A Big Mac with chicken swapped in for beef could be in the cards for US McDonald’s customers very soon, reports USA Today, and we should all thank the internet for that.
The Chicken Big Mac, which UK customers are already familiar with, is made with two crispy tempura chicken patties, Big Mac sauce, pickles, shredded lettuce, and American cheese. (No onion?) McDonald’s announced recently that it will be testing the chicken version of its signature sandwich at select locations in Miami after its huge success earlier this year in the UK.
This isn’t the first time McDonald’s has seen success with an international menu item and let it have a moment in the States. Back in 2019, the chain decided to give Americans a taste of what they’re missing by offering a Worldwide Favorites Menu for a limited time. That menu included the Grand McExtreme Bacon Burger from Spain; the Stroopwafel McFlurry from the Netherlands; the Tomato-Mozzarella Chicken Sandwich from Canada; and cheesy bacon fries from Australia. Unfortunately, Worldwide Favorites was a limited-time promotion, and McDonald’s has mostly stuck to hyping its Popeyes competitor and flopping at an Impossible Whopper competitor.
More recently, the burger chain debuted a “hacked” menu consisting of existing menu items, which you could buy in a bundle and reassemble into “new” creations suggested by McDonald’s. For example, the Hash Brown McMuffin involves placing a hash brown in your McMuffin, while the Land, Air, & Sea sandwich combines a Big Mac, a McChicken, and a Filet-O-Fish.
Instead of coming up with brand-new ideas for the US menu, sometimes it feels like McDonald’s is reliant upon social media movements to do the actual innovating. Even the Chicken Big Mac is something people on the internet have suggested long before it made its way onto a menu; search Twitter for “big mac but with chicken” and it’s like everyone on earth was thinking the same thing at roughly the same time.
Listening to what your customers want is a fantastic way to approach menu planning, but how do we know which pleas will grab McDonald’s attention? For example, plenty of people have been waiting for the return of the McWrap, myself included, but McDonald’s has made it clear that won’t be happening in the near future, if at all. Yet, at the same time, McDonald’s bringing things back after we plead for them is always a newsworthy story covered by trade magazines and other outlets, so it would be in the chain’s best interest to continue taking requests.
When your audience literally tells you exactly what they want to see, it seems like a promotional slam dunk to deliver it to them. But then, of course, they might start to wonder why those items can’t simply stick around forever.