ao.mpmn-digital.com
Novas receitas

Pesquisa: Burger King Ainda não é um sucesso entre os pais

Pesquisa: Burger King Ainda não é um sucesso entre os pais


We are searching data for your request:

Forums and discussions:
Manuals and reference books:
Data from registers:
Wait the end of the search in all databases.
Upon completion, a link will appear to access the found materials.


O Burger King ainda tem muito que fazer antes de alcançar o McDonald's e o Wendy's

Pesquisa: Burger King ainda não é um sucesso entre os pais

As maiores marcas de hambúrguer de serviço rápido têm trabalhado para ajustar os menus recentemente, especialmente em torno das ofertas para crianças, com o Burger King apresentando sua nova refeição BK Crown e promoções, e o McDonald's e Wendy's adicionando itens mais saudáveis ​​às refeições das crianças.

De acordo com dados recentes da empresa de pesquisa de mercado YouGov BrandIndex, o Burger King aumentou seu apelo para os pais, mas ainda tem muito a fazer antes de alcançar seus principais concorrentes, McDonald's e Wendy's.

O estudo mais recente da BrandIndex, com sede em Nova York, sobre "Impression Scores" de propriedade entre pais com filhos que moram em casa, descobriu que a pontuação média do Burger King no período de três semanas de 5 a 25 de novembro - assim como apresentou os filhos da BK Crown com a nova marca 'refeição - aumentada. Mas não o suficiente para alcançar seus concorrentes de hambúrgueres, assim como marcas que estão no topo da lista com os pais, como o Subway.

A BrandIndex calcula a pontuação de impressão entrevistando mais de 5.000 consumidores a cada dia da semana e perguntando a eles: "Você tem um sentimento geral positivo ou negativo sobre esta marca?" As respostas negativas são subtraídas das positivas, dando a cada marca uma pontuação entre 100 negativo e 100 positivo. Neste estudo, as respostas foram coletadas de pais com filhos que moram em casa e que visitaram um restaurante de serviço rápido nos últimos três meses.

As cinco cadeias de restaurantes de serviço rápido com melhor desempenho foram Subway, Wendy's, Papa John’s, Pizza Hut e McDonald’s. O Burger King ficou em décimo lugar.

“O Burger King não está falhando com os pais, mas suas percepções gerais com os consumidores nos dizem que eles ainda estão atrás do McDonald's e da Wendy's”, disse o vice-presidente sênior Ted Marzilli. “É uma competição acirrada e outros grandes anunciantes.”


Os clientes do McDonald's vão esperar pelo novo quarto de libra?

Tracy Moore ficou impaciente enquanto esperava por um Quarter Pounder recentemente no estacionamento de um restaurante McDonald's no centro de Dallas.

O hambúrguer, feito com carne fresca e anunciado como mais quente e mais espremedor do que o original feito com uma empada congelada, faz parte do esforço da empresa para servir alimentos mais saborosos.

Mas depois de cerca de quatro minutos, foi Moore quem ficou irritado. Como outros clientes que pediram o novo Quarter Pounder no drive-through do restaurante, ela foi convidada a parar em uma vaga de estacionamento e esperar.

"Se vai demorar tanto assim, não vou pedir. Eu iria" em outro lugar, disse Moore, que vai ao drive-through todas as manhãs para tomar uma Coca e janta com frequência na rede.

A compensação entre tempo e sabor é grande para a McDonald's Corp, que trabalha para reconquistar negócios perdidos para os rivais. A introdução de hambúrgueres feitos na hora, de 250 gramas, feitos com carne fresca, faz parte da tentativa da rede de melhorar a qualidade dos alimentos. Anunciados em março, os novos sanduíches já estão em mercados de teste selecionados e devem ser servidos em todas as lojas dos EUA em meados de 2018.

Mas o sucesso da iniciativa pode muito bem depender da satisfação de clientes importantes como Moore: clientes rápidos de drive-through que respondem por 70 por cento da receita da empresa nos Estados Unidos.

Um Quarter Pounder sob demanda leva cerca de um minuto a mais para pousar nas mãos do cliente do que o sanduíche original, de acordo com gerentes de restaurantes e analistas, embora a carne fresca frite mais rápido do que os hambúrgueres congelados. Isso porque o churrasco só começa após o pedido do cliente. Os tradicionais Quarter Pounders costumavam ser preparados em lotes antes do tempo.

Cada segundo conta no negócio de fast-food. As velocidades de drive-through do McDonald's já estão atrás das de alguns dos principais concorrentes, de acordo com uma pesquisa amplamente observada. O McDonald's não compartilha esses dados, mas representantes da empresa disseram à Reuters no início deste ano que o tempo de atendimento diminuiu.

Ainda assim, os executivos da empresa estão otimistas com as perspectivas do popular Quarter Pounder, que responde por cerca de um quarto das vendas de hambúrgueres do McDonald's nos EUA. Em uma conferência de investidores no mês passado, o presidente-executivo Steve Easterbrook disse que a mudança criou menos complicações do que o esperado e que os operadores de restaurantes estão a bordo.

