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McDonald’s is ditching its frozen burger patties and serving up fresh beef at 14 restaurants in the Dallas area.
The Oak Brook, Illinois-based fast food giant has been testing the fresh beef concept at those restaurants since November, though it hasn’t advertised the change, CNN Money reports.
McDonald’s is using the fresh beef only for its Quarter Pounders, which include the Quarter Pounder With Cheese, the Double Quarter Pounder With Cheese, the Bacon Clubhouse Burger and its specialty Homestyle Burger, which is only available at its Dallas-Fort Worth restaurants.
The fresh beef patties replace the fast food titan’s “flash frozen” patties.
McDonald’s, which has more than 14,000 restaurants in the United States, has struggled in recent years as a growing number of Americans have opted to fill their bellies at fast-casual restaurants like Panera Bread, Shake Shack, Five Guys and Chipotle Mexican Grill.
The fresh beef test is the latest effort by McDonald’s to woo back diners — especially those looking for fresh and healthy ingredients — and turn its beleaguered business around.
McDonald’s has tried serving up kale, it tested then adopted an all-day breakfast menu, it’s trimmed its drive-thru menu, and the company even boosted its worker wages and benefits. It remains to be seen how the fresh beef will be received by diners.
“Like all of our tests, this one too is designed to see what works and what doesn’t within our restaurants,” said Lisa McComb, a McDonald’s spokeswoman, in a statement.
Although the fast-food chain did see a first-quarter same-store sales increase of 5.4 percent compared with 2015, Kevin Burke, founder and managing director of investment banking firm Trinity Capital, told the Los Angeles Times that McDonald’s still has a long way to go before it wins back American diners.
“It’s going to be a long battle,” he said. “They’re going to get it together sometime, but this is going to be a slow turnaround.”
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