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General Category => General Discussion => Topic started by: rukawa on May 05, 2018, 01:26:57 PM

Title: Did McDonalds Ever have a great burger?
Post by: rukawa on May 05, 2018, 01:26:57 PM
Watching the Founder and even reading books about McDonalds it seems like there was a time when they had a great tasting burger. At some point though they switched from fresh to frozen meat. And lately they are making a switch back to fresh meat. Did McDonalds ever have a good burger?

Before the switch from fresh to frozen in 1973, a test was conducted and the supplier, Equity Meat Company, had to prove that frozen was as good as fresh to a highly skeptical McDonalds president Fred Turner. Equity had some special flash freezing cryogenic method. Supposedly the test was a success. I don't get how that is possible. The difference today is pretty obvious.
Title: Re: Did McDonalds Ever have a great burger?
Post by: StubbleJumper on May 05, 2018, 02:43:18 PM
Well, I'd say a great burger compared to what?  In the 1970s and early 80s, McDs was about the only game in town for a burger.  Sure, you could go to a mom and pop diner and get a burger, but my memory is that there wasn't much competition.  And their fries, which were cooked in tallow, were uniquely good.

Fast forward about 30 or so years, and burgers are a big deal in North American cuisine.  Any decent sized city has boutique burger joints which sell an outstanding burger, as well as any number of chains which are positioned higher in the market than McDs (Five Guys, etc).  It's pretty easy to find a burger that blows the snot out of McDs, but you need to be prepared to pay a little more and you need to be prepared to wait a little longer.

When I travel by car, I make extensive use of McDs because I know exactly what to expect: a passable burger, clean washrooms, decent coffee, fast service and a relatively low price.  It's perfect for when you are on the road but it's a bottom of the barrel option for your home city.


SJ
Title: Re: Did McDonalds Ever have a great burger?
Post by: rb on May 05, 2018, 06:44:35 PM
I actually like the Big Mac. I also liked the Big Extra but unfortunately it's no longer with us. I will also echo what SJ said about the road. I travel around quite a bit by car and McDonalds on the road is awesome!

Personally I think that the world is getting pretty snotty these days. I don't actually need a $20 burger made in a special way with tears of virgins or whatever. A big mac is quite satisfactory.
Title: Re: Did McDonalds Ever have a great burger?
Post by: DooDiligence on May 13, 2018, 05:16:48 PM
McDonalds had a great burger when I was 5.

It's all about the Egg McMuffin for me.
Coffee's not to bad either.
Title: Re: Did McDonalds Ever have a great burger?
Post by: rkbabang on May 14, 2018, 07:48:36 AM
McDonalds had a great burger when I was 5.

It's all about the Egg McMuffin for me.
Coffee's not to bad either.

The new 1/4 pounders are pretty good.  But I agree with you about the egg McMuffin and the coffee.  I usually make my coffee at home, but in a pinch I like McDonalds coffee better than Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks and it's cheaper too.  And the Egg McMuffin and Sausage McMuffin w/ egg are far and away better than any gross microwaved egg sandwich you can get at Dunkin Donuts.

Maybe McDonalds has never had a great burger, but they have always had a good burger.   I just wish they'd go back to using tallow for their fries, because they used to have great fries.
Title: Re: Did McDonalds Ever have a great burger?
Post by: dcollon on May 14, 2018, 08:05:37 AM
I think Rory Sutherland, among others, has made some good statements about McDonald's which relates to your question.

"This conservatism applies to our taste in food: we feel very comfortable eating food which tastes identical to food we have eaten in the past, since the very fact that we are contemplating the decision is evidence that it did not kill us in the past. Ray Kroc, the former owner of McDonald's, spotted this tendency: "People don't want the best burger in the world," he stated, "they want one which tastes just like the one they had last time."

https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/9614-profile-ogilvy-s-rory-sutherland-on-human-behaviour-and-innovation
http://www.wired.co.uk/article/rory-sutherland-knows-how-to-save-marketing
Title: Re: Did McDonalds Ever have a great burger?
Post by: boilermaker75 on May 14, 2018, 12:01:15 PM
McDonalds had a great burger when I was 5.

It's all about the Egg McMuffin for me.
Coffee's not to bad either.

The new 1/4 pounders are pretty good.  But I agree with you about the egg McMuffin and the coffee.  I usually make my coffee at home, but in a pinch I like McDonalds coffee better than Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks and it's cheaper too.  And the Egg McMuffin and Sausage McMuffin w/ egg are far and away better than any gross microwaved egg sandwich you can get at Dunkin Donuts.

