McDonald's Plans To Go Against Shrinkflation And Make Its Burgers Bigger

There may be no bigger symbol of consistency in the fast food industry than McDonald's, which is what makes its recent wave of burger changes feel like such a big deal. Earlier this week the burger giant announced a set of over 50 tweaks to its burgers in a bid to up the quality of its products for a major expansion. Most of the changes affect the process of how the burgers are prepared, with examples like cooking fewer patties at a time so they get served warmer, and adding cheese to burgers at room temperature to improve how much it melts. But all those tweaks aren't enough for McDonald's, and the biggest news about its menu overall may be that it plans on making its burgers bigger.

According to McDonald's CEO Chris Kempczinski, "In the U.S., in a number of markets, around the world, having a larger burger is an opportunity." The CEO added, "That is something that you should expect in the future." (via CNN) McDonald's says it's listening to its customers, who have shown a preference for both higher quality and larger burgers that are more filling. McDonald's is also clearly thinking about customers' concerns over rising fast food prices, with Kempczinski noting that the company wants "to deliver a great tasting large burger at a superior value to what [customers] can get anywhere else." This could be a welcome sign that the trend of higher costs alongside smaller portions from the last few years is abating.

McDonald's has big plans for the future across the board

The company is clearly meticulous about changes this big and has had some other recent successes in improving its burgers, like the switch to fresh beef in Quarter Pounders that led to a massive spike in sales in 2018. While there are no details as to the exact size of the forthcoming patty increase, it looks like McDonald's will be testing out several options at locations around the country until it settles on the right formula. The overall plan, including the previously announced changes, has been dubbed the Best Burger initiative, and the chain is targeting 2026 for a nationwide completion of the upgrades.

All this is coming as the company has announced some truly impressive plans for growing their already huge footprint. McDonald's recently announced plans to open 10,000 new fast food establishments across the world in the next four years, on top of the 40,000 existing locations. This would be the biggest expansion in the company's history, and it doesn't even include the plans for the McDonald's spin-off CosMc's, about which the company has been much more secretive. Another aspect of the business set for improvement is the loyalty program, with targets of increasing users from 150 million to 250 million by 2027 and doubling its current sales to $45 billion. Apparently for McDonald's, being the world's largest fast food chain isn't an accomplishment worth resting on.