Alguns veteranos da indústria, no entanto, estão céticos. Richard Adams, ex-franqueado do McDonald's do sul da Califórnia que virou consultor, diz que a conveniência é fundamental para os clientes da rede, que podem ir para outro lugar se a velocidade piorar.

“Sempre que o processo de cozimento começa após o pedido do cliente, o tempo de serviço será mais lento”, disse Adams.

A iniciativa da carne fresca vem com o aumento da pressão nas cozinhas do McDonald's.

Adams diz que as equipes de restaurantes já estão fazendo malabarismos com itens de menu mais complicados graças ao recente lançamento nacional da nova linha de sanduíches "Signature Crafted" do McDonald's, que permite aos clientes escolher sua própria carne, pães e coberturas. Os hambúrgueres "artesanais" de um quarto de libra também usarão carne fresca à medida que se tornarem disponíveis em todo o país.

Os cozinheiros do McDonald's podem ficar ainda mais tensos com a adoção da rede de quiosques de autoatendimento e pedidos móveis. A tecnologia reduz o tempo de pedidos, mas pode criar novos gargalos ao inundar as cozinhas nos horários de pico, como aprenderam empresas como a Starbucks Corp.

FRESH VS. VELOZES

O reformado Quarter Pounder é a mais recente iniciativa de Easterbrook para modernizar a rede de 60 anos e reverter quatro anos consecutivos de queda no tráfego.

É também um tiro direto contra Wendy's Co, Whataburger e In-N-Out. Essas cadeias de hambúrgueres frescos estão entre os rivais de fast-food que o McDonald's diz ter desviado 500 milhões de transações nos EUA de suas lojas desde 2012.

A introdução de Easterbrook do café da manhã durante todo o dia em outubro de 2015 foi um grande sucesso e ajudou a aumentar as vendas. O preço das ações da empresa subiu mais de 25% neste ano.

Os analistas esperam que o impulso da carne fresca, junto com as medidas para descartar ingredientes artificiais em itens populares como nuggets de frango, impulsione as vendas atendendo à demanda do consumidor por ingredientes mais simples, "mais limpos" e mais frescos.

A reforma do Quarter Pounder ganhou o apoio inicial de analistas e franqueados do McDonald's no coração do país do gado, onde o produto foi testado por quase dois anos em cerca de 400 lojas em Oklahoma e Texas.

Três gerentes do McDonald's da área de Dallas que conversaram com a Reuters estimam que a mudança melhorou suas vendas de Quarter Pounder de 20 por cento para 50 por cento, embora ajudado por publicidade e cupons.

"Temos roubado clientes de um Whataburger na mesma rua", disse Edgar Meza, gerente de um restaurante McDonald's em um bairro nobre no norte de Dallas. Funcionários da Whataburger, uma rede regional com sede no Texas, não quis comentar.

Alguns amantes de hambúrguer também estão percebendo.

"Eles são um pouco mais suculentos", disse Bob Riley, que estava devorando um Quarter Pounder em um outlet perto do bairro Deep Ellum de Dallas, sua terceira refeição do McDonald's da semana.

"Acho que Wendy os acordou", disse ele.

Joe Jasper, um ex-executivo do McDonald's que possui 20 restaurantes na área de Dallas-Fort Worth, esteve profundamente envolvido no esforço. Ele descreveu o novo Quarter Pounder como "o melhor hambúrguer em nosso setor, mas mais importante, (um entregue) na velocidade do McDonald's."

O problema é que a "velocidade do McDonald's" não é tão rápida quanto a de muitos de seus concorrentes.

O tempo médio de serviço em um drive-through do McDonald's no ano passado foi de 208,2 segundos, de acordo com um estudo publicado pela revista QSR, uma publicação do setor, usando dados da SeeLevel HX, uma empresa de inteligência de negócios com sede em Atlanta. Isso está bem atrás da líder do setor, Wendy, com 169,1 segundos, de acordo com a pesquisa. Burger King, Dunkin 'Donuts e KFC também venceram o McDonald's.

O McDonald's estreitou a lacuna com o Wendy's em um terço de 2012 a 2016, adicionando mais pistas de drive-through em algumas lojas e descartando produtos como "wraps de salgadinhos", sanduíches embrulhados em tortilha cujo preparo demorou muito tempo. Ainda assim, seu tempo médio de serviço drive-through no ano passado foi quase 20 segundos mais lento do que em 2012, de acordo com dados da SeeLevel HX.

Claudia Barcenas, gerente assistente de um McDonald's perto da via expressa central de Dallas, diz que seu balcão e a equipe do drive-through informam aos clientes que Quarter Pounders de carne fresca podem atrasar, principalmente se os sanduíches forem bem passados.

"Temos que explicar que leva um pouco mais de tempo. Talvez um minuto", disse Barcenas.

Se isso vale a pena para os clientes do McDonald's, resta saber à medida que o experimento se desenvolve em todo o país.

Juan Rodriguez esperou em seu intervalo de almoço por um Quarter Pounder de carne fresca no drive-through de outro outlet Dallas McDonald's a cerca de 14,5 quilômetros da loja Barcenas. Na marca dos três minutos, o jovem de 20 anos estava ficando inquieto.

