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Did McDonalds Ever have a great burger?


rukawa
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Watching the Founder and even reading books about McDonalds it seems like there was a time when they had a great tasting burger. At some point though they switched from fresh to frozen meat. And lately they are making a switch back to fresh meat. Did McDonalds ever have a good burger?

 

Before the switch from fresh to frozen in 1973, a test was conducted and the supplier, Equity Meat Company, had to prove that frozen was as good as fresh to a highly skeptical McDonalds president Fred Turner. Equity had some special flash freezing cryogenic method. Supposedly the test was a success. I don't get how that is possible. The difference today is pretty obvious.

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Well, I'd say a great burger compared to what?  In the 1970s and early 80s, McDs was about the only game in town for a burger.  Sure, you could go to a mom and pop diner and get a burger, but my memory is that there wasn't much competition.  And their fries, which were cooked in tallow, were uniquely good.

 

Fast forward about 30 or so years, and burgers are a big deal in North American cuisine.  Any decent sized city has boutique burger joints which sell an outstanding burger, as well as any number of chains which are positioned higher in the market than McDs (Five Guys, etc).  It's pretty easy to find a burger that blows the snot out of McDs, but you need to be prepared to pay a little more and you need to be prepared to wait a little longer.

 

When I travel by car, I make extensive use of McDs because I know exactly what to expect: a passable burger, clean washrooms, decent coffee, fast service and a relatively low price.  It's perfect for when you are on the road but it's a bottom of the barrel option for your home city.

 

 

SJ

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I actually like the Big Mac. I also liked the Big Extra but unfortunately it's no longer with us. I will also echo what SJ said about the road. I travel around quite a bit by car and McDonalds on the road is awesome!

 

Personally I think that the world is getting pretty snotty these days. I don't actually need a $20 burger made in a special way with tears of virgins or whatever. A big mac is quite satisfactory.

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McDonalds had a great burger when I was 5.

 

It's all about the Egg McMuffin for me.

Coffee's not to bad either.

 

The new 1/4 pounders are pretty good.  But I agree with you about the egg McMuffin and the coffee.  I usually make my coffee at home, but in a pinch I like McDonalds coffee better than Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks and it's cheaper too.  And the Egg McMuffin and Sausage McMuffin w/ egg are far and away better than any gross microwaved egg sandwich you can get at Dunkin Donuts.

 

Maybe McDonalds has never had a great burger, but they have always had a good burger.  I just wish they'd go back to using tallow for their fries, because they used to have great fries.

 

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I think Rory Sutherland, among others, has made some good statements about McDonald's which relates to your question.

 

"This conservatism applies to our taste in food: we feel very comfortable eating food which tastes identical to food we have eaten in the past, since the very fact that we are contemplating the decision is evidence that it did not kill us in the past. Ray Kroc, the former owner of McDonald's, spotted this tendency: "People don't want the best burger in the world," he stated, "they want one which tastes just like the one they had last time."

 

https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/9614-profile-ogilvy-s-rory-sutherland-on-human-behaviour-and-innovation

http://www.wired.co.uk/article/rory-sutherland-knows-how-to-save-marketing

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McDonalds had a great burger when I was 5.

 

It's all about the Egg McMuffin for me.

Coffee's not to bad either.

 

The new 1/4 pounders are pretty good.  But I agree with you about the egg McMuffin and the coffee.  I usually make my coffee at home, but in a pinch I like McDonalds coffee better than Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks and it's cheaper too.  And the Egg McMuffin and Sausage McMuffin w/ egg are far and away better than any gross microwaved egg sandwich you can get at Dunkin Donuts.

 

Maybe McDonalds has never had a great burger, but they have always had a good burger.  I just wish they'd go back to using tallow for their fries, because they used to have great fries.

 

I use the McCafe coffee at home. I find it better than Starbucks and I can sometimes find the 12 oz bag on sale for $4.99, and then I buy 10 bags.

McCafe.jpg.d7ec1a28e60b2148f788c7467e5b2de6.jpg

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Guest cherzeca

my mom would bribe me to go to school when i was in kindergarten by having a Mcd burger for lunch.  i went for a half day and my mom taught at the school, so she would make the daily lunch drive. this is 1958.  great bun, warm pickle, meat was same as now as far as i remember.  great golden arches, and servers wore white. 

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McDonalds had a great burger when I was 5.

 

It's all about the Egg McMuffin for me.

Coffee's not to bad either.

 

The new 1/4 pounders are pretty good.  But I agree with you about the egg McMuffin and the coffee.  I usually make my coffee at home, but in a pinch I like McDonalds coffee better than Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks and it's cheaper too.  And the Egg McMuffin and Sausage McMuffin w/ egg are far and away better than any gross microwaved egg sandwich you can get at Dunkin Donuts.

 

Maybe McDonalds has never had a great burger, but they have always had a good burger.  I just wish they'd go back to using tallow for their fries, because they used to have great fries.

 

Oh my God, and the pies, WhyTF did they ever quit frying them?

Who do they think they're fooling with a baked apple pie?

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The Egg McMuffin Meal and the occasional ice cream sunday (or that Oreo flurry thing) are pretty much the only things I ever get there. I think their coffee is usually pretty terrible, but I usually get it with the McMuffin meal.

