I've sampled enough unfrozen, HOTG sandwiches to have some opinions in my role as
a McDonald's customer.
Is it a better product? ... Sometimes.
As I consumed the first few QPCs I was struck with the thought, "For 45 years McDonald's
has been over-cooking all those millions of quarter pound patties".
I've sampled about 40 sandwiches over the past few months and my impressions are:
* In a Quarter Pound with Cheese it's better than frozen but only when everything is
That's because the QPC is a pretty simple sandwich.
* In the Signature Sandwiches the difference in meat patties is unnoticeable. There is so much going on in each of those sandwiches, so many flavors, so many textures that the actual meat patty gets lost in the battle. This lack of difference will become even more noticeable as the builds become more exotic, Angus flavoring, etc.
* One in five patties were pink enough to have failed previous food safety standards. Now,
don't get me wrong, I like them that way. As a McDonald's Operator I'd often cook a couple
of quarter pound patties as a low carb, high protein lunch. They were quite pink in the center and I would have never served them to a customer.
However, McDonald's has been overcooking beef patties for so many decades McDonald's customers don't know what a "medium" patty looks like. I foresee many returned sandwiches.
* I was served a few sandwiches that were dripping with fat (very unusual at McDonald's). And, about a third of the sandwiches did not have the brown wrapper, just the box and
the sandwich. That wrapper is essential, especially with the Signature sandwiches and if
the sandwich is eaten on the road.
* There is a perceptible slowing of service times at the stores I visit regularly. I'm seeing
more cars pulled to the side and more long waits at the presentation window. Since I'm
not in the kitchen I can't tell what's holding things up or if this slow down is related to
HOTG. It might be the nationwide staffing problems. Maybe it's the three patty thing.
Will this change increase sales at McDonald's? Will it be worth the hassles and risks? I'm
sure there will be a lot of trial when the advertising begins but only time will tell if it
will build sales.
Meanwhile, Wendy's and other competitors will continue to bark about frozen beef at McDonald's. Unfrozen quarter patties will not solve that problem.