Friday, 24 October 2014

McDonald’s Australia goes Gourmet

Personalisation seems to be the focus of McDonald’s Australia’s strategy this year, as is made clear by their latest offering of the ‘Create Your Taste’ gourmet burger menu. Not long ago we spoke about a similar campaign run by the fast food chain (i.e. the ‘McMate’ burger), in which they encouraged the Australian public to design a new burger option for their national menu, and then vote for the most popular design on the company’s Facebook page. As perhaps a natural extension to this campaign, McDonald’s is now giving the opportunity for customers to actually create their own burgers in-store, and then have them personally delivered to their table.

Table service at McDonald’s Castle Hill (Source: News.com.au)

The new menu is currently being trialled at a McDonalds restaurant in Castle Hill (Western Sydney), and involves customers creating their own burger at digital kiosks installed at the store. With around 19 ingredient options, there is ample opportunity for customisation, and once customers have finalised their order, their burger is then loaded on wooden boards, and delivered by McDonald’s wait staff.

As mentioned by McDonald’s Australia CEO Andrew Gregory, the new menu seems to be a response to the changing landscape of the fast food market in Australia, with seemingly ‘gourmet’ offerings by competitors Lord of the Fries, and Grill’d gaining popularity; ‘McDonald’s is innovating and changing again to meet the needs of our customers. What we’re really doing here is simply what our customers have asked us to do.’

Although the ‘Create Your Taste’ menu is yet to roll out across other stores in Australia, it is clear that the company is looking to re-position itself as more than just a ‘fast food’ provider. It’ll therefore be interesting to see how this strategy plays out in the next few months, and whether the ‘Create Your Taste’ menu offering, in addition to the delivery service it has also been trialling, resonates with the existing McDonalds customers, and assists the brand in elevating the McDonald’s experience in a way that has never been done before.

Salil Kumar
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School

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