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HamburglarCarHero 2336x1040_hero-desktop.jpg Photo courtesy of McDonald's
McDonald's is leveraging its iconic Hamburglar character to promote the domestic rollout of its "best burger initiative."

McDonald’s updated burgers are now available nationwide

McDonald’s ‘best burger initiative’ was first announced in April and the burgers, which include everything from new buns to more sauce, are now available across the U.S.

McDonald’s first announced its “best burger initiative” in April, featuring more than 50 tweaks aimed at making the chain’s core product better. Those tweaks include everything from new, softer buns and more Big Mac sauce to changes in the cooking process to yield a more consistent sear and meltier cheese.

Now, these upgraded burgers are available nationwide and the company is leveraging its classic Hamburglar character to promote them. The latest campaign began last weekend for fans who opt into McDonald’s text messaging campaign. “The person who runs the McDonald’s account” sent a text noting that the Hamburglar was on the loose, leaving with McDonald’s “best burgers ever in this vehicle.” The vehicle included a license plate with his signature catchphrase, “RBL RBL.” The text then prompted users to respond with their city, so they could alert us if he’s nearby and offer a chance to win a prize pack or free burgers for a year. So far, there has been no response.

However, we now know that license plate is part of a 1970 Plymouth Barracuda, called “Burgercuda,” which is making its way “coast-to-coast” for a burger-stealing heist. McDonald’s fans who spot the car and scan the vehicle’s code can earn an Arch Card and Hamburglar-themed swag. According to the company, the Burgercuda features Hamburglar’s signature black-and-white stripes across its interior and exterior, his logo on the headrests, red detailing, bun-shaped hubcaps, a spare tire disguised as a cheeseburger, a burger warmer in the console, and “RBL RBL” on both the license plate and hood scoop.

Fans who miss the Burgercuda can also enter to win free burgers for a year at

“McDonald’s built a legacy on serving delicious burgers, but anytime we have an opportunity to make the best even better, we take it,” Chief Marketing and Customer Experience Officer Tariq Hassan said in a statement. “It's no surprise these changes caught the attention of our biggest burger fan – the Hamburglar. We’re excited for fans to join in on the fun as they look for him on his burger-stealing spree. You never know where he’ll pop up next.”  

McDonald’s new burgers have already been featured in a few international markets and have been successful, executives noted during the company’s Investor Day in December. During that event, Jo Sempels, president of international developmental licensed markets, said McDonald’s has maintained its market leadership in beef, but is “not resting on its past success,” which is why the company launched this “best burger initiative.”

“Small changes add up to a big difference that customers are noticing,” he said.

McDonald’s last made changes to its burgers in 2018, when it transitioned its Quarter Pounder with Cheese to fresh beef that’s cooked to order. That same year, the company also removed artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives from its entire burger lineup.

Such changes are no small feat for the chain that counts about 13,500 domestic restaurants, but they are part of the company’s sharpened focus on its core products – part of its Accelerating the Arches 2.0 strategy first announced in January 2023. During the chain’s Q4 2023 earnings call, CEO Chris Kempczinski said, “our core menu items have never been more relevant or beloved. Throughout the year, we continue to step up our game on the favorites that build our heritage. We're delivering hotter, juicier, more delicious burgers and building on the success of emerging equities like the McCrispy Chicken Sandwich.”

Contact Alicia Kelso at [email protected]


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