The Hamburglar is Back at McDonald's

The Lempert Report
April 24, 2023

On today’s Bullseye – lots of news from McDonald’s. The hamburglar is out of retirement and staring in McDonald’s new TV spots. Why you might ask? Well, McDonalds has decided to tweak its recipes on the Big Mac, McDouble, cheese burgers, double cheeseburger and hamburger. What they’ve done is to add more Big Mac sauce to the Big Mac, add onions to burger patties while they are being cooked (guess someone took a look at White Castle), changed its cooking process to make hotter an meltier cheese and have softer, more pillowy buns toasted golden brown, buns.

The new recipes are already here in Los Angeles and expect to roll out nationwide in 2024. Chad Schafer, Chef and Senior Director of Culinary Innovation was quoted as saying, “I’ll always remember my first burger from McDonald’s. And now my culinary team and I have the best job in the world: thinking about ways to bring even more of that iconic McDonald’s taste to fans.” When I was 16, like many of you, I worked at McDonald’s. The path to success was to make your way up the ladder to different positions. Back then you start out making milk shakes and depending on your skill worked you way up the ladder to finally making Big Macs. Those days you stacked the burger, had a contraption that would add just the right amount of sauce, then assembled a paper band around the burger before you finally wrapped it.

In 2018 McDonald’s announced it was switching to fresh beef for its Quarter Pounders – maybe that should be part of the reformulation on all it’s burgers? Probably help the taste more than just a more pillow like bun? 2022 was a record year for the chain that saw its US sales increase 10.3% - so why did McDonald’s restructure in early April with hundreds of layoffs and pay reductions for some employees? McDonald’s temporarily actually closed its US offices as they notified corporate employees in marketing and operations that their positions were being eliminated. Since the start of the pandemic McDonald’s has accelerated new restaurant opening, enhanced its digital platform added AI to its drive thru’s to improve order accuracy and of course, dealing with labor shortages, was able to eliminate that human position and replace it with technology.

Back to the hamburglar. I never got that campaign and never will. Maybe it’s his position that should be eliminated?