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McDonalds had a great burger when I was 5.

 

It's all about the Egg McMuffin for me.

Coffee's not to bad either.

 

The new 1/4 pounders are pretty good.  But I agree with you about the egg McMuffin and the coffee.  I usually make my coffee at home, but in a pinch I like McDonalds coffee better than Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks and it's cheaper too.  And the Egg McMuffin and Sausage McMuffin w/ egg are far and away better than any gross microwaved egg sandwich you can get at Dunkin Donuts.

 

Maybe McDonalds has never had a great burger, but they have always had a good burger.  I just wish they'd go back to using tallow for their fries, because they used to have great fries.

 

Oh my God, and the pies, WhyTF did they ever quit frying them?

Who do they think they're fooling with a baked apple pie?

 

What? You don't like surgery apple filling wrapped in glazed cardboard?  I'm surprised they even keep those on the menu, they must throw out more of them than they sell.

 

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After years of not eating McDonalds I find myself there more now.

 

A few reasons:

1) For a family of six on the road it's cheap.  Most places have a basket of fries, or some bulk purchasing option.  Kids eat a LOT

2) Quality is consistent, it's a LOT better than it was in the past.

3) Facilities are clean, service is fast

4) There is something for everyone on the menu

 

When on road trips we used to stop at Wendy's and Burger King, but I can't begin to count how many nasty BK's we've been to, or Wendy's in disrepair.  Maybe the franchisees have more control, I don't know, but the quality has dropped.

 

The coffee at McD is fine, better than Dunkin.  I don't get the obsession with Dunkin, they serve extremely hot tasteless coffee.  Maybe that's it? People don't like their coffee to have flavor?

 

If I want a good burger I'll go to a local place.  But when traveling McD usually gets a visit.

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The Egg McMuffin Meal and the occasional ice cream sunday (or that Oreo flurry thing) are pretty much the only things I ever get there. I think their coffee is usually pretty terrible, but I usually get it with the McMuffin meal.

 

It depends on where you live.  Their coffee is actually different regionally.  In New England McDonalds sources its coffee from Green Mountain Coffee Roasters and it is pretty good.  In other parts of the country they source it from 3 other companies (S&D Coffee, Gavina Gourmet Coffee, & Distant Lands Coffee).  I'm not sure about outside the US.

 

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Random story time.

 

I worked with a guy who's dad was an exec for Yum Foods for a while.  He was an exec at McD too I believe.  Anyways...

 

He said they had this tasting room.  It was a restaurant for employees where they had new creations to sample.  The idea was to get feedback, so if you ate this you had to rate it.  If something was rated highly from employees they'd move it forward.

 

He said they'd have a shelf full of variations of items.  Ranging from total nasty flops, to hits that they couldn't figure out how to mass produce.  Items in this cafeteria might only appear for a day or two.

 

It was a cool idea.

 

I remember around the same time reading an article about McD and their challenges with menu selections.  They debated making a shrimp item, but if they were to do it they'd deplete the world's stock of shrimp in less than a year.  That was mind-blowing.  So the challenging is sourcing so much and making it scalable. 

 

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Random story time.

 

I worked with a guy who's dad was an exec for Yum Foods for a while.  He was an exec at McD too I believe.  Anyways...

 

He said they had this tasting room.  It was a restaurant for employees where they had new creations to sample.  The idea was to get feedback, so if you ate this you had to rate it.  If something was rated highly from employees they'd move it forward.

 

He said they'd have a shelf full of variations of items.  Ranging from total nasty flops, to hits that they couldn't figure out how to mass produce.  Items in this cafeteria might only appear for a day or two.

 

It was a cool idea.

 

I remember around the same time reading an article about McD and their challenges with menu selections.  They debated making a shrimp item, but if they were to do it they'd deplete the world's stock of shrimp in less than a year.  That was mind-blowing.  So the challenging is sourcing so much and making it scalable.

 

Their chicken wings last year pushed the price up globally. 

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Most places have a basket of fries, or some bulk purchasing option.

 

Wait, what? McDonald's offers a size of fries bigger than 'large'?  How much does it cost? How many fries compared to one large fry?

 

In PA they had baskets.  It was cheap, a few dollars.  Imagine the 20 piece nugget box, it was like that but with higher walls filled to the brim with fries.  You could get that with two burgers for $5 OTD.  We'd get two of those, plus something for my wife and I and it'd be $14 for a family of six.

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I think Rory Sutherland, among others, has made some good statements about McDonald's which relates to your question.

 

"This conservatism applies to our taste in food: we feel very comfortable eating food which tastes identical to food we have eaten in the past, since the very fact that we are contemplating the decision is evidence that it did not kill us in the past. Ray Kroc, the former owner of McDonald's, spotted this tendency: "People don't want the best burger in the world," he stated, "they want one which tastes just like the one they had last time."

 

https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/9614-profile-ogilvy-s-rory-sutherland-on-human-behaviour-and-innovation

http://www.wired.co.uk/article/rory-sutherland-knows-how-to-save-marketing

 

Love Rory Sutherland. As an other poster has raised.... when our visiting clients, the Golden Arches bathrooms are a savior.....medium quarter pounder meal and then on with business. Too easy. Sure, the food is pretty crap but it’s not about that.

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