There’s only about a handful of brands that I can think of that when they reached out to me I get fangirl excited for. Considering I’ve worked with a large number of companies and brands, when McDonald’s Canada sent me an email inviting me to experience the new Create Your Taste concept here in Manitoba, I was ecstatic.
I’ve always been a huge fan of the fast food giant. From going there as a kid to now as an adult, everyone just seems to be nostalgic about McDonald’s. Whether it’s fantasizing about the long-gone McDonald’s pizza (RIP) or visiting locations wherever my travels take me (I made sure to scoop up some macarons at the McCafe in Paris three years ago), McDonald’s is just one of those places everyone knows and loves (who can say no to a nugrun at 3 a.m. after the bar?).
Anyways, my bestie and I were greeted at the McDonald’s location on Regent this past Tuesday to get the full Create Your Taste experience and try out their new touchscreen self-ordering kiosks. Create Your Taste and the touchscreen systems aren’t new in Canada, they rolled it out this past fall first in Ontario and now it’s making it’s way across the country, one province at a time. Once it’s fully rolled out here, there will be 29 participating restaurants in Manitoba to offer it.
We were greeted at the door by the manager of the Regent McDonald’s (located at 1475 Regent Avenue West), a couple PR reps, a customer experience rep, and a server (yes, a server). We were walked through how the new touchscreens work, as well as how to build our own burgers using Create Your Taste, which is a totally customized burger with heightened menu options (they also have some pre-set burgers if your creativity gets stumped). A lot of the toppings are included in the price ($7.49), but there are some add-ons as well.
- 3 buns: Black + White Sesame Seed Brioche-Style Bun, Artisan Style Bakery Roll, or Lettuce Wrap
- 5 cheeses: McDonald Classic Cheese, Monterey Jack Jalapeño, Natural Cheddar, Swiss, or Crumbled Blue Cheese
- 12 toppings: Tomato, Lettuce, Guacamole, Sundried Tomato Pesto, Caramelized Onions, Crispy Onions, Sliced Jalapeños, Long Sliced Pickles, Grilled Mushrooms, or Red Onion Rings
- 9 sauces: Ketchup, Garlic Aioli, Mustard, Smokey BBQ, Big Mac Sauce, Chipotle Aioli, Grainy Mustard, Mayo, or Sriracha Sauce
Since McDonalds was paying, I didn’t hold back on choosing the ingredients for my ultimate burger. I went with the sesame seed bun, monterey jack jalapeño, tomato, lettuce, guac, caramelized onions, jalapeños, long-sliced pickles, red onions, garlic aioli and chipotle aioli. Like I said, Create Your Taste starts at $7.49 here in Manitoba, but it also includes fries and a drink (the one on Regent will give you any drink you want, so my friend and I both got McCafe frappes). For a limited time here in Manitoba, they are also doing unlimited refills on the fries and drinks. Yes, you heard that correctly, unlimited McDonalds fries.
Once our order was put through, we were handed a tracking number, which the server will use to find you and give you your order. Once you’re done paying, go sit down and the waiter will find your tracker using this really cool system that knows exactly where you are sitting. Before we sat down though we were taken into the kitchen where we got to watch the chef make our burgers.
Shortly after we sat down out waiter came and placed down two wooden trays with our mouthwatering creations. The presentation on these are totally new and so not your typical McDonald’s. The fries are placed in a basket and the burgers are much larger and more gourmet than your traditional Big Mac. But the taste is still there.
My creation was a big messy, so thankfully the waiter brought me tons of napkins. He also brought over some ketchup and McChicken Sauce for our fries and checked up on us after a while to see if we needed anything else. This was the first time I’ve had tableside service at McDonald’s and it presents such a heightened experience to the whole brand.
Like a lot of Canadians, I’ve been going to McDonalds for as long as I can remember. The manager, my friend and I were getting nostalgic about our neighbourhood locations and how they evolved through the years. We’ve grown with them and just like us, the brand has evolved. You would think by having the self-order kiosks implemented in locations, that would take jobs away, but that isn’t the case. To give a heightened experience, they’ve hired new guest experience leaders to engage with guests, whether that be a hello or a goodbye. There’s also dedicated wait staff that will deliver the Create Your Taste meals to tables.
Just as we thought we couldn’t eat anymore (as a side note, no I didn’t get the refill on the fries..), we were brought an assortment of the new McCafe offerings. We got to try the new cream cheese danishes, brownies, lemon pound cake, French croissants, the mini chocolatine, and other delicious creations that are making their way across Canada in McCafe locations.
Once we finished our desserts I don’t think either of us could breathe and I thanked god I wore stretchy pants. Since the restaurant industry is so oversaturated – especially with fast food – these new features that McDonald’s is implementing really are game changers. I even mentioned to my boyfriend last night that we’ll have to go back to try out the Create Your Taste concept again, and believe me, I would never usually have recommended going to McDonald’s on a date night ;).
Are you excited for Create Your Taste? Have you tried it yet?
Special thanks to McDonald’s Canada for letting me try this out. I am being compensated for this post, however, it will probably all go back to them for more Create Your Taste burgers ;).
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