McDonald’s is flirting with being fancy by putting a premium burger on its menu, reports the Wall Street Journal. The chunky one-third-pound patties will be made with sirloin beef and topped with bacon, mushroom, or classic lettuce and tomato.
The new burgers will cost around $5, which puts it in Shake Shack and Five Guys territory, and will be available through June. The cherry on top? In a restaurant that doesn’t really have any crockery, the sirloin burger will be served on a wooden board.
The rustic, gastropub-style presentation is meant to signify freshness, according to the WSJ. No word yet on whether, in addition to an upgraded cut of meat, the bread and other fillings will be of a higher quality too.
Even if the sirloin burger both looks and tastes more deluxe than something from the dollar menu, the move for McDonald’s is an interesting one. The last product it had at that price point was the Angus Third Pounder, which the chain dropped in mid-2013. John Gordon of Pacific Management Consulting Group tells the WSJ that it’s partly because having a premium burger is the mark of a decent burger place. In other words, the fact that McDonald’s has this one, expensive, gastropub-style burger could reflect positively on all of its burgers.
However, we suspect it’s going to take more than a sirloin patty on a plank to do what places like Starbucks have done so well, which is create an affordable experience that still feels upscale. Starbucks achieved that image largely through off-menu efforts such as service, atmosphere, and decor. If McDonald’s wants to alter the perception of its restaurant quality, it will need to continue to factor these elements into the equation as well.
[via the Wall Street Journal]