"Se for melhor, não me importo em esperar", disse Rodriguez. "Mas se tem o mesmo gosto, então não."


Os clientes do McDonald's vão esperar pelo novo quarto de libra?

Tracy Moore ficou impaciente enquanto esperava por um Quarter Pounder recentemente no estacionamento de um restaurante McDonald's no centro de Dallas.

O hambúrguer, feito com carne fresca e anunciado como mais quente e mais espremedor do que o original feito com uma empada congelada, faz parte do esforço da empresa para servir alimentos mais saborosos.

Mas depois de cerca de quatro minutos, foi Moore quem ficou irritado. Como outros clientes que pediram o novo Quarter Pounder no drive-through do restaurante, ela foi convidada a parar em uma vaga de estacionamento e esperar.

"Se vai demorar tanto, não vou pedir. Eu iria" em outro lugar, disse Moore, que vai ao drive-through todas as manhãs para tomar uma Coca e janta com frequência na rede.

A compensação entre tempo e sabor é grande para a McDonald's Corp, que trabalha para reconquistar negócios perdidos para os rivais. A introdução de hambúrgueres feitos na hora, de 250 gramas, feitos com carne fresca, faz parte da tentativa da rede de melhorar a qualidade dos alimentos. Anunciados em março, os novos sanduíches já estão em mercados de teste selecionados e devem ser servidos em todas as lojas dos EUA em meados de 2018.

Mas o sucesso da iniciativa pode muito bem depender da satisfação de clientes importantes como Moore: clientes rápidos de drive-through que respondem por 70 por cento da receita da empresa nos Estados Unidos.

Um Quarter Pounder sob demanda leva cerca de um minuto a mais para pousar nas mãos de um cliente do que o sanduíche original, de acordo com gerentes de restaurantes e analistas, embora a carne fresca frite mais rápido do que os hambúrgueres congelados. Isso porque o churrasco só começa após o pedido do cliente. Os tradicionais Quarter Pounders costumavam ser preparados em lotes antes do tempo.

Cada segundo conta no negócio de fast-food. As velocidades de drive-through do McDonald's já estão atrás das de alguns dos principais concorrentes, de acordo com uma pesquisa amplamente observada. O McDonald's não compartilha esses dados, mas representantes da empresa disseram à Reuters no início deste ano que o tempo de atendimento diminuiu.

Ainda assim, os executivos da empresa estão otimistas com as perspectivas do popular Quarter Pounder, que responde por cerca de um quarto das vendas de hambúrgueres do McDonald's nos EUA. Em uma conferência de investidores no mês passado, o presidente-executivo Steve Easterbrook disse que a mudança criou menos complicações do que o esperado e que os operadores de restaurantes estão a bordo.

Alguns veteranos da indústria, no entanto, estão céticos. Richard Adams, ex-franqueado do McDonald's do sul da Califórnia que virou consultor, diz que a conveniência é fundamental para os clientes da rede, que podem ir para outro lugar se a velocidade piorar.

“Sempre que o processo de cozimento começa após o pedido do cliente, o tempo de serviço será mais lento”, disse Adams.

A iniciativa da carne fresca vem com o aumento da pressão nas cozinhas do McDonald's.

Adams diz que as equipes de restaurantes já estão fazendo malabarismos com itens de menu mais complicados graças ao recente lançamento nacional da nova linha de sanduíches "Signature Crafted" do McDonald's, que permite aos clientes escolher sua própria carne, pães e coberturas. Os hambúrgueres "artesanais" de um quarto de libra também usarão carne fresca à medida que se tornarem disponíveis em todo o país.

Os cozinheiros do McDonald's podem ficar ainda mais tensos com a adoção da rede de quiosques de autoatendimento e pedidos móveis. A tecnologia reduz o tempo de pedidos, mas pode criar novos gargalos ao inundar as cozinhas nos horários de pico, como aprenderam empresas como a Starbucks Corp.

FRESH VS. VELOZES

O reformado Quarter Pounder é a mais recente iniciativa de Easterbrook para modernizar a rede de 60 anos e reverter quatro anos consecutivos de queda no tráfego.

É também um tiro direto contra Wendy's Co, Whataburger e In-N-Out. Essas cadeias de hambúrgueres frescos estão entre os rivais de fast-food que o McDonald's diz ter desviado 500 milhões de transações nos EUA de suas lojas desde 2012.

O lançamento de Easterbrook do café da manhã durante todo o dia em outubro de 2015 foi um grande sucesso e ajudou a aumentar as vendas. O preço das ações da empresa subiu mais de 25% neste ano.

Os analistas esperam que o impulso da carne fresca, junto com as medidas para descartar ingredientes artificiais em itens populares como nuggets de frango, impulsione as vendas atendendo à demanda do consumidor por ingredientes mais simples, "mais limpos" e mais frescos.

A reforma do Quarter Pounder ganhou o apoio inicial de analistas e franqueados do McDonald's no coração do país do gado, onde o produto foi testado por quase dois anos em cerca de 400 lojas em Oklahoma e Texas.

Três gerentes do McDonald's da área de Dallas que conversaram com a Reuters estimam que a mudança melhorou suas vendas de Quarter Pounder de 20 por cento para 50 por cento, embora ajudado por publicidade e cupons.

