Nov 16, 2013

News: McDonald's Testing Build-Your-Own-Burger Concept

The new concept builds on the Quarter Pounder platform.
McDonald's is testing a fast casual-style build-you-own-burger concept at two McDonald's restaurants here in the U.S.

According to the Orange County Register, the test is being conducted in Laguna Niguel in California and Romeoville in Illinois. The burgers feature standard Quarter Pounder beef patties but they're grilled to order and cooked on a char grill rather than a flattop (which makes for some nice grill marks).

Here's a look at the available options and pricing for build-you-own-burger test:

A standard build-your-own burger starts at $5.79 with a $1 additional charge if you want bacon (you can also double up on the hamburger patty for an extra $1.25).

Additional options include:

- Bread - a buttered and toasted bakery-style bun or artisan roll (the artisan roll looks to be an egg-wash bun similar in appearance to Carl's Jr./Hardee's new Fresh-Baked Buns and Wendy's limited-time brioche).

- Cheese - natural sharp white cheddar, natural pepper jack, or good old American (the natural cheese is new as the current white cheddar at McDonald's is pasteurized process cheese product).

- Toppings - guacamole, sliced jalapenos, grilled mushrooms, red onions, caramelized grilled onions, chili lime tortilla strips, tomato, leaf lettuce, and crinkle cut pickles.

- Sauces - Big Mac special sauce, spicy mayo, creamy garlic sauce, sweet BBQ, mayo, ketchup, and mustard.

If you don't feel like customizing your own burger, there's also three preset "Specialty Builds":

- SoCal Style with natural sharp white cheddar cheese, guacamole, chili lime tortilla strips, tomato, leaf lettuce, and creamy garlic sauce on a buttered and toasted bakery-style bun.

- Grill Thriller with thick-cut, applewood-smoked bacon, natural sharp white cheddar cheese, caramelized grilled onions, grilled mushrooms, and sweet bbq sauce on a buttered and toasted artisan roll.

- Hot All Over with natural pepper jack cheese, sliced jalapenos, tomato, leaf lettuce, and spicy mayo on a buttered and toasted artisan roll.

The OC Register has a bevy of pictures of the new concept which also includes a restaurant redesign and different ordering process than a regular McDonald's.


  1. Does grilled to order mean you can get them cooked to your desired doneness level or just that they are not precooked?

  2. I'm pretty sure it's the latter. Large chains that have to source huge amounts of beef are pretty leery about serving it at anything other than "well-done."

    I think even a casual dining restaurant like Red Robin will only go as low as "medium."

  3. Why would I pay that much for a quarter pounder. Not a Five Guys fan, but better deal.

  4. I am pretty leery about the quality of meat that has to be cooked all the way. I hoped, but doubted McDonalds might be sourcing meat separately for this.

  5. Haha, that's what they're testing... whether people will plop down $6 for a "better" burger at McDonald's.

  6. After looking at the pics on the OC Register site, it seems like this might be an okay concept as a separate restaurant concept, but it looks weird inside a McD's. Does McDonalds Corp own any other restaurant properties?

  7. I live right next to Romeoville. I might go check this out

  8. The current premium quarter-pounder buns, the same as the one pictured in this article, are terrible. Very dense and grainy. They are only suitable for a chicken sandwich.

  9. Yeah, I'm not a huge fan of the current buns. I'd rather go with classic QP sesame bun.


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