McDonald’s “Build Your Own Burger” (#CreateYourTaste)

Note: This post was first published on Let’s Eat Out Once A Week but also appears on other blogs in my network as I have a couple of other food blogs plus a personal blog.

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I was invited to the McDonald’s Restaurant location at 20037 84th Avenue in Langley this week for a walk-through of the next chapter of McDonald’s Canada, as they were promoting their “Create Your Taste,” “McCafe Bakery,” and table delivery service as part of their innovative, personalized guest experience. It was all part of McDonald’s Canada’s brand transformation as they look to target new and past customers back to McDonald’s.

Now, this Langley location I was at, was a newer location as they had just opened in November of 2014, and they were among the first in Metro Vancouver to have the “Create Your Taste” (Build Your Own Burger) feature for their burgers – something you can only get through their order kiosk. (From what I understand, one Toronto location launched it two weeks earlier, and one in Edmonton followed suit a week later. Two other locations in Vancouver – I think, if I heard correctly – launched the “Create Your Taste” at the same time as this Langley restaurant.)

I’d seen the order kiosks before at the location behind the downtown Vancouver Public Library and also the one on Grandview Highway – but had never used them.

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Here at this Langley location I was invited to play around on it and order through one of the four kiosks they had in the store. And like I said, this was among the first location in Metro Vancouver with “Create Your Taste” – where you get to build your own custom burger! Pretty neat!

I didn’t take a picture or video of the ordering process, but as you’re building your burger, a list (or summary points, if you will) of your toppings/ingredients, etc. appears on the left side of the screen reminding you what you’ve selected so far for your custom burger.

This is best summarized in five steps – 1. Choose your bun; 2. Select the cheese; 3. Select the sauce; 4. Choose the toppings; 5. Add bacon if you wish.

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Among the choices for the bun were the Black & White Sesame Seed Brioche-Style Bun, the Artisan-Style Bakery Roll, or the Lettuce Wrap. I went with the first option. For cheeses, there were five options and I went with Crumbled Blue Cheese. For the sauces, I remember you could get as many as you wish – and again, whatever you’ve chosen appears on the left of the screen to remind you – and they even had Sriracha Sauce, Garlic Aioli, Chipotle Aioli, among others. I was told you can choose those only when you order through the kiosk, so that’s not bad!

For the toppings, I believe I had the caramelized onions, red onion rings, and grilled mushrooms, but of course you can go with other traditional tings like tomato, lettuce, and others.

So, after all that, you pay with your debit/credit card and pick up a wooden number plate, and choose a table and wait! They will bring your food out to you when it’s ready. And that’s it!

As far as I know, what happens in the kitchen next is they will prepare your items fresh once the order has gone through, ie. they prepare your bun and cook your beef patties fresh, etc. and put everything together. I even got a chance to take a look behind the scenes as well:

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On this visit, the guys that served me – I believe their names were Brittaney and Megan – were wonderful as they brought the food over and also came back to check on me to see if there was anything else I needed. It was definitely a different kind of McDonald’s experience as they’re adding this table service to a new niche. (Of course, if customers prefer to order through drive-thru or just the regular counter service or to-go, that’s fine too. They can still do that.) Oh yeah, the burger was served on this wooden cutting board and a plastic fork and knife were included. I was talking to two executives who showed me around, and they were talking about potentially each location hiring between 10-15 new staff to work this innovative table service feature (once the other locations are ready for this). Wow! Talk about job creation across the country! They were also eager to give their staff advanced training on various skills needed for the job.

That’s not all.

McDonald’s also has this McCafe Bakery with new pastry items (I didn’t take notes as to what they have but I would guess it will be on their website).

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Overall, a pleasant visit and definitely 10-out-of-10 service on this night! (If you’ve read other posts on this blog, you’ll know that I don’t give those types of scores easily. I’m not particularly picky but I also pay close attention to service – even if I don’t complain to restaurant staff when there are problems. On this visit, there were no issues whatsoever.) Also, to have a chance to listen to the franchise’s vision and future plans from two of their executives was insightful as well. I felt welcomed as a guest indeed, like they appreciated having me come in and try out their burger.

Oh yeah! Almost forgot… the burger was delicious! Also almost forgot… for the meal you could have fries, poutine, or salad. I got a salad. But if you noticed from the picture above, if you got fries, they served them in this little metal tray. Kind of like other food places that do this too. Another thing is because of the sauces I picked, it could be a messy meal – so I definitely appreciated how I was given enough napkins and also the fork and knife.

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As for other notable things about this particular Langley location, there was a flatscreen visible to me where I was sitting – and this was the day the (annoying) Blue Jays won their playoff series against Texas (boo!) and the post-game was shown on the flatscreen. Also, there were outlets for plugs by my seat so I could have used them to plug in my laptop or phone if I wanted to (I didn’t on this visit). A great, neat location indeed! I certainly applaud – and congratulate – them for being among the first in Metro Vancouver with the “Create Your Taste” and for running it so smoothly!

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