McDonald’s ‘build your own burger’ hits Auckland

Using digital kiosks, customers can build their own burgers from over 30 ingredients, selecting the type of bun, sauces and salads, and add extras like pineapple, egg, bacon, grilled mushrooms and guacamole. Photo: Emily Patrick

McDonald’s is letting you design your own burger, as the fast-food chain looks to tap into the growing gourmet burger market.

The ‘Create Your Taste’ option allows customers to skip the line and go straight to a kiosk, where they can pick their ingredients and create their burger through a fancy device.

Deployment manager for the system Nathan Haxton said: “I think it’s amazing. It’s definitely a new look for McDonalds.

“It’s very different. We are looking towards restaurant quality burgers,” he added.

Customers can build their burgers from over 30 ingredients, selecting the type of bun, sauces, salads and also add extras like pineapple, egg, bacon, grilled mushrooms and guacamole. A McDonald’s worker will then deliver the chosen burger concoction of your choice to your table when ready.

Meals are presented on a wooden board and fries in a wire basket – in contrast to the traditional plastic trays the food is usually served on.

Even paleo dieters are catered for, with customers having the option of going bunless; replacing the regular bun with lettuce.

Mr Singh, owner and operator of a large NZ McDonalds store, said: “The feedback from other restaurants has been really positive, with people being pleasantly surprised at how well our burgers stack-up against other gourmet burgers on the market.”

There are more than 25 million different combinations to choose from, although dieticians may not recommend burger lovers try all of them.

A ‘burger obsessed’ man has already taken maximum advantage of creating the largest burger the system. He ordered a ‘CYT’ burger with the maximum number of toppings – creating a tower beef burger masterpiece worth over $40.00.

It has been reported that the burgers can work out extremely expensive and not value for money. Customers claim that the burgers are a “rip off” and “served up too slow for a ‘fast food’ restaurant.”

The base cost of the CYT burgers is $10.90, with extra ingredients typically costing between $1 and $1.50 each.

Patrick Wilson, managing director of McDonald’s New Zealand, said: “Create Your Taste is the type of thing our customers have been asking for in New Zealand. This year and over the next five years you will see a number of new initiatives as we continue to evolve with our customers.

“We’re looking forward to hearing customer feedback about our new burger range and service offering. Our intention is to roll out Create Your Taste to selected restaurants nationally within the next twelve months.”

New Zealand is only the third country after the United States and Australia to get the customisable burgers, which are part of a wider plan to transform the fast food chain over the next five years.