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Big Mac Photo courtesy of McDonald's
McDonald's is making a few tweaks to its burgers, including adding new buns and adding more Big Mac sauce to its signature Big Macs.

McDonald’s is rolling out its ‘best burgers ever’

McDonald’s has made some tweaks to its burger cooking process and has added new buns for a rollout that will be completed nationwide by 2024.

McDonald’s is ready to debut what it’s calling its “best burgers ever.” The company announced today it is making a few changes to its burgers, including new, softer buns and more Big Mac sauce on its signature Big Macs. Some tweaks have also been made to the cooking process to yield a more consistent sear and meltier cheese, and the company is adding white onions at the grill for a caramelized flavor.

The changes were first introduced in a few international markets, including Australia, Canada, and Belgium. They have already started rolling out in some markets on the West Coast and are now available in Los Angeles, Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Sacramento, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Salt Lake City, Denver, Boise, Tucson, and surrounding cities. They will be available nationwide by 2024.  

“We found that small changes, like tweaking our process to get hotter, meltier cheese and adjusting our grill settings for a better sear, added up to a big difference in making our burgers more flavorful than ever,” Chef Chad Schafer, senior director of culinary innovation, said in a statement.

“Our classic burgers are what made McDonald's famous. They’ve become a cultural icon over the years. We saw the opportunity to make a few changes in our kitchens to make them even more delicious and get back to what people loved most about them in the first place… making them hotter, juicier and tastier," Tariq Hassan, McDonald’s USA Chief Marketing and Customer Experience Officer, said in a statement. 

According to a company spokesperson, no changes have been made on suppliers or equipment and pricing won’t be impacted, though prices are determined by individual restaurant and may vary.

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.

McDonald’s also upgraded its chicken sandwich in 2021 and has since renamed it as the McChicken. During the company’s most recent earnings call, CEO Chris Kempczinski said McDonald’s is gaining share in chicken and called the McChicken an “emerging global equity.”

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. During the chain’s Q4 earnings call, 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.”

McDonald’s has had several quarters of strong sales and has largely outperformed its quick-service peers. In Q4, same-store sales were up over 10%, for instance. At the end of last year, Loop Capital Markets predicted these new burgers could lift U.S. comp sales by 400 to 500 basis points by the second half of 2023.

To promote the new burgers, McDonald’s is bringing back the Hamburglar.

To get the word out, we’re bringing back a McDonald’s favorite – the Hamburglar – because what better way to show just how good they are than to turn the most notorious burger thief loose in our marketing campaign, as he tries to get his hands on our best burgers ever," Hassan said. 

The character was first introduced in the early 1970s but hasn’t made many appearances since the 2015 rollout of McDonald’s sirloin burger. The Hamburglar will star in McDonald’s newest commercial – here and here – airing in select cities starting next week. 

Contact Alicia Kelso at [email protected]

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