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Friday, December 13, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Business

Can McDonald’s finally make a premium burger work?

UPDATED: Mon., May 1, 2017

McDonald’s new premium sandwiches include the Maple Bacon Dijon with grilled onions, thick-cut bacon and Dijon sauce. (McDonald’s)
McDonald’s new premium sandwiches include the Maple Bacon Dijon with grilled onions, thick-cut bacon and Dijon sauce. (McDonald’s)
By Samantha Bomkamp Chicago Tribune

CHICAGO – McDonald’s has launched a line of premium mix-and-match sandwiches it calls Signature Crafted, a pricier option it hopes customers will bite onto despite their focus on value.

The Signature Crafted line features three topping choices: Maple Bacon Dijon (grilled onions, thick-cut bacon and Dijon sauce); Sweet BBQ Bacon (barbecue sauce, bacon and crispy onions) and Pico Guacamole (avocado, pico de gallo and buttermilk ranch sauce). All come with white cheddar cheese. The topping options are available on a burger patty or grilled or crispy chicken. The new line, which rolls out nationwide this week, costs around $5. The timing of the rollout varies by market, and some restaurants offered the sandwiches earlier than this week.

The Signature Crafted line was developed after McDonald’s discontinued Create Your Taste, an entirely customizable sandwich platform.

Speed is a critical consideration for McDonald’s and other fast-food chains rolling out new sandwiches, as too many options can bog down kitchens and slow the arrival of a customer’s food.

But McDonald’s may face another problem with the unveiling of Signature Crafted: Customers may not be willing to fork over $5 for a burger. The world’s largest burger chain, based in suburban Chicago, said in March that the higher-priced versions of its value option, McPick2, didn’t work. The Golden Arches also said it has lost millions of customer visits over the past five years, since it first moved away from the dollar menu.

Premium burger options have had little success at McDonald’s. The company has tried a number of options, from the Arch Deluxe to Sirloin Burgers, that it eventually discontinued.

But CEO Steve Easterbrook says he’s confident that customers will flock to the new options, which will be available with cooked-to-order fresh beef by the middle of next year. To balance out the price of a meal, McDonald’s earlier this year cut beverage prices, offering $1 soda and brewed coffee. It also offers frequent promotions for free fries and other discounts through its mobile app.

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