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McDonald’s Tries “Signature Burger”

Filed under Burger, Test Market

McDonald's Signature Burger testMcDonald’s is creating new menu items again. In selected markets the chain is trying out a “Signature Burger,” a new low-price entry that anchors what’s been rechristened the “Lovin’ Value Menu.”

The Signature Burger doesn’t bring new ingredients to the McDonald’s pantry. It combines two regular burger patties with white Cheddar cheese, tomato, lettuce and creamy Dijon mustard sauce. It’s on a potato bun that’s a step up from most of the burgers on what used to be the Dollar Menu & More.

Test drive-thru menu boards don’t mention the Dollar Menu & More. Instead they promote the Lovin’ Value Menu’s “Mini Meals,” which are higher-margin combo meals involving items that were on the Dollar Menu & More. The Signature Burger is $2.49 by itself (prices may vary). But with small fries and small soft drink it tops the new Mini Meal category at $3.99. With a not-so-mini medium soft drink & fries the price is $4.69. That brings it close to the $4.99 a la carte price for the premium-tier Third Pound Sirloin burgers.

Other Mini Meal combos promoted up high on the drive-thru menu board being tried are a $3.39 McDouble Mini Meal, $2.99 Cheeseburger Mini Meal, $3.49 Double Cheeseburger Mini Meal and $2.99 McChicken Mini Meal. These items also are listed lower on the menu board at their a la carte prices (again, not with the Dollar Menu & More name), a duplication that runs counter to the menu streamlining and simplification McDonald’s says it is seeking.

Another interesting element of the Lovin’ Value Menu in test is a Classic Pack boxed meal. If you’re a longtime BurgerBusiness.com reader, you know I’ve been talking about multi-person boxed meals since McDonald’s Australia introduced the Dinner Box in 2010. It has taken five years, but the boxed multi-person meal finally seems ready for the big time in the U.S. after spreading just about everywhere else in the global McDonald’s system. As tested, the $13.99 Classic Pack has two Quarter Pounder with Cheese or two Big Macs (or mix and match) plus two medium fries, three sauces and a 20-piece Chicken McNuggets. The menu board say it “serves 4” though two young adults with hearty appetites might disagree.

In his May 4 video speech outlining the beginnings of his turnaround plan, McDonald’s CEO Steve Easterbrook promised, “Stronger insights underpinning the development of a compelling and sustainable everyday value proposition this summer to drive sales.” This “Lovin’ Value Menu” platform with its Mini Meal combos and Signature Burger certainly may be parts of that.

McDonald’s summer menu also will see the return of Frozen Strawberry Lemonade plus a new beverage: a McCafé Green Apple Smoothie.

12 Responses to McDonald’s Tries “Signature Burger”

  1. Hamburger Fool

    A new bun is definitely a step in the right direction and a green apple smoothie sounds interesting. I would try the burger just for the new bun but in my opinion this still falls short of the bold moves that Easterbrook promised and still feels very safe.

  2. Rae

    McD’s needs to go back to the basics. Go back to what they do best. They are fast food with a drive up window. All these new spins to be somebody else has their staff so confused they don’t know what they’re putting in a takeout bag. Can’t get an order right.

  3. Chuck

    Concept is similar to Culver’s Snack Pack, but it’s questionable whether or not the potato bun will have the taste and widespread appeal that’s needed here. I recently had a McDouble on a deluxe sesame seed bun that was way too heavy for the sandwich!

  4. SanDiegoInExile

    Mini Meals have been on California menu boards for at least 5 years, if not longer. They started out @1.99-$2.39 and have gradually risen to roughly $3.39-3.99. Only three options: DoubleCheeseburger, 4Nuggets, or McChicken. Since most stores now charge $1.99-$2.39 for the small fry, the mini meal is a good deal for a quick bite and better than the 10-spot needed for any of their mainline combo “deals”. I often grab a Mini-Meal during a couple-hour roadtrip.

    Adding more options seems to only make life even more complicated for staff.

    I may be an outlier, but the Big Fancy Bun is just wasted on the tiny burgers. I would have tremendous respect for any chain that right-sized their bun to match the half-dollar-sized burgers they try to pass off as “burgers”. I don’t want an inch of bun all around the burger.

  5. Chuck

    SanDiegoInExile Agree with you about Big Fancy Buns on small burgers. Ray Kroc must be rolling over in his grave about downsizing his double cheeseburger patties and beefing up the buns. I do like the Artisan Bun quite a lot but on the quarter pounder. We just don’t need a mouthful of bread and the calories that go with it.

  6. James Booth

    I’d strip that menu down to the bare noogies, bring back animal fat for the fries(and tell all who complain to stick it in their ear). Then focus on speed of execution. Lighting fast hot food like it used to be. that’s all we want!Keep shakes and stripped down breakfast with good coffee. Remove all cafe drinks, salads, wraps and whatever other crapola you added over the years.

  7. So be In-N-Out? Could be worse.

  8. Jonathan Wayne

    James is my hero.

  9. Jan

    Signature burger would be much better with their “special sauce” instead of the mustard sauce.

  10. Dave

    It’s ridiculous that McDonald’s has a NEW menu item and calls it a “signature burger”. Signature is something that an establishment is known for, so creating a new product and calling it that is a total joke. They are inept at marketing.

  11. Wayne

    Ya I thought they already had a “Signature” burger, the Big Mac. I don’t know if I’ll try this though, aside from the aforementioned Big Mac, I don’t care for double patties, only singles.
    I just don’t get them. McDonalds says they need to trim the menu, yet they introduce new items. It is normal to have LTO’s but get rid of something. Get back to basics.

  12. Anne

    New bun on sugnature burger is too sweet