>> McDonald's plan to switch from frozen to fresh beef in its Quarter Pounder burgers is a bet on taste over time. But how will customers react to the golden arches taking some of the fast out of the fast food? Reuters correspondent Lisa Baertlein.>> Well, McDonald's has been under pressure for quite a while to improve the quality of their food.
And to sort of shake that junk food image that they have. So this is all a move to increase the perceived quality and the taste of their hamburgers. The risk for them is that, in making some of these changes, especially with the Quarter Pounder, that they could slow their service time.
You can't be slow if you're doing fast food. And the issue with the Quarter Pounder is now, instead of when you come in as a kitchen crew, what you'll do with the Quarter Pounder now is you take these frozen burgers, and you put them on the grill. You cook them ahead of time, you keep them warm, and they're ready to go.
So the new Quarter Pounder will be fresh beef, which cooks faster. But you're cooking it to order, so you're adding around a minute of preparation time.>> The rollout of the fresh beef Quarter Pounder expected in US stores by mid-2018. And test markets in Dallas already reporting their Quarter Pounder sales rose 30% with the fresh option.
But in a business where every second counts, McDonald's drive-thru order service times already lag behind Burger King, Wendy's and KFC. After four straight years of traffic declines at McDonald's, the fresh Quarter Pounder experiment is the latest move to win back restless fast food customers. McDonald's introduction of all day breakfast in 2015 boosted sales and lifted the stock price up 25% so far this year.