McDonald’s appears to be taking Wendy’s tip on never-frozen beef patties, as the franchise has been replacing its frozen beef with fresh beef since last year.
McDonald’s is changing its burger patties from frozen to fresh in more than 300 of its restaurants in North Texas, according to the Business Insider.
For years, suppliers have provided frozen patties to the food chains’ more than 14,000 restaurants across the country, but that won’t be the case anymore.
The drastic change will apply to McDonald’s quarter-pound burgers – the quarter-pounder with cheese, the double quarter-pounder with cheese, the quarter-pounder deluxe, and the bacon clubhouse burger, the Business Insider noted.
“This collection of McDonald’s restaurants…appears to mark the largest expansion to date of McDonald’s U.S. test of never-frozen beef,” Mark Kalinowski, restaurant analyst, wrote in a note to clients, according to the Business Insider. “We view this latest expansion of never-frozen beef for quarter-pound beef patties as another signal as to the direction McDonald’s U.S. is likely to head – more test markets/restaurants are likely to introduce never-frozen beef in coming months.”
Wendy’s has been selling burgers with fresh beef for years, a big selling point for the fast-food chain, as many consumers say fresh beef patties provide a better-tasting burger.
The success that Wendy’s has had with its fresh burgers could also mean future success for McDonald’s now that they’ve decided to move away from the frozen patties amid drops in sales.
According to The Street, McDonald’s began testing the use of fresh patties for its quarter-pound burgers in the spring of last year.
Although the fresh patties have been tested at nearly 330 McDonald’s franchises, when the tests first started they were only implemented in 14 of the company’s restaurants around the country.
Kalinowski said the change brings its share of health risks, though.
“An uncaring employee doing something that puts the entire system at risk” is something the franchise worries about, according to Kalinowski. “We are the lightning rod. Chipotle will be a walk in the park if we have an incident.”
“If we do not handle the meat perfectly there is the opportunity for bacterial invasion of our product,” said another franchisee.
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