Beefing up? McDonald’s announces changes to hamburgers

The company says small changes will produce its “hottest, tastiest and juiciest burgers yet,” but Chicago will have to wait until September to get them.

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A customer uses a kiosk at a McDonald’s restaurant inside the chain’s Fulton Market headquarters in 2018 McDonald’s is changing its burgers.

A customer uses a kiosk at a McDonald’s restaurant inside the chain’s Fulton Market headquarters in 2018. McDonald’s announced Monday that it is making small changes to its burgers.

Sun-Times file

McDonald’s is changing its hamburgers.

In an announcement that will thrill some and justify others in their preference for Wendy’s or Burger King, McDonald’s said Monday it is making small changes to improve its sandwiches.

The Chicago-based chain said nothing is wrong with the current selections, mind you, but that the new editions will be its “hottest, juiciest and tastiest burgers yet.”

It said the changes will include adding white onions to the patties while they’re still on the grill for caramelized flavor, providing “perfectly melted cheese” and improving the bun to make it softer and pillowy. The Big Macs will get more of the special sauce, too.

The company said Australia, Canada and Belgium have had the revisions and given them a thumbs-up. The better burgers are now available on the West Coast. Chicago is expected to get them by September, and the company said they’ll be nationwide by 2024.

Chad Schafer, the company’s senior director of culinary innovation, said his team found ways to deliver “more of that iconic McDonald’s taste.” In a news release, he said, “We found that small changes, like tweaking our process to get hotter, meltier cheese and adjusting our grill settings for a better sear, added up to a big difference in making our burgers more flavorful than ever.”

McDonald’s is bringing back an old advertising character, the Hamburglar, to herald the switch. The changes will apply to the hamburger, cheeseburger, double cheeseburger, McDouble and Big Mac. Prices are not expected to change.

The menu move comes as McDonald’s has completed the layoff of several hundred corporate employees, some of them at the Chicago headquarters, in a drive for efficiency.

The cutbacks follow the fast-food fixture’s acknowledgement that inflation and difficulty in hiring at some locations has affected its operations. For 2022, McDonald’s reported an increase in revenue but a decline in its profit after currency adjustments.

There are about 13,500 McDonald’s in the United States and 40,000 worldwide.

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