties,” said McDonald’s Chef Chad Schafer. They’re seasoned with a pinch of salt and pepper, he said.

McDonald’s has made other moves recently to improve its food, including switching to chicken raised without antibiotics important to human medicine. It is also using real butter, not margarine, in breakfast sandwiches, and removed high-fructose corn syrup from buns. Wendy’s Co. advertises that all of its beef is fresh and has never been frozen.

The fresh beef test is being conducted in just a tiny fraction of McDonald’s 14,000 U.S. locations. Changing the supply chain, as well as kitchen operations and equipment won’t be easy, or cheap, should the test go nationwide.

Read Full Article