Some fast food innovations seem obvious. The first person who put bacon on a cheeseburger probably wondered why no one had done it before. Same goes for whoever decided hot sauce could make a chicken sandwich better.
In other cases, however, it takes real imagination to create the magic of fast food.
Someone at Yum Brands (YUM) – Get yum! Report Brands, Inc. Taco Bell had to watch a Dorito (DYNAMISM) – Get the report from PepsiCo, Inc., then look at a taco and think, “perfect, it goes together.” Same goes for whoever decided to use two donuts as bread for a KFC chicken sandwich and maybe any Burger King (RSQ) – Get Restaurant Brands International Inc report The chef decided to mix fried macaroni and cheese together to create the briefly beloved Mac n’ Cheetos.
McDonald’s (MCD) – Get McDonald’s Corporation report latest innovation falls into the first category. It’s so obvious that you wonder why this has never happened before. That doesn’t make the chain’s new sandwich, available only in the UK, any less brilliant.
What new sandwich has McDonald’s introduced?
Everyone knows the song. “Two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun.” It’s the recipe for the Big Mac, a fast food icon that propelled McDonald’s from a growing chain to a global giant.
Get ready for the remix. McDonald’s UK called it “a new take on the world’s most iconic burger with… sesame seed bun, Big Mac sauce, lettuce, McDonald’s cheese, 100% chicken breast patty % in a crispy coating, more Big Mac sauce, more lettuce, pickles, another crispy chicken patty.”
The song lacks a bit of the original’s pizzazz and it doesn’t mention the extra bun that goes in the middle, but it’s the recipe for the new Chicken Big Mac.
It’s a twist on the most successful fast-food sandwich of all time – McDonald’s flagship offering – and it’s on the chain’s menu in the UK and Ireland until March 15 (or until out of stock).
McDonald’s has a recipe for success
McDonald’s uses stunts and gimmicks less often than many of its fast food competitors. The chain has been constantly innovating, but its new items – at least in the US – tend to be less daring than what some of its rivals have tried.
In this case, the company decided to use the name of its most iconic product – the Big Mac – to make a splash in a trending category, chicken sandwiches.
It’s a bold move because it’s different from the type of chicken sandwich that Restaurant Brands International’s Popeyes made a huge hit, which almost every chain has copied.
This phenomenon features a large, thick chicken patty while the Chicken Big Mac has two thinner, more traditional fried chicken patties. It adds pickles, an ingredient the classic Big Mac doesn’t offer, but basically McDonald’s has applied its classic formula to its new offering and that should entice customers to try the new sandwich.
Limited-time offers entice current customers to spend more and also bring old customers back to a channel they haven’t visited in a while. This should increase the value of checks from repeat visitors while attracting a new audience.
Using the Big Mac name gives the Chicken Big Mac instant credibility. It’s a “must-try” for fans of the original, and it’s hard not to see the fast-food giant switch from a UK offering to one it’s rolling out, if not globally, at least in the United States.