In this file:
· McDonald's expands fresh beef test in Texas
· McDonald’s replacing frozen beef patties with fresh burgers
McDonald's expands fresh beef test in Texas
By Samantha Bomkamp, Chicago Tribune
via Duluth News Tribune (MN) - Mar 19, 2017
CHICAGO — McDonald's expanded its test of fresh beef to more than 300 restaurants this week, suggesting the world's largest burger chain could be getting closer to introducing never-frozen beef patties nationwide.
The company, headquartered in suburban Chicago, said it's now offering fresh beef at all of its 325 restaurants in the Dallas area. Previously, McDonald's had been testing fresh beef at 55 restaurants across the Dallas-Fort Worth area and 75 restaurants across northeast Oklahoma. It first started testing fresh beef in a handful of restaurants in the spring of last year.
The test of never-frozen beef only includes Quarter Pounder patties, not the smaller patties that come on hamburgers and Big Macs. It calls the burgers "hot off the grill." The testing process not only measures what customers think of the burgers, but also the price, kitchen efficiency and other factors that will determine whether it's a viable option to bring nationwide, the chain said.
McDonald's always does a trial run when it makes changes to its food or adds new menu items. Ensuring fresh beef fits into McDonald's operation is a complex study that means changes in how it is transported to the restaurants, how it is stored when it arrives and how much it affects employees' process of making burgers.
The burger chain tends to favor the Lone Star state to start tests involving beef because, well, Texans like their burgers. Burgers make up a bigger percentage of average sales at restaurants there. It tends to focus on spots like Atlanta for chicken, the West Coast for salads and the Northeast for coffee.
McDonald's experimentation is part of its effort to change the public's perception of its food quality and freshness. In the past two years, it has...
McDonald’s replacing frozen beef patties with fresh burgers
Gina Hall, Correspondent, Chicago Business Journal
Mar 17, 2017
McDonald’s is starting to use fresh meat in an effort to better compete with Wendy’s.
The Oak Brook, Illinois-based fast food giant is replacing frozen beef patties in its Quarter Pounder burgers with fresh patties at 328 restaurants in North Texas, according to Business Insider, which cited Instinet analyst Mark Kalinowksi.
The move follows tests in 75 locations in Oklahoma and 14 in the Dallas-Fort Worth region.
"This collection of McDonald's restaurants... appears to mark the largest expansion to date of McDonald's U.S. test of never-frozen beef," Kalinowski wrote in a note to clients. "We view this latest expansion of never-frozen beef for quarter-pound beef patties as another signal as to the direction McDonald's US is likely to head — more test markets/restaurants are likely to introduce never-frozen beef in coming months."
Why hasn’t McDonald’s (NYSE: MCD) made this move already? Switching to fresh meats means major changes to its network of suppliers who make, freeze and ship patties to its U.S. restaurants, according to Business Insider. Some franchisees are also concerned that fresh meat will introduce too many food-safety issues and slow down service.
The classic fast food chain has lost a significant portion of its market share to rival chains...