McDonald’s serves up fresh burgers

18 Eastern Shore stores no longer use frozen patties
May 13, 2018

Local McDonald’s restaurants are now serving up cooked-to-order quarter-pound burgers, the most significant menu change since launching all-day breakfast in 2015, according to Mike Meoli, owner of 18 McDonald’s restaurants on the Eastern Shore.

“Customers are demanding a better burger and healthier options,” Meoli said. “All my restaurants now serve fresh, 100% beef quarter-pounders.”

Before, McDonald’s quarter-pounders had always been pre-made with frozen patties, and sat on a warmer until a customer ordered one. Now, refrigerated beef patties are served hot off the grill, prepared only when an order is placed. National McDonald’s chains will follow suit in May.

The change required special grills, an employee dedicated to grilling the fresh burgers and new food-safety procedures. Not only will customers notice a juicier burger, they’ll receive it quicker, too. Preparing the fresh burger takes about 20 seconds less time than the traditional frozen burger, according to McDonald’s Director of Operations Joe Holthaus.

Orders can be personalized and purchased in person, on the McDonald’s mobile app and on the restaurant lobby kiosks. Kiosk customers take a GPS-equipped plastic table tent to their tables, so employees can deliver orders directly to them. The height-adjustable kiosk screens offer a choice of languages and a magnifying feature.

“Contrary to what people may think, the kiosks aren’t eliminating staff. We actually had to add staff to enhance the guest experience,” Holthaus said. “It’s the next level of customer service, and what the digital-age customer wants.”

Meoli, who just returned from a worldwide McDonald’s convention, says additional service upgrades and new food items are coming soon.

“There’s a lot happening at McDonald’s, and it’s an exciting time to be a part of it,” he said.