McDonald's Testing Custom Built Quarter Pounders in California and Illinois


[Photograph: Orange County Register]

In Laguna Niguel, CA and Romeoville, IL, McDonald's is testing a brand-new strategy: allowing customers to design custom-built Quarter Pounders using an iPad. According to Nancy Luna, food reporter at the Orange County Register, there are more than 20 different toppings and sauces to choose from, ranging from the standard condiments and veggies, to new items like creamy garlic sauce and guacamole. The cost is $5.79 (or $6.79 with bacon).

All burgers start with a quarter-pound patty that's "char-grilled to order," according to a McDonald's rep. Though, judging by the slideshow, which doesn't show any temperature options, "to order" means "when you order it" not "to your requested temperature." You can also double the meat or add bacon. Here's a run-down of all the options for toppings:

Bread: buttered toasted bakery-style bun or buttered toasted artisan roll

Cheese: white cheddar, pepperjack, or American

Toppings: guacamole, jalapeño, grilled mushrooms, sliced red onions, caramelized grilled onions, chili lime tortilla strips, tomato, leaf lettuce, crinkle-cut pickles

Sauces: spicy mayo, Mac sauce, creamy garlic sauce, sweet BBQ, mayo, ketchup, mustard

If you don't want the responsibility of building your own burger, there are a few pre-designed options, like the "SoCal Style" (white cheddar cheese, guacamole, chili lime tortilla strips, tomato, leaf lettuce, and creamy garlic sauce), the "Grill Thriller" (bacon, white cheddar, grilled onions and mushrooms, and sweet BBQ sauce), and the "Hot All Over" (pepper jack, sliced jalapeño, tomato, leaf lettuce, and spicy mayo).

An article on Huffington Post says consumer research backs up the testing of customizable burgers. According to a burger consumer trend report by Technomic, 64 percent of the 653 adults polled say the ability to customize burger toppings is important. The same amount of respondents also said they find build-your-own-burger concepts "highly appealing."

What do you think about McDonald's new strategy?