Our thoughts on McDonald’s Create Your Taste UK
Today we are going to talk a bit more about McDonald’s Create Your Taste and what it could mean for the UK.
Now in our experience, unless people are smacked in the face with a news story they continue blissfully unaware of happenings in the fast food lane. The most recent example of this is McDonald’s offering table service… and don’t get me started on All Day Breakfast. I wish people would understand that the USA is their MAJOR market and it only makes sense to roll it out there first and if successful, perhaps we could see it here too! After all, America boasts 14,339 restaurants compared to 1,241 in the UK (source: McDonald’s 2014 Financial Information). You see my point…
What also astounds me is that for all the expert journalism out there nobody put the touch screen kiosks and table service testing together. Hello…!? You have the technology in place to create an order and McD’s are going to be doing table service. Common… it’s not to “provide a better experience to customers” like I’ve seen quoted. It’s obvious. Test how table service goes with the standard menu so that staff get used to the process. Then boom. Once the majority of restaurants get touch screen kiosks installed (and kitchens upgraded to “Experience of the Future” standard) we should be good to go with Create Your Taste. I just hope some of the negativity we see on Twitter directed at the new ordering system means we don’t get it. But I have a feeling we will…
|Create Your Taste at McDonald’s Hong Kong…|
Smart McDonald’s fans such as you, will know the concept of Create Your Taste. America, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, Kuwait and China are the most notable countries to get it so far. It enables the customer to in essence, build their own burger from an array of ingredients. We’re not going to go into too much detail about what’s on offer and for an idea check out our Singapore post. The basic description is: choose your bun, patty, cheese, salads, sauces and other toppings. Sounds great! You could literally create a different burger every time you visit! Further on down, we will look at some of the ingredients we at BURGER LAD® believe could be available to the UK market if and when it does arrive.
What could this mean for us the customer? Could it see the end of the promotional burger as we know it? Our guess is that it might. I mean what is the point in bringing out say the Australian BBQ Supreme for a week when you’d have the ability to create one every day using the CYT system? It would also be a data analysts dream to have access to the nationwide kiosk data. Imagine being able to extract and analyse all the different ingredients customers choose (McD’s if you need anyone for this I’m your man!). It would give the people at Head Office an invaluable resource and insight into which toppings are used the most and which combinations are selected more than others. You could have an entire online gallery of everyone’s creation giving other consumers endless ideas. It’s a social media dream…
Perhaps we’d see something similar to the ‘Taste Crafted’ range in parts of the US which is like a cut down version. Pick your patty (beef or chicken), select your roll (artisan, sesame seed or potato roll) then choose from four Chef-inspired flavours – in this case bacon clubhouse, pico guacamole, hot jalapeño or deluxe. Maybe they’ll go down that route instead…
|McDonald’s USA Taste Crafted…|
Of course, we’ve been watching the CYT story since its inception back in 2014 and do have fears it may never make it to these shores. Our argument about ADB above says that if it works in the U.S. then we’ll see it here. Well Burger Business reports that operators over the pond don’t exactly see it as a good thing, branding it “expensive and slow”. Despite this, we believe that Create Your Taste should eventually launch here in the UK.
Next we’re going to have a look at what ingredients we could see on a UK CYT kiosk starting with the bun…
We’re going to go with three options here and I’m still 50/50 on whether they’ll offer the “bunless option” i.e. a Lettuce wrap. Our guess for the UK market would be the standard sesame seed bun, a brioche-type bun and something similar to the Ciabatta style bun which was on the recent BBQ Smokehouse. Miss Milkshake talked me out of the Lettuce wrap option as she doesn’t think it would appeal to the average British consumer but I’m still 50/50…
Moving on we get to the patty. This is a tough call with this one as it would be good to have chicken but the standard model overseas only offers a beef patty. And will you be able to double it up? Here we’re going to be controversial and estimate that it will be similar to a Signature Collection patty but you won’t be able to double it up. Sorry but that’s just a hunch we have!