"Temos roubado clientes de um Whataburger descendo a rua", disse Edgar Meza, gerente de um restaurante McDonald's em um bairro nobre no norte de Dallas. Funcionários da Whataburger, uma rede regional com sede no Texas, não quis comentar.

Alguns amantes de hambúrguer também estão percebendo.

"Eles são um pouco mais suculentos", disse Bob Riley, que estava devorando um Quarter Pounder em um outlet perto do bairro Deep Ellum de Dallas, sua terceira refeição do McDonald's da semana.

"Acho que Wendy os acordou", disse ele.

Joe Jasper, um ex-executivo do McDonald's que possui 20 restaurantes na área de Dallas-Fort Worth, esteve profundamente envolvido no esforço. Ele descreveu o novo Quarter Pounder como "o melhor hambúrguer em nossa indústria, mas mais importante, (um entregue) na velocidade do McDonald's."

O problema é que a "velocidade do McDonald's" não é tão rápida quanto a de muitos de seus concorrentes.

O tempo médio de serviço em um drive-through do McDonald's no ano passado foi de 208,2 segundos, de acordo com um estudo publicado pela revista QSR, uma publicação do setor, usando dados da SeeLevel HX, uma empresa de inteligência de negócios com sede em Atlanta. Isso está bem atrás da líder do setor, Wendy, com 169,1 segundos, de acordo com a pesquisa. Burger King, Dunkin 'Donuts e KFC também venceram o McDonald's.

O McDonald's estreitou a lacuna com o Wendy's em um terço de 2012 a 2016, adicionando mais pistas de drive-through em algumas lojas e descartando produtos como "wraps de salgadinhos", sanduíches embrulhados em tortilha cujo preparo demorou muito tempo. Ainda assim, seu tempo médio de serviço drive-through no ano passado foi quase 20 segundos mais lento do que em 2012, de acordo com dados da SeeLevel HX.

Claudia Barcenas, gerente assistente de um McDonald's perto da via expressa central de Dallas, diz que seu balcão e a equipe do drive-through informam aos clientes que Quarter Pounders de carne fresca podem atrasar, principalmente se os sanduíches forem bem passados.

"Temos que explicar que leva um pouco mais de tempo. Talvez um minuto", disse Barcenas.

Se isso vale a pena para os clientes do McDonald's, resta saber à medida que o experimento se desenvolve em todo o país.

Juan Rodriguez esperou em sua hora de almoço por um Quarter Pounder de carne fresca no drive-through de outro outlet Dallas McDonald's a cerca de 14,5 km da loja Barcenas. Na marca dos três minutos, o jovem de 20 anos estava ficando inquieto.

"Se for melhor, não me importo em esperar", disse Rodriguez. "Mas se tem o mesmo gosto, então não."


Os clientes do McDonald's vão esperar pelo novo Quarter Pounder?

Tracy Moore ficou impaciente enquanto esperava por um Quarter Pounder recentemente no estacionamento de um restaurante McDonald's no centro de Dallas.

O hambúrguer, feito com carne fresca e anunciado como mais quente e mais espremedor do que o original feito com uma empada congelada, faz parte do esforço da empresa para servir alimentos mais saborosos.

Mas depois de cerca de quatro minutos, foi Moore quem ficou irritado. Como outros clientes que pediram o novo Quarter Pounder no drive-through do restaurante, ela foi convidada a parar em uma vaga de estacionamento e esperar.

"Se vai demorar tanto, não vou pedir. Eu iria" em outro lugar, disse Moore, que vai ao drive-through todas as manhãs para tomar uma Coca e janta com frequência na rede.

A compensação entre tempo e sabor é grande para a McDonald's Corp, que trabalha para reconquistar negócios perdidos para os rivais. A introdução de hambúrgueres feitos na hora, de 250 gramas, feitos com carne fresca, faz parte da tentativa da rede de melhorar a qualidade dos alimentos. Anunciados em março, os novos sanduíches já estão em mercados de teste selecionados e devem ser servidos em todas as lojas dos EUA em meados de 2018.

Mas o sucesso da iniciativa pode muito bem depender da satisfação de clientes importantes como Moore: clientes diretos rápidos que respondem por 70 por cento da receita da empresa nos Estados Unidos.

Um Quarter Pounder sob demanda leva cerca de um minuto a mais para pousar nas mãos de um cliente do que o sanduíche original, de acordo com gerentes de restaurantes e analistas, embora a carne fresca frite mais rápido do que os hambúrgueres congelados. Isso porque o churrasco só começa após o pedido do cliente. Os tradicionais Quarter Pounders costumavam ser preparados em lotes antes do tempo.

Cada segundo conta no negócio de fast-food. As velocidades de drive-through do McDonald's já estão atrás das de alguns dos principais concorrentes, de acordo com uma pesquisa amplamente observada. O McDonald's não compartilha esses dados, mas representantes da empresa disseram à Reuters no início deste ano que o tempo de atendimento diminuiu.