Maybe McDonalds has never had a great burger, but they have always had a good burger.   I just wish they'd go back to using tallow for their fries, because they used to have great fries.

I use the McCafe coffee at home. I find it better than Starbucks and I can sometimes find the 12 oz bag on sale for $4.99, and then I buy 10 bags.
Title: Re: Did McDonalds Ever have a great burger?
Post by: cherzeca on May 14, 2018, 03:27:17 PM
my mom would bribe me to go to school when i was in kindergarten by having a Mcd burger for lunch.  i went for a half day and my mom taught at the school, so she would make the daily lunch drive. this is 1958.  great bun, warm pickle, meat was same as now as far as i remember.  great golden arches, and servers wore white. 
Title: Re: Did McDonalds Ever have a great burger?
Post by: DooDiligence on May 16, 2018, 05:25:39 AM
McDonalds had a great burger when I was 5.

It's all about the Egg McMuffin for me.
Coffee's not to bad either.

The new 1/4 pounders are pretty good.  But I agree with you about the egg McMuffin and the coffee.  I usually make my coffee at home, but in a pinch I like McDonalds coffee better than Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks and it's cheaper too.  And the Egg McMuffin and Sausage McMuffin w/ egg are far and away better than any gross microwaved egg sandwich you can get at Dunkin Donuts.

Maybe McDonalds has never had a great burger, but they have always had a good burger.   I just wish they'd go back to using tallow for their fries, because they used to have great fries.

Oh my God, and the pies, WhyTF did they ever quit frying them?
Who do they think they're fooling with a baked apple pie?
Title: Re: Did McDonalds Ever have a great burger?
Post by: DCG on May 16, 2018, 05:31:06 AM
The Egg McMuffin Meal and the occasional ice cream sunday (or that Oreo flurry thing) are pretty much the only things I ever get there. I think their coffee is usually pretty terrible, but I usually get it with the McMuffin meal.
Title: Re: Did McDonalds Ever have a great burger?
Post by: rkbabang on May 16, 2018, 05:36:26 AM
McDonalds had a great burger when I was 5.

It's all about the Egg McMuffin for me.
Coffee's not to bad either.

The new 1/4 pounders are pretty good.  But I agree with you about the egg McMuffin and the coffee.  I usually make my coffee at home, but in a pinch I like McDonalds coffee better than Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks and it's cheaper too.  And the Egg McMuffin and Sausage McMuffin w/ egg are far and away better than any gross microwaved egg sandwich you can get at Dunkin Donuts.

Maybe McDonalds has never had a great burger, but they have always had a good burger.   I just wish they'd go back to using tallow for their fries, because they used to have great fries.

Oh my God, and the pies, WhyTF did they ever quit frying them?
Who do they think they're fooling with a baked apple pie?

What? You don't like surgery apple filling wrapped in glazed cardboard?  I'm surprised they even keep those on the menu, they must throw out more of them than they sell.
Title: Re: Did McDonalds Ever have a great burger?
Post by: Cardboard on May 16, 2018, 05:44:52 AM
"I think their coffee is usually pretty terrible."

I see a big difference between Canada and U.S. (at least Southern). Canadian Mc Cafe is pretty good IMO.

Cardboard
Title: Re: Did McDonalds Ever have a great burger?
Post by: maxthetrade on May 16, 2018, 06:03:21 AM
I liked the Arche Deluxe, the mustard mayo was really good. If I recall correctly they even hired a famous chef who created the sauce.
Title: Re: Did McDonalds Ever have a great burger?
Post by: oddballstocks on May 16, 2018, 06:07:58 AM
After years of not eating McDonalds I find myself there more now.

A few reasons:
1) For a family of six on the road it's cheap.  Most places have a basket of fries, or some bulk purchasing option.  Kids eat a LOT
2) Quality is consistent, it's a LOT better than it was in the past.
3) Facilities are clean, service is fast
4) There is something for everyone on the menu

When on road trips we used to stop at Wendy's and Burger King, but I can't begin to count how many nasty BK's we've been to, or Wendy's in disrepair.  Maybe the franchisees have more control, I don't know, but the quality has dropped.

The coffee at McD is fine, better than Dunkin.  I don't get the obsession with Dunkin, they serve extremely hot tasteless coffee.  Maybe that's it? People don't like their coffee to have flavor?

