McDonald’s switches to fresh beef and automated ordering

Photo by Jessica Wade.
McDonald’s has released their never frozen Quarter Pounder.

Will Patterson
Opinion Editor

McDonald’s vigorous ad campaign over the past month has made it clear—the restaurant chain is officially admitting their classic burgers were falling behind. The switch to fresh, never frozen beef (similar to Wendy’s) marks a significant change for McDonald’s. As one Omaha McDonald’s employee put it, McDonald’s is “changing our restaurant experience.”

The Gateway was invited to attend a taste-testing event at a newly renovated McDonald’s located at 14449 W Center Road.

These renovations included an automated method of ordering food. Locations with automated ordering services let customers navigate a digital menu on screens in the restaurant lobbies. I was particularly impressed by how easy it was to customize an order.

After placing an order on the screen, customers are instructed to take a number and find a table. It feels strange to have food delivered to your table at a fast food restaurant, especially one like McDonald’s, but the system appears to be efficient.

This automation comes months after McDonald’s added the option to order food via their app or other food delivery services.

Looking past all the new technology being packed into the McDonald’s lobby, one question prevails: are the burger’s actually better? The answer is sort of.

As someone who has had too much McDonald’s during their lifetime, I can vouch for the differences. The burgers are juicer—and not just in a soaked-with-grease way. The patties have an actual flavor to them that is indicative of real meat. They also are certainly messier than the old burgers. Be prepared to grab a handful of napkins before digging it.

Customers can expect the rest of the McDonald’s meal to be unchanged. The classic, greasy fries are still an iconic side to the meal that’s become an American staple.

Despite the hype about fresh beef, the undeniable truth is that McDonald’s is still McDonald’s. The greatest accomplishment by the massive restaurant chain is finally converting their food to something more believable.

As a college student living on a tight budget, McDonald’s remains one of my top choices when I am in a rush. While the automated ordering and fresh beef are bonuses, they certainly aren’t game changers.