Cheese? Yes please! For this category we’ve predicted a choice of FIVE cheeses to add to your burger! Our list includes Classic McDonald’s Cheese, Mature or Smoked Cheddar, Cheese with Peppers, Garlic & Herb Cheese and Big Tasty Cheese Slice. We believe this offers a fairly wide variety while also satisfying the “bring back the Big Tasty crowd”.
Let’s get a bit saucy… this is going to be very difficult but for the sauce section we’re going with EIGHT options for you to put on your CYT burger. Let’s get the two obvious ones out the way first… Ketchup and Mustard. Now it was surprising you couldn’t select it in the My Burger competition and if Big Mac Sauce doesn’t make it into the UK CYT then it will be a travesty in our opinion! So that leaves us with only five remaining places. There’s blatantly going to be BBQ Sauce on any Create Your Taste kiosk in the UK so what else could compliment these options?
Well if you’re going to keep the BBTBTC silent then I’m afraid our next slot is taken by Big Tasty Sauce leaving us down to three. You can tell I’m not a major fan as MM just reminded me of her least favourite of all time – Mayo! We think that the final two would be some sort of Garlic Mayo and Tomato & Paprika Smoked Sauce (see McPizza Pepperoni Burger).
MM just gave me a brilliant idea as well. Keep seven sauce slots as standard but have one slot as a rolling “guest sauce”. This could rotate throughout the year so we could see some of our honourable mentions such as Salsa, Guacamole, Piri Piri and Chipotle Mayonnaise. McDonald’s you know where you can send those royalty cheques…
When I thought about writing this article I underestimated just how difficult it would be limiting yourself to a select number of options in each category. And this isn’t going to change with our final section – the salads and toppings. After consultation with Miss Milkshake® we went with TWELVE in the end – it sounded like a good number to go with! “Customise your burger with a dozen toppings” – I can hear it now (it’s also evident I DO NOT work in marketing).
|Create Your Taste options in Australia…|
In terms of salad, it’s safe to say we’ll get Lettuce, Onion and Pickles as these are core McDonald’s menu ingredients. Throw in fresh Tomato and Red Onion and that gives us the basic salad items. I wouldn’t bet against Batavia Lettuce either and some sort of Grilled Onions too. That leaves us with other premium toppings as well as any meat ingredients you can throw on your created burger. We’d have to say Bacon in some sort of form and maybe a Pepperoni or Chorizo Slices option (we’re counting that as one in our prediction!).
So what would you choose for the final three…!? We know McDonald’s have them in their pantry as we saw them on the Big Spicy Bacon so Jalapeños are IN. That leaves us with two more options… I would LOVE to say Mushrooms but I really don’t know… it’s also the one ingredient which always fails at the taste test stage. I think for my final two picks for a UK Create Your Taste it would have to be Nachos and Roasted Red & Yellow Peppers. But then can you have Nachos without salsa and guacamole…!? See how difficult this is!!
So there you have it. Our predictions and an overview of what Create Your Taste could look like/include at McDonald’s UK. Of course our worst nightmares could come true and we’ll never get it but like we said earlier, touch-screen kiosks + table service MUST mean CYT is coming to the UK soon. And when it does it will change how we order and eat at McDonald’s forever.
Miss Milkshake had another fantastic idea and I wouldn’t be surprised if the new McD’s App would enable this in the future. Imagine saving your favourite creations on your smartphone. So instead of going through the process every time, you can order your saved burger(s) straight from your phone. Oh and CYT is supposed to take approx. 8-10 mins to cook so imagine ordering it via your phone before you even arrive. Don’t be too surprised when this lands for the standard menu either. Might get rid of all those “up your game McDonald’s” tweets I see. Oh hang on we still can’t get delivery… one thing we’re sure of as well, CYT will NOT be available via Drive-Thru.
No doubt if we do see Create Your Taste arrive over here all the usual suspects will be jumping on the media bandwagon and the masses will be all over Twitter about it. If and when that day comes, just remember where the smart McDonald’s fans read about it first.