Swapping frozen for fresh beef on Quarter Pounders last year, the most significant change made to McDonald’s restaurants in the U.S. outside of all-day breakfast, is paying off with sales of the iconic burger increasing 30% on average over the past year, the Chicago-based chain said Monday.
The momentum for fresh beef continues this year. In the first quarter of 2019, McDonald’s Corp. said it sold 40 million more Quarter Pounders compared to the same quarter of 2018.
“We’re proud that taste and food quality drives sales,” said Chris Kempczinski, president of McDonald’s USA, said in a statement.
Marion Gross, the company’s chief supply chain officer in North America, called the fresh beef rollout a “massive transformation” that elevated the chain’s food quality and safety procedures.
McDonald’s said restaurants added new kitchen utensils and new refrigerators designed to accommodate the fresh-beef rollout, a March 2018 launch made as part of the brand’s goal to improve the quality of its food. Quarter Pounder sales soared in May last year, the first month the rollout was complete, increasing more than 50%, McDonald’s said.
Nearly a year later, McDonald’s announced plans to phase out its premium burger line, Signature Crafted Recipes, from the national menu based on customer feedback.
Signature Crafted burgers were also made with fresh-beef patties. In April, McDonald’s added two new Quarter Pounder sandwiches to the menu. The brand said the revamped lineup of fresh beef Quarter Pounder burgers will, instead, bring “customers more of the craveable, customizable and delicious tastes they love.”
Since Steve Easterbrook became CEO at McDonald’s in early 2015, McDonald’s has made several moves to improve the quality of its food and service.
Besides making breakfast available all day and adding fresh beef to its Quarter Pounders, the brand has also added table service, introduced self-service kiosks to remodeled stores and launched nationwide delivery through Uber Eats.
McDonald’s has about 14,000 restaurants in the U.S.
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