If I want a good burger I'll go to a local place.  But when traveling McD usually gets a visit.
Title: Re: Did McDonalds Ever have a great burger?
Post by: rkbabang on May 16, 2018, 06:11:41 AM
The Egg McMuffin Meal and the occasional ice cream sunday (or that Oreo flurry thing) are pretty much the only things I ever get there. I think their coffee is usually pretty terrible, but I usually get it with the McMuffin meal.

It depends on where you live.  Their coffee is actually different regionally.  In New England McDonalds sources its coffee from Green Mountain Coffee Roasters and it is pretty good.  In other parts of the country they source it from 3 other companies (S&D Coffee, Gavina Gourmet Coffee, & Distant Lands Coffee).  I'm not sure about outside the US.
Title: Re: Did McDonalds Ever have a great burger?
Post by: oddballstocks on May 16, 2018, 06:23:52 AM
Random story time.

I worked with a guy who's dad was an exec for Yum Foods for a while.  He was an exec at McD too I believe.  Anyways...

He said they had this tasting room.  It was a restaurant for employees where they had new creations to sample.  The idea was to get feedback, so if you ate this you had to rate it.  If something was rated highly from employees they'd move it forward.

He said they'd have a shelf full of variations of items.  Ranging from total nasty flops, to hits that they couldn't figure out how to mass produce.  Items in this cafeteria might only appear for a day or two.

It was a cool idea.

I remember around the same time reading an article about McD and their challenges with menu selections.  They debated making a shrimp item, but if they were to do it they'd deplete the world's stock of shrimp in less than a year.  That was mind-blowing.  So the challenging is sourcing so much and making it scalable. 
Title: Re: Did McDonalds Ever have a great burger?
Post by: BG2008 on May 16, 2018, 07:10:34 AM
As someone who loves seafood, the thought of MCD depleting all the shrimp in the world scares the heck out of me.
Title: Re: Did McDonalds Ever have a great burger?
Post by: mrholty on May 16, 2018, 09:52:20 AM
Random story time.

I worked with a guy who's dad was an exec for Yum Foods for a while.  He was an exec at McD too I believe.  Anyways...

He said they had this tasting room.  It was a restaurant for employees where they had new creations to sample.  The idea was to get feedback, so if you ate this you had to rate it.  If something was rated highly from employees they'd move it forward.

He said they'd have a shelf full of variations of items.  Ranging from total nasty flops, to hits that they couldn't figure out how to mass produce.  Items in this cafeteria might only appear for a day or two.

It was a cool idea.

I remember around the same time reading an article about McD and their challenges with menu selections.  They debated making a shrimp item, but if they were to do it they'd deplete the world's stock of shrimp in less than a year.  That was mind-blowing.  So the challenging is sourcing so much and making it scalable.

Their chicken wings last year pushed the price up globally. 
Title: Re: Did McDonalds Ever have a great burger?
Post by: jmp8822 on May 16, 2018, 11:44:14 AM
Most places have a basket of fries, or some bulk purchasing option.

Wait, what? McDonald's offers a size of fries bigger than 'large'?  How much does it cost? How many fries compared to one large fry?
Title: Re: Did McDonalds Ever have a great burger?
Post by: oddballstocks on May 16, 2018, 11:56:35 AM
Most places have a basket of fries, or some bulk purchasing option.

Wait, what? McDonald's offers a size of fries bigger than 'large'?  How much does it cost? How many fries compared to one large fry?

In PA they had baskets.  It was cheap, a few dollars.  Imagine the 20 piece nugget box, it was like that but with higher walls filled to the brim with fries.  You could get that with two burgers for $5 OTD.  We'd get two of those, plus something for my wife and I and it'd be $14 for a family of six.
Title: Re: Did McDonalds Ever have a great burger?
Post by: The Falcon on May 16, 2018, 01:48:07 PM
I think Rory Sutherland, among others, has made some good statements about McDonald's which relates to your question.

"This conservatism applies to our taste in food: we feel very comfortable eating food which tastes identical to food we have eaten in the past, since the very fact that we are contemplating the decision is evidence that it did not kill us in the past. Ray Kroc, the former owner of McDonald's, spotted this tendency: "People don't want the best burger in the world," he stated, "they want one which tastes just like the one they had last time."

https://www.econsultancy.com/blog/9614-profile-ogilvy-s-rory-sutherland-on-human-behaviour-and-innovation
http://www.wired.co.uk/article/rory-sutherland-knows-how-to-save-marketing

Love Rory Sutherland. As an other poster has raised.... when our visiting clients, the Golden Arches bathrooms are a savior.....medium quarter pounder meal and then on with business. Too easy. Sure, the food is pretty crap but itís not about that.