McDonald’s Quarter Pounder With Fresh Beef Attacks Wendy’s But Five Guys, Shake Shack, Offer Tougher Challenge

You could soon buy a Quarter Pounder with fresh beef patties from a McDonald’s near you. The global fast food chain confirmed their Quarter Pounder burgers will soon have fresh, not frozen beef. Although the company appears to have clearly targeted Wendy’s long-term selling point, McDonald’s faces a tougher challenge from the other regional chains like In-N-Out Burger, Five Guys, Shake Shack, and Carl’s Jr., among others.

McDonald’s, one of the largest multinational fast food companies, appears to have listened to its customer base in America. According to a tweet sent out late last month, McDonald’s plans to use fresh beef for their Quarter Pounders. In other words, the burger, one of the fastest selling items on McDonald’s menu, will now be cooked fresh as McDonald’s customers order them.

The announcement created some confusion amidst consumers. If the company will offer fresh beef in the near future, what kind of meat was McDonald’s using in their Quarter Pounders prior to their announcement? Fortunately, the company has made it clear that fresh beef merely means it will stop using frozen patties. Presumably, the beef is expected to not be older than a few days, as compared to the frozen patties that can be potentially stored for a few weeks, if not more.

McDonald’s had been using frozen patties for all their burgers, including the famous Quarter Pounder. The patties aren’t stale, but come pre-packaged in large boxes that are delivered to the McDonald’s outlets and stored in the freezer. As per the order, these patties are removed from the freezer and cooked. McDonald’s has always prided itself on speed, and the frozen patties work perfectly in the system.

Incidentally, chains like Wendy’s, In-N-Out Burger, Five Guys, Shake Shack, and others have been steadily eating into McDonald’s customer base with burgers that have been prepared with fresh beef patties. The global fast food chain may have won people with its speed and efficiency, but the company is losing customers who claim to appreciate the offerings from regional chains.


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It is amply clear that with the claims of serving fresh beef in their Quarter Pounder, McDonald’s is trying to win back customers it lost to the relatively small but quite popular and aggressively expanding regional fast food joints. However, while many are applauding McDonald’s for the bold move, and are looking forward to a fresher Quarter Pounder prepared with non-frozen beef patties, others are grumbling about the impact on serving time and potential loss in efficiency of the delivery.

A few publications were more concerned about the health risks associated with distribution and usage of fresh beef. Fortunately, McDonald’s addressed the fears of an E. coli outbreak by confirming the usage of “flash freezing technology” that the chain claims “helps to maintain the quality and consistency.” According to another tweet, McDonald’s claimed, “Our 100% beef is ground, formed into patties & flash frozen to lock in freshness/flavor.”

McDonald’s intends to create a positive perception about its brand. As customer awareness increases and consumers demand fresh produce and meat be used in fast food, McDonald’s Quarter Pounder with fresh-not-frozen beef could certainly see an uptick in sales. Incidentally, the change isn’t applicable before 2018, which means there’s presumably more than a year before you can eat a Quarter Pounder with fresh beef at a McDonald’s near you.

[Featured Image by Scott Olson/Getty Images]

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