Cam­bridge McDon­alds in­tro­duces new recipes

Dorchester Star - - Front Page - By VIC­TO­RIA WINGATE vwingate@ches­pub.com

CAM­BRIDGE — McDon­ald’s of Cam­bridge re­cently un­veiled kiosk or­der­ing and their new Sig­na­ture Crafted Recipes, what’s be­ing called the “ex­pe­ri­ence of the fu­ture.”

Com­mu­nity lead­ers were in­vited to en­joy a tour of the restau­rant kitchen and have a go at us­ing the kiosk them­selves on Mon­day, Oct. 17.

The Cam­bridge lo­ca­tion is the only store within 300 miles that has the new tech­nol­ogy and spe­cial recipes, cho­sen for its mod­ern­ized fa­cil­ity and high trans­ac­tion vol­ume.

“Our cus­tomers have been ask­ing us for a long time, ‘Why is it so much eas­ier at places like Star­bucks, and some of your com­peti­tors?’ Now we have the op­por­tu­nity to go up to a kiosk and or­der for your­self, at your own pace,” said owner/op­er­a­tor Mike Me­oli.

There are three new sand­wich recipes: maple ba­con di­jon, pico gua­camole, and sweet bar­be­cue. Two new sun­daes are fea­tured as part of the Sig­na­ture Crafted line as well, tur­tle brownie and straw­berry short­cake.

In ad­di­tion to the recipes, cus­tomers are able to build their own burg­ers and sand­wiches to suit their tastes. Any Sig­na­ture Crafted Recipe sand­wich pur­chase comes with un­lim­ited fries.

The kiosk or­der­ing fea­ture is cur­rently only avail­able in­side the restau­rant, but the com­pany hopes to adapt the tech­nol­ogy for drive-thru use. Mo­bile or­der­ing is ex­pected be avail­able at the Cam­bridge lo­ca­tion in late 2017.

“You’re only go­ing to see this new plat­form in the newer, mod­ern­ized restau­rants,” said Me­oli. “They’ll have the newer look on the out­side. The Eastern Shore is very mod­ern­ized com­pared to most mar­kets. Over the next year, most of the stores on the Eastern Shore will have this newer, mod­ern look. Hope­fully, by late 2017, early 2018 most of the stores here on the shore will have these el­e­ments.”

Ta­ble ser­vice is also a new fea­ture in McDon­ald’s din­ing rooms. Em­ploy­ees will bring your or­der to your ta­ble and fol­low-up to en­sure cus­tomer sat­is­fac­tion through­out the visit.

All of the up­grades be­ing rolled-out by McDon­ald’s begs the ques­tion, what in­spired these changes? Me­oli ex­plained that it’s about re­spond­ing to the feed­back of the cus­tomer.

“For years and years, we’ve asked our­selves what’s wrong. We like to ask the ex­perts, we are the ex­perts. Who knows more about burg­ers than McDon­ald’s?,” Me­oli said. “We weren’t ask­ing the cus­tomers. What you see in here re­ally is the cus­tomer telling us what they ex­pect of us and us fi­nally lis­ten­ing to the cus­tomer.

“The other thing that’s im­por­tant to note is the idea that what you’re go­ing to see here is new, and it’s clunky. For­ever, McDon­ald’s has been about not bring­ing some­thing to mar­ket un­til it’s per­fect. If we can’t make it per­fect, we don’t bring it out. Scrap that. It’s now about progress over per­fec­tion. We just can’t put per­fec­tion in the way of get­ting things to mar­ket.”

As with the ad­di­tion of All Day Break­fast to the menu, said Me­oli, McDon­ald’s plans to work out the kinks and make im­prove­ments as they con­tinue to in­tro­duce the Sig­na­ture Crafted Recipes and up­graded tech­nol­ogy in more mar­kets across the coun­try.

The tour of the restau­rant kitchen shed light on how metic­u­lously man­aged food prepa­ra­tion is at a McDon­ald’s, and was in­tended to dis­pel a bit of the neg­a­tive im­age sur­round­ing the prod­ucts in re­cent years.

“Many of you have read about it, seen it, or ex­pe­ri­enced it your­self. Things like, we don’t think your food is real, we don’t think your food is fresh enough,” Me­oli said. “We’re go­ing to show you how we’re ad­dress­ing that.”

Food safety and qual­ity is en­sured through the use of up­dated equip­ment and tech­nol­ogy, par­tic­u­larly timers on nearly ev­ery­thing, and clearly com­mu­ni­cated pro­ce­dures for the em­ploy­ees.

The com­pany is also com­mit­ted to pro­vid­ing health­ier and more re­spon­si­bly sourced choices. McDon­ald’s re­cently an­nounced that they will use only cage-free eggs by the year 2025, and has al­ready tran­si­tioned to us­ing only chicken raised with­out an­tibi­otics im­por­tant to hu­man medicine.

Last year, the com­pany added baby spinach and kale to sal­ads, and be­gan us­ing real but­ter in­stead of mar­garine for English muffins, bis­cuits, and bagels. These changes are just a few ex­am­ples.

Me­oli has been an owner/op­er­a­tor with McDon­ald’s for 25 years. He is a sec­ond-gen­er­a­tion McDon­ald’s owner/op­er­a­tor as his fa­ther also owned stores.

“I’ve al­ways be­lieved in McDon­ald’s,” he said. “Peo­ple have an emo­tional con­nec­tion to the brand, and I think they truly want us to suc­ceed.”

PHOTO BY VIC­TO­RIA WINGATE

The Pico-Gua­camole sand­wich is one of the new Sig­na­ture Crafted Recipes of­fered at the Cam­bridge McDon­ald’s lo­ca­tion. It fea­tures fresh gua­camole, fresh pico de gallo, white ched­dar cheese, and ranch sauce on your choice of a burger or chicken. Each Sig­na­ture Crafted sand­wich is served with end­less french fries.

PHOTO BY VIC­TO­RIA WINGATE

The Pico-Gua­camole sand­wich is one of the new Sig­na­ture Crafted Recipes of­fered at the Cam­bridge McDon­ald’s lo­ca­tion. It fea­tures fresh gua­camole, fresh pico de gallo, white ched­dar cheese, and ranch sauce on your choice of a burger or chicken. Each Sig­na­ture Crafted sand­wich is served with end­less french fries.

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