Ainda assim, os executivos da empresa estão otimistas com as perspectivas do popular Quarter Pounder, que responde por cerca de um quarto das vendas de hambúrgueres do McDonald's nos EUA. Em uma conferência de investidores no mês passado, o presidente-executivo Steve Easterbrook disse que a mudança criou menos complicações do que o esperado e que os operadores de restaurantes estão a bordo.

Alguns veteranos da indústria, no entanto, estão céticos. Richard Adams, ex-franqueado do McDonald's do sul da Califórnia que virou consultor, diz que a conveniência é fundamental para os clientes da rede, que podem ir para outro lugar se a velocidade piorar.

“Sempre que o processo de cozimento começa após o pedido do cliente, o tempo de serviço será mais lento”, disse Adams.

A iniciativa da carne fresca vem com o aumento da pressão nas cozinhas do McDonald's.

Adams diz que as equipes de restaurantes já estão fazendo malabarismos com itens de menu mais complicados, graças ao recente lançamento nacional da nova linha de sanduíches "Signature Crafted" do McDonald's, que permite aos clientes escolher sua própria carne, pães e coberturas. Os hambúrgueres "artesanais" de um quarto de libra também usarão carne fresca à medida que se tornarem disponíveis em todo o país.

Os cozinheiros do McDonald's podem ficar ainda mais tensos com a adoção da rede de quiosques de autoatendimento e pedidos móveis. A tecnologia reduz o tempo de pedidos, mas pode criar novos gargalos ao inundar as cozinhas nos horários de pico, como aprenderam empresas como a Starbucks Corp.

FRESH VS. VELOZES

O reformado Quarter Pounder é a mais recente iniciativa de Easterbrook para modernizar a rede de 60 anos e reverter quatro anos consecutivos de queda no tráfego.

É também um tiro direto contra Wendy's Co, Whataburger e In-N-Out. Essas cadeias de hambúrgueres frescos estão entre os rivais de fast-food que o McDonald's diz ter desviado 500 milhões de transações nos EUA de suas lojas desde 2012.

A introdução de Easterbrook do café da manhã durante todo o dia em outubro de 2015 foi um grande sucesso e ajudou a aumentar as vendas. O preço das ações da empresa subiu mais de 25% neste ano.

Os analistas esperam que o impulso da carne fresca, junto com as medidas para descartar ingredientes artificiais em itens populares como nuggets de frango, impulsione as vendas atendendo à demanda do consumidor por ingredientes mais simples, "mais limpos" e mais frescos.

A reforma do Quarter Pounder ganhou o apoio inicial de analistas e franqueados do McDonald's no coração do país do gado, onde o produto foi testado por quase dois anos em cerca de 400 lojas em Oklahoma e Texas.

Três gerentes do McDonald's da área de Dallas que conversaram com a Reuters estimam que a mudança melhorou suas vendas de Quarter Pounder de 20 por cento para 50 por cento, embora ajudado por publicidade e cupons.

"Temos roubado clientes de um Whataburger na mesma rua", disse Edgar Meza, gerente de um restaurante McDonald's em um bairro nobre no norte de Dallas. Funcionários da Whataburger, uma rede regional com sede no Texas, não quis comentar.

Alguns amantes de hambúrguer também estão percebendo.

"Eles são um pouco mais suculentos", disse Bob Riley, que estava devorando um Quarter Pounder em um outlet perto do bairro Deep Ellum de Dallas, sua terceira refeição do McDonald's da semana.

"Acho que Wendy os acordou", disse ele.

Joe Jasper, um ex-executivo do McDonald's que possui 20 restaurantes na área de Dallas-Fort Worth, esteve profundamente envolvido no esforço. Ele descreveu o novo Quarter Pounder como "o melhor hambúrguer em nosso setor, mas mais importante, (um entregue) na velocidade do McDonald's."

O problema é que a "velocidade do McDonald's" não é tão rápida quanto a de muitos de seus concorrentes.

O tempo médio de serviço em um drive-through do McDonald's no ano passado foi de 208,2 segundos, de acordo com um estudo publicado pela revista QSR, uma publicação do setor, usando dados da SeeLevel HX, uma empresa de inteligência de negócios com sede em Atlanta. Isso está bem atrás da líder do setor, Wendy, com 169,1 segundos, de acordo com a pesquisa. Burger King, Dunkin 'Donuts e KFC também venceram o McDonald's.

O McDonald's estreitou a lacuna com o Wendy's em um terço de 2012 a 2016, adicionando mais pistas de drive-through em algumas lojas e descartando produtos como "wraps de salgadinhos", sanduíches embrulhados em tortilha cujo preparo demorou muito tempo. Ainda assim, seu tempo médio de serviço drive-through no ano passado foi quase 20 segundos mais lento do que em 2012, de acordo com dados da SeeLevel HX.

Claudia Barcenas, gerente assistente de um McDonald's perto da via expressa Central de Dallas, diz que seu balcão e a equipe do drive-through informam aos clientes que Quarter Pounders de carne fresca podem atrasar, principalmente se os sanduíches forem bem passados.

"Temos que explicar que leva um pouco mais de tempo. Talvez um minuto", disse Barcenas.

Se isso vale a pena para os clientes do McDonald's, resta saber à medida que o experimento se desenvolve em todo o país.

