McDonald’s Testing Fresh Beef Burgers

Move over frozen beef patties, here comes fresh beef at McDonald’s.

On Jan. 2, McDonald’s announced that it was testing a new burger, called Archburger. The burger is being tested at seven McDonald’s restaurants in Tulsa, Oklahoma and a restaurant in Plano, Texas. The Archburger is made with fresh beef and being offered in a limited run to seek both consumer and franchisee feedback.

A similar test was held by McDonald’s for Quarter Pounders using fresh beef and was conducted for nearly a year. After successful testing McDonald’s announced in March 2017 that fresh beef Quarter Pounders would be rolled out in the majority of the company’s 14,000 restaurants nationally by mid-2018.

McDonald’s has been using frozen beef patties for more than 40 years. Competing companies like Wendy’s has touted their burgers as using “fresh, never frozen beef” since 1969. Other recent upstarts like Shake Shack, In-N-Out Burger and Five Guys have also been using fresh beef at their restaurants.

A report from Reuters indicates the move to fresh beef could slow down the speed of getting a burger from the fast food giant. The fresh beef Quarter Pounder takes about one minute longer to prepare than its frozen counterpart.  

Food industry analysts say the move with the Archburger could mean McDonald’s could continue rolling our more fresh beef offerings.

The Archburger comes with cheese, pickle, onions and a specialty Arch Sauce, selling for $2.19. The beef patty weighs approximately 3 ounces, just slightly smaller than the Quarter Pounder.

The new burger also appears to be a throwback to the Arch Deluxe, a burger that famously flopped in the 1990s. An estimated $150-200 million was spent on advertising before the Arch Deluxe was pulled from franchises in 1996. Both the Archburger and Arch Deluxe contain the Arch Sauce, which is a combination of mustard and mayonnaise.

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