McDonald's hasn't announced the details of its secret turnaround plan yet, but the chain is already testing new ways to customize the menu.
The burger chain recently began testing a new platform that encourages customer customization in select locations near Atlanta, Portland and Southern California. The platform, called "Taste Crafted Burgers and Chicken," uses a three-step system reminiscent of a fast-casual menu, allowing customers to pick a protein (burger, crispy chicken or grilled chicken), a bun (artisan roll, sesame seed bun or potato roll) and a topping combination (bacon clubhouse, pico guacamole, hot jalapeno or the classic deluxe). Burgers and chicken will be made to order for each customer.
The test goes hand-in-hand with McDonald's "Create Your Taste" platform, which allows customers to order fast-casual-friendly burgers from self-service kiosks. The two share the same higher-quality and more expensive "premium" menu. However, the Create Your Taste menu is only available to order in select restaurants in California, Illinois, Wisconsin, Georgia, Missouri and Pennsylvania, through a self-order kiosk or tablet inside the locations. While Create Your Taste items are served directly to tables by waiters, Taste Crafted offerings are more fully integrated into typical McDonald's service, including drive-thrus.
"The Create Your Taste test will continue to expand to additional restaurants while Tasted Crafted Burgers and Chicken creates a more immediate opportunity for a broader base of restaurants to provide customers with the variety and choices they enjoy today," McDonald's spokesperson Lisa McComb told Entrepreneur via email.
McDonald's is scheduled to announce a turnaround plan to improve performance and boost profits next week on May 4. Expect the plan to include other initiatives dedicated to increasing customization and personalization, through tech, new menu items and marketing campaigns.