Juan Rodriguez esperou em sua hora de almoço por um Quarter Pounder de carne fresca no drive-through de outro outlet Dallas McDonald's a cerca de 14,5 km da loja Barcenas. Na marca dos três minutos, o jovem de 20 anos estava ficando inquieto.

"Se for melhor, não me importo de esperar", disse Rodriguez. "Mas se tem o mesmo gosto, então não."


Os clientes do McDonald's vão esperar pelo novo Quarter Pounder?

Tracy Moore ficou impaciente enquanto esperava por um Quarter Pounder recentemente no estacionamento de um restaurante McDonald's no centro de Dallas.

O hambúrguer, feito com carne fresca e anunciado como mais quente e mais espremedor do que o original feito com uma empada congelada, faz parte do esforço da empresa para servir alimentos mais saborosos.

Mas depois de cerca de quatro minutos, foi Moore quem ficou irritado. Como outros clientes que pediram o novo Quarter Pounder no drive-through do restaurante, ela foi convidada a parar em uma vaga de estacionamento e esperar.

"Se vai demorar tanto, não vou pedir. Eu iria" em outro lugar, disse Moore, que vai ao drive-through todas as manhãs para tomar uma Coca e janta com frequência na rede.

A compensação entre tempo e sabor é grande para a McDonald's Corp, que trabalha para reconquistar negócios perdidos para os rivais. A introdução de hambúrgueres feitos na hora, de 250 gramas, feitos com carne fresca, faz parte da tentativa da rede de melhorar a qualidade dos alimentos. Anunciados em março, os novos sanduíches já estão em mercados de teste selecionados e devem ser servidos em todas as lojas dos EUA em meados de 2018.

Mas o sucesso da iniciativa pode muito bem depender da satisfação de clientes importantes como Moore: clientes rápidos de drive-through que respondem por 70 por cento da receita da empresa nos Estados Unidos.

Um Quarter Pounder sob demanda leva cerca de um minuto a mais para pousar nas mãos de um cliente do que o sanduíche original, de acordo com gerentes de restaurantes e analistas, embora a carne fresca frite mais rápido do que os hambúrgueres congelados. Isso porque o churrasco só começa após o pedido do cliente. Os tradicionais Quarter Pounders costumavam ser preparados em lotes antes do tempo.

Cada segundo conta no negócio de fast-food. As velocidades de drive-through do McDonald's já estão atrás das de alguns dos principais concorrentes, de acordo com uma pesquisa amplamente observada. O McDonald's não compartilha esses dados, mas representantes da empresa disseram à Reuters no início deste ano que o tempo de atendimento diminuiu.

Ainda assim, os executivos da empresa estão otimistas com as perspectivas do popular Quarter Pounder, que responde por cerca de um quarto das vendas de hambúrgueres do McDonald's nos EUA. Em uma conferência de investidores no mês passado, o presidente-executivo Steve Easterbrook disse que a mudança criou menos complicações do que o esperado e que os operadores de restaurantes estão a bordo.

Alguns veteranos da indústria, no entanto, estão céticos. Richard Adams, ex-franqueado do McDonald's do sul da Califórnia que virou consultor, diz que a conveniência é fundamental para os clientes da rede, que podem ir para outro lugar se a velocidade piorar.

“Sempre que o processo de cozimento começa após o pedido do cliente, o tempo de serviço será mais lento”, disse Adams.

A iniciativa da carne fresca vem com o aumento da pressão nas cozinhas do McDonald's.

Adams diz que as equipes de restaurantes já estão fazendo malabarismos com itens de menu mais complicados graças ao recente lançamento nacional da nova linha de sanduíches "Signature Crafted" do McDonald's, que permite aos clientes escolher sua própria carne, pães e coberturas. Os hambúrgueres "artesanais" de um quarto de libra também usarão carne fresca à medida que se tornarem disponíveis em todo o país.

Os cozinheiros do McDonald's podem ficar ainda mais tensos com a adoção da rede de quiosques de autoatendimento e pedidos móveis. A tecnologia reduz o tempo de pedidos, mas pode criar novos gargalos ao inundar as cozinhas nos horários de pico, como aprenderam empresas como a Starbucks Corp.

FRESH VS. VELOZES

O reformado Quarter Pounder é a mais recente iniciativa de Easterbrook para modernizar a rede de 60 anos e reverter quatro anos consecutivos de queda no tráfego.

É também um tiro direto contra Wendy's Co, Whataburger e In-N-Out. Essas cadeias de hambúrgueres frescos estão entre os rivais de fast-food que o McDonald's diz ter desviado 500 milhões de transações nos EUA de suas lojas desde 2012.

A introdução de Easterbrook do café da manhã durante todo o dia em outubro de 2015 foi um grande sucesso e ajudou a aumentar as vendas. O preço das ações da empresa subiu mais de 25% neste ano.

Os analistas esperam que o impulso da carne fresca, junto com as medidas para descartar ingredientes artificiais em itens populares como nuggets de frango, impulsione as vendas atendendo à demanda do consumidor por ingredientes mais simples, "mais limpos" e mais frescos.

