McDonald's Experiments

I remember eating at a Rochester McDonald’s in 1992 that was experimenting with serving pizza and pasta.

Does anyone have any information about McDonald’s experiments to get more customers by serving different foods?

It’s fair to say, I think, that the history of McDonald’s has been an unending series of experiments with different foods, at least if you consider the rather limited menu the franchises began with. (Burgers, fries, malts, period.)

I can remember – and it hasn’t been that long ago – when a McD franchise owner never had to worry about procuring things like tomatoes, mayonnaisse, lettuce, chicken, BBQ sauce, bacon, eggs, sausage, etc.

They’re trying it in the UK at the moment. Several new dishes are being trialled, including a pasta salad and bagged fruit. While not exactly struggling, McDonald’s are obviously worried about sales and revenues; they’re closing many stores in the UK, including (so I’ve heard) their controversial Hampstead branch and their flagship Oxford Street store. They’re also moving into the sandwich market, with a hefty stake in Pret-A-Manger.

[More information on the menu changes]

I remember the pizza, it was pretty good. I also remember whem they sold chicken wings, those were pretty good too.

The Mighty Wings were one of the best things to come out of McD’s!

Here in the Midwest they occasionally will have Johnsonville Bratwursts with saurkraut and mustard, I think they are indistinguishable from homemade ones except they are a little smaller than the store bought ones.
mmm, McRib…

I remember eating a “McTeriyaki Burger” in Newport, Wales, in 1989. I don’t think the experiment went very well. There was also the McDLT, which I had in the US in 1984 - very nice idea to keep the hot bits away from the salad. Also died a death.

I think there was a range of McDonald’s Indian dishes over here in the last couple of years; I never tried them myself.

About a year or so ago, I believe McDonald’s bought Donatos Pizza to use in their restaurants when they go forward with offering pizza.

I’ve wondered why fast-food pizza isn’t more popular and available. I know I’d be all over that!

Then again, I’ve found that places like PizzaHut Express/KFC hybrid operations don’t really get it done quality-wise in the pizza-by-the-slice department. That’s just my 2 cents.

Rochester, assuming you mean the one in New York, is often used as a test city by companies introducing products. Evidently it has some range of average characteristics that make it a good predictor of public acceptance.

McDonald’s in Europe is an interesting experience.

I’ve had Chicken Tikka by Heathrow, beer and baguettes in Paris, a sort of tapas plate in Madrid, wonderful Mediterranean items in Athens, and even borscht in Warsaw. Oh yes - very unusual fish items in Inverness. Saw the McAfrika thing advertised, but didn’t get it.

They’ve just strated a new Crispy Chinese Burger and a Paneer (Cottage Cheese) Wrap. I doubt these are available in McDs worldwide. More likely an experiment to reach out to the Indian public.

Here in upstate NY I’ve seen the pizza and a mall McDonalds still serves McFrankfurters. I believe the individual franchisees have a certain amount of freedom to experiment.

I also think that both the BigMac® and the Egg McMuffin® were invented by independent owners and were so popular they were then made national.

I read an article in * USA Today * recently about fast food and new products. Even if the new item is a failure, it still increases the chain’s over-all sales. Customers seem to be attracted to a fast-food resturant which has new items, even if they don’t order them.

In Wisconsin we get bratwurst at McDonald’s periodically.

The “Onion” recently reported that McDonalds is contemplating the idea of serving “food” to try and win back customers.

The McTeri was also launched in Hawaii, in the late 1990s, and I believe it’s still served. From what I’ve seen (in my four years in the polyester uniforms), it’s popular, which is no surprise, really, given the local tastes and ethnic makeup.

Hawaii McDs also serves fruit punch, saimin, and for breakfast, a portuguese sausage, scrambled eggs, and rice plate, which is served in a styrofoam dish identical to the Hotcakes dish (except the top part is yellow). Good stuff, and I miss all of it.

When I was in Milwaukee back in 2000, we ate at McDonald’s just to have the Mushroom Swiss Burger. I thought that perhaps it was a new item, but when I got back here, no-one had heard of such a thing.

Do they still serve McLobster?

If I’m remembering correctly an article I read recently said that, despite many attempts, McDonald’s hasn’t come up with a permanent addition to its menu since the McNugget in the early 80’s.

Does anyone remember pizza at Burger King? The one in Scotts Valley, CA used to sell “Pizza Firenze”.