McDonald’s looks to ‘enhance brand image’ with premium burger launch

After four years of preparation, McDonald’s is launching a ‘Signature Collection’ of premium burgers, aimed at changing quality perceptions among the British public.

The ‘Signature Collection’ will be trialled in 28 restaurants in London and the east of England for six months and was created by McDonald’s and its Chefs Council, which includes a team of chefs with a Michelin star background.

The premium burgers are priced at around £4.69 for a sandwich and around £6.19 for a meal, roughly 30p more expensive than a regular meal or burger on the menu.

The brand is hoping to roll out the range across the country next summer and make it a permanent part of the menu in 400 restaurants that have been renovated as part of the ongoing ‘Experience of the Future’ transformation programme.

As part of the refurbishment, McDonald’s has introduced new restaurant layouts and introduced new technology into kitchens, meaning menu items will be made to order for customers.

The new premium range of burgers feature a thicker beef patty made from 100% British and Irish beef and is available in three varieties – The Classic, The BBQ and The Spicy.

McDonald’s is introducing the collection after customer insight revealed that consumers wanted a thicker beef burger made with high-quality freshly prepared ingredients.

Duncan Cruttenden, food development director at McDonald’s says it was “a brief made by customers” and that the feedback the brand has received has been “the most positive ever”.

“The range will enhance the image of the brand and provide another reason for customers to come into McDonald’s, as it’s different from our promotional and core menu,” he tells Marketing Week.

Because it is a localised trial, Cruttenden says the brand is reliant on local advertising to get the word out.

“The number of sales may be lower than other products on the menu that are advertised nationally, but we will be looking at lifting perceptions around quality,” he says.

This is the most recent innovation introduced by McDonald’s aimed at changing customer perceptions. In September this year it launched a new campaign aimed at showing off the quality of its ingredients in the brand’s chicken nuggets and beef burgers.

If the new burger trial proves successful, McDonald’s is looking to introduce further innovations such as mobile ordering and wireless phone charging, as well as expanding its table service.

“As more stores are refurbished under the ‘Experience of the future’ programme, it will unlock even more innovations, including table service and wireless charging,” Cruttenden explains.

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