A reforma do Quarter Pounder ganhou o apoio inicial de analistas e franqueados do McDonald's no coração do país do gado, onde o produto foi testado por quase dois anos em cerca de 400 lojas em Oklahoma e Texas.

Três gerentes do McDonald's da área de Dallas que conversaram com a Reuters estimam que a mudança melhorou suas vendas de Quarter Pounder de 20 por cento para 50 por cento, embora ajudado por publicidade e cupons.

"Temos roubado clientes de um Whataburger na mesma rua", disse Edgar Meza, gerente de um restaurante McDonald's em um bairro nobre no norte de Dallas. Funcionários da Whataburger, uma rede regional com sede no Texas, não quis comentar.

Alguns amantes de hambúrguer também estão percebendo.

"Eles são um pouco mais suculentos", disse Bob Riley, que estava devorando um Quarter Pounder em um outlet perto do bairro Deep Ellum de Dallas, sua terceira refeição do McDonald's da semana.

"Acho que Wendy os acordou", disse ele.

Joe Jasper, um ex-executivo do McDonald's que possui 20 restaurantes na área de Dallas-Fort Worth, esteve profundamente envolvido no esforço. Ele descreveu o novo Quarter Pounder como "o melhor hambúrguer em nossa indústria, mas mais importante, (um entregue) na velocidade do McDonald's."

O problema é que a "velocidade do McDonald's" não é tão rápida quanto a de muitos de seus concorrentes.

O tempo médio de serviço em um drive-through do McDonald's no ano passado foi de 208,2 segundos, de acordo com um estudo publicado pela revista QSR, uma publicação do setor, usando dados da SeeLevel HX, uma empresa de inteligência de negócios com sede em Atlanta. Isso está bem atrás da líder do setor, Wendy, com 169,1 segundos, de acordo com a pesquisa. Burger King, Dunkin 'Donuts e KFC também venceram o McDonald's.

O McDonald's estreitou a lacuna com o Wendy's em um terço de 2012 a 2016, adicionando mais pistas de drive-through em algumas lojas e descartando produtos como "wraps de salgadinhos", sanduíches embrulhados em tortilha cujo preparo demorou muito tempo. Ainda assim, seu tempo médio de serviço drive-through no ano passado foi quase 20 segundos mais lento do que em 2012, de acordo com dados da SeeLevel HX.

Claudia Barcenas, gerente assistente de um McDonald's perto da via expressa Central de Dallas, diz que seu balcão e a equipe do drive-through informam aos clientes que Quarter Pounders de carne fresca podem atrasar, principalmente se os sanduíches forem bem passados.

"Temos que explicar que leva um pouco mais de tempo. Talvez um minuto", disse Barcenas.

Se isso vale a pena para os clientes do McDonald's, resta saber à medida que o experimento se desenvolve em todo o país.

Juan Rodriguez esperou em sua hora de almoço por um Quarter Pounder de carne fresca no drive-through de outro outlet Dallas McDonald's a cerca de 14,5 km da loja Barcenas. Na marca dos três minutos, o jovem de 20 anos estava ficando inquieto.

"Se for melhor, não me importo de esperar", disse Rodriguez. "Mas se tem o mesmo gosto, então não."


Os clientes do McDonald's vão esperar pelo novo quarto de libra?

Tracy Moore ficou impaciente enquanto esperava por um Quarter Pounder recentemente no estacionamento de um restaurante McDonald's no centro de Dallas.

O hambúrguer, feito com carne fresca e anunciado como mais quente e mais espremedor do que o original feito com uma empada congelada, faz parte do esforço da empresa para servir alimentos mais saborosos.

Mas depois de cerca de quatro minutos, foi Moore quem ficou irritado. Como outros clientes que pediram o novo Quarter Pounder no drive-through do restaurante, ela foi convidada a parar em uma vaga de estacionamento e esperar.

"Se vai demorar tanto, não vou pedir. Eu iria" em outro lugar, disse Moore, que vai ao drive-through todas as manhãs para tomar uma Coca e janta com frequência na rede.

A compensação entre tempo e sabor é grande para a McDonald's Corp, que trabalha para reconquistar negócios perdidos para os rivais. A introdução de hambúrgueres feitos na hora, de 250 gramas, feitos com carne fresca, faz parte da tentativa da rede de melhorar a qualidade dos alimentos. Anunciados em março, os novos sanduíches já estão em mercados de teste selecionados e devem ser servidos em todas as lojas dos EUA em meados de 2018.

But the success of the initiative may well hinge on satisfying important customers like Moore: speed-minded drive-through patrons who account for 70 per cent of the firm's U.S. revenue.

An on-demand Quarter Pounder takes about a minute longer to land in a customer's hands than does the original sandwich, according to restaurant managers and analysts, even though fresh beef fries up faster than frozen patties. That's because grilling begins only after a patron orders. Traditional Quarter Pounders were often cooked up in batches ahead of time.

Every second counts in the fast-food business. McDonald's drive-through speeds already lag those of some major competitors, according to one widely watched survey. McDonald's does not share such data, but company representatives told Reuters earlier this year that service times have slowed.

