Whoever said gourmet and fast food don’t mix have yet to make their own burgers at McDonald’s spanking new ‘Create Your Taste’ kiosks.
In a move than no loyal McDonald’s customer could have ever foreseen from a few years back, the fast food giant has recently introduced the ‘Create Your Taste’ option, allowing customers to customize their very own gourmet burger with over 30 delicious ingredients to choose from.
Freedom of Choice
This comes as surprise for many who have always seen McDonald’s as a fast food restaurant, whether these are the loyal customers who visit the stores for quick service meals they can take on the go, or even the critics who refuse to see anything but the calories and the grease.
But fear not, for McDonald’s is not getting a sudden facelift. It still is the fast food giant a lot of people love. But while the quarter pounder, Chicken McNuggets, and other favorites are still available, the ‘Create Your Taste’ option actually allows customers to skip the line and go straight to a kiosk, where they can pick their own ingredients and create their own burger through a fancy device.
Many factors could be behind this change. One can argue that to stay relevant in the competitive landscape of restaurants, you have to pay attention to the growing trends affecting the purchasing behavior of customers, especially the millennials. People are becoming a lot more conscious about what they eat, and you have customers who are hungry for the freedom of choice.
The ‘Create Your Taste’ option provided by McDonald’s is, at the end of the day, all about that. Why get a burger with the usual generic dressing when you can customize one with Sriracha mayo? Why settle for a pickle when you can get freshly sliced jalapeños?
How Gourmet is Gourmet?
But is it really gourmet? From the sheer number of options alone, you would really want to take your time to think and mull over what you really want in that special burger. Just look at this:
1. Special Buns
Say goodbye to the usual bun that fast food burgers come with, because to enjoy your new gourmet burger you can pick from a ciabatta roll, an artisan roll, or you can even skip the unhealthy carbs and opt for lettuce wrap instead.
2. Say Cheese
There are so many kinds of cheese, and this time you don’t have to settle for something you didn’t pick. Whether that’s American cheese, Pepper Jack, or Natural Sharp White Cheddar, you’re the boss of what you eat. You can even mix it up, and you also get to dictate how much cheese you want.
3. Meaty Goodness
Like what you’d expect from a gourmet burger, you can opt for a sirloin patty instead of the usual quarter pounder, and you can even add Applewood smoked bacon if that suits your taste.
4. Veggie Galore
The kiosk gives you so much more than your usual pickle. Believe it or not, you can actually add grilled mushrooms, grilled onions, crisp green leaf lettuce, freshly sliced tomatoes, sliced jalapeños, crisp red onions, and crinkle cut pickles.
You can also customize depending on what kind of sauce (or combination of sauces) you’re in the mood for, and the options include the usual special sauce of McDonald’s, mustard, ketchup, mayonnaise, sweet barbecue, creamy garlic sauce, and Sriracha mayo.
6. Surprise Add-ons
If the options are not yet enough to excite you, there are other surprise add-ons that you rarely see in fast food restaurants, much less a McDonald’s menu. Think guacamole and chili lime tortilla strips (to add that special crunch to your gourmet burger).
Once you’ve customized your own burger, the fancy screen allows you to review your order and make it a meal by adding a drink and fries. You can pay for it in the kiosk itself using a card, or opt to pay in cash by going to the counter. With a minimum price of $5.99, it’s a little more expensive than your quarter pounder ($3.79), but many people are willing to pay that price for a better burger.
After 8-10 minutes, one of the kitchen staff brings your burger to wherever you’re seated, and it’s packaged in a special brown box with a clear plastic ‘window’. It is also served open-faced, so you can see your creation for yourself.
Making Burgers Cool Again
In the U.S., this ‘Create Your Taste’ option is available in one of the McDonald’s branches in New York (58th Street corner 3rd Avenue). For New Yorkers who want to take out their burgers and bring them to work, it comes in a fancy (and discreet) brown paper bag that doesn’t carry the McDonald’s logo.
Time will tell if this is something the mass market will embrace, but the novelty is surely something that will make waves. ‘Create Your Taste’ is also currently available in Singapore, Australia and New Zealand.