McDonald's Trying Out 'Build-Your-Own Burger' In Select Markets

By Jon Graef in Food on Nov 23, 2013 8:30PM

Crain's Chicago Business reported recently that McDonald's, the Oakbrook, IL., based fast food behemoth, is testing out a build-your-own burger option in certain markets.

No word on when the "pay our employees a living wage" market test will begin.

Crain's writes that the DIY burgers will "hit the grill [when] they are ordered," unlike those delightful little yellow wrapper morsels that are pre-made.

Given how some Mickey D's employees act towards customers, this all really seems like tempting fate.

Here's more:

A month-long build-your-own burger test recently ended at a McDonald's restaurant in southwest suburban Romeoville. A similar test, where customers use an iPad to select toppings, is underway in Laguna Niguel, Calif., according to the Orange County Register. Those burgers cost $5.79 (a buck more for bacon), about a dollar more than what a Big Mac costs in downtown Chicago, making it the most expensive item on the menu.

While Oak Brook-based McDonald's said it's too early to tell whether the DIY idea would be replicated at any other restaurants, the company does want to learn if customers are open to the idea that's already a hit at competitors such as Five Guys of Lorton, Va., and Chicago-based Epic Burger.

"Therein lies the real question — whether McDonald's can shift the mindset of being a traditional quick-serve restaurant," said R.J. Hottovy, a restaurant analyst at Morningstar Inc. in Chicago.

Yes! Shift "traditional quick-serve restaurant" mindset to a model that, as the article itself pointed out not even two paragraphs ago, has already been done at least twice before. ["Already a hit at competitors such as Five Guys of Lorton, Va., and Chicago-based Epic Burger."]

That's business innovation if we've ever heard it.