If you are a frequent McDonald’s customer and enjoy their burgers, then you’ll be delighted with their most recent innovation. Namely, the fast food giant decided to use fresh beef for their burgers. This decision affected the company’s sales — they immediately went up providing a greater market share.
In 2018, Burger King replaced frozen with fresh meat in their quarter pound burgers in the majority of their restaurants across the USA. According to McDonald’s announcement from 24th of June, this increased the sale of quarter pounders for even 30% on average throughout 2018. Also, it enabled the company to achieve market share in so-called “informal eating out” group for the very first time throughout 5 years.
The Reason for the Shift
The company decided to replace frozen with fresh meat due to the public’s increasing curiosity about ingredients and their transparency. As the company’s chief supply chain officer Marion Gross explained to CNN, customers desire to know the origin of their food. She also added that buyers are changing quite rapidly, making the company change as well.
The company also promised to limit the employment of antibiotics in its meat and to use eggs from free-range chickens.
According to McDonald’s, the sale of quarter pounders made of fresh meat was at its climax in May 2018. It was presented for the first time then, and the increase in sales is the result of the company’s marketing endeavors. Besides, the fast food giant has recently incorporated fresh beef in its 2 for $5 offer. The promotion did quite well, as CFO Kevin Ozan observed when discussing the profit for the first quarter of the year.
From Frozen to Fresh
Changing frozen beef with fresh was quite challenging. As Marion Gross said, an enormous transformation was necessary for the change to happen. Suppliers required different equipment for packaging, as well as additional refrigerators to ensure that fresh meat would be handled accordingly. Furthermore, delivery trucks required proper systems for monitoring the temperature in order to carry the meat properly. Last but not least, kitchen employees needed to use different safety procedures for food preparation.
Nevertheless, the change was definitely among the bravest steps the company has ever done. What’s more, it is the greatest change in the supply that the fast food giant carried out ever since all-day breakfast introduced in 2015.
This shift might have increased McDonald’s sales, but it caused additional expenses for McDonald’s franchisees. Namely, they were forced to purchase new storage and cooling systems. It is interesting, though, that in 2018, McDonald’s had a dispute with the franchisees. In October 2018, a self-financing support group of the company’s franchisees called the National Owners Association and organized their first meeting to debate on the methods of cooperation with the giant to advance their income. McDonald’s assertive redesigning plan that incorporated renovating restaurants with a brand-new digital menu as well as self-order stalls, imposed a strain on the franchisees. They experience hard times even when McDonald’s adds something new to the menu, let alone when it carries out some greater adjustments.
Gross explained that the change was difficult, but the franchisees eventually agreed to cooperate since the burgers are much better.
The fast-food giant released the news about the fresh meat burger upon being asked whether it would incorporate a plant-based burger in the menu. Namely, other fast food giants in the US, such as Burger King have included meatless meat items according to the customers’ demands. McDonald’s, on the other hand, offers a vegan burger only in Europe.