Still, company executives are bullish on prospects for the popular Quarter Pounder, which accounts for about one-fourth of McDonald's U.S. burger sales. At an investor conference last month, Chief Executive Steve Easterbrook said the changeover has created fewer complications than expected and that restaurant operators are on board.

Some industry veterans, however, are skeptical. Richard Adams, a former Southern California McDonald's franchisee-turned-consultant, says convenience is paramount for the chain's patrons, who may go elsewhere if speed deteriorates.

"Any time the cooking process begins after the customer orders, the service time will be slower," Adams said.

The fresh-beef initiative comes as pressure builds on McDonald's kitchens.

Adams says restaurant crews already are juggling trickier menu items thanks to the recent national launch of McDonald's new "Signature Crafted" sandwich line, which allows customers to pick their own meat, buns and toppings. "Signature Crafted" quarter-pound burgers also will use fresh beef as it becomes available nationwide.

McDonald's cooks could be further strained by the chain's embrace of self-service kiosks and mobile ordering. The technology shaves ordering times, but can create new bottlenecks by swamping kitchens at peak hours, as companies such as Starbucks Corp have learned.

FRESH VS. FAST

The revamped Quarter Pounder is the latest move by Easterbrook to modernize the 60-year-old chain and reverse four straight years of traffic declines.

It's also a direct shot at Wendy's Co, Whataburger and In-N-Out. Those fresh-burger chains are among the fast-food rivals that McDonald's says have siphoned 500 million U.S. transactions from its stores since 2012.

Easterbrook's introduction of all-day breakfast in October 2015 was a big hit and has helped lift sales. The company's stock price is up more than 25 per cent so far this year.

Analysts expect the fresh-beef push, along with moves to ditch artificial ingredients in popular items such as chicken nuggets, to bolster sales by addressing consumer demand for simpler, "cleaner" and fresher ingredients.

The Quarter Pounder makeover has won early support from analysts and McDonald's franchisees in the heart of cattle country, where the product has been tested for almost two years in about 400 stores in Oklahoma and Texas.

Three Dallas-area McDonald's managers who spoke with Reuters estimated the switch has improved their Quarter Pounder sales from 20 per cent to 50 per cent, albeit aided by advertising and coupons.

"We've been stealing customers from a Whataburger down the street," said Edgar Meza, a manager at a McDonald's restaurant in an upscale neighborhood in north Dallas. Officials at Texas-based Whataburger, a regional chain, declined to comment.

Some burger lovers are taking notice too.

"They're a little juicier," said Bob Riley, who was polishing off a Quarter Pounder at an outlet near Dallas' Deep Ellum neighborhood, his third McDonald's meal of the week.

"I think Wendy's woke them up," he said.

Joe Jasper, a former McDonald's executive who owns 20 restaurants in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, has been deeply involved in the effort. He described the new Quarter Pounder as "the best burger in our industry, but more importantly, (one delivered) at the speed of McDonald's."

Trouble is, the "speed of McDonald's" isn't as fast as that of many of its competitors.

The average service time at a McDonald's drive-through last year was 208.2 seconds, according to a study published by QSR magazine, an industry publication, using data from SeeLevel HX, an Atlanta-based business intelligence firm. That's well behind industry leader Wendy's at 169.1 seconds, according to the survey. Burger King, Dunkin' Donuts and KFC all beat McDonald's too.

McDonald's narrowed the gap with Wendy's by one-third from 2012 to 2016 by adding more drive-through lanes at some stores and by scrapping products such as "snack wraps," tortilla-wrapped sandwiches that proved time-consuming to prepare. Still, its average drive-through service time last year was almost 20 seconds slower than it was in 2012, according to SeeLevel HX data.

Claudia Barcenas, assistant manager at a McDonald's off Dallas' Central Expressway, says her counter and drive-through staff inform patrons that fresh-beef Quarter Pounders can be delayed, particularly if the sandwiches are ordered well-done.

"We have to explain that it takes a bit longer. Perhaps a minute," Barcenas said.

Whether that's worth it for McDonald's customers remains to be seen as the experiment goes nationwide.

Juan Rodriguez waited on his lunch break for a fresh-beef Quarter Pounder at the drive-through of another Dallas McDonald's outlet about nine miles from Barcenas' store. At the three-minute mark, the 20-year-old was getting restless.

"If it's better, I don't mind waiting," Rodriguez said. "But if it tastes the same, then no."


Will McDonald's customers wait for the new Quarter Pounder?

Tracy Moore grew impatient as she waited for a Quarter Pounder recently in the parking lot of a McDonald's restaurant in central Dallas.

The burger, made with fresh beef and billed as hotter and juicer than the original made from a frozen patty, is part of the company's effort to serve tastier food.

But after about four minutes, it was Moore who was steamed. Like other customers who'd ordered the new Quarter Pounder at the restaurant's drive-through, she was asked to pull into a parking space and wait.

"If it's going to be that long every time, I won't order it. I'd go" elsewhere, said Moore, who hits the drive-through every morning for a Coke and dines frequently at the chain.

The tradeoff between time and taste looms large for McDonald's Corp as it works to win back business lost to rivals. The introduction of cooked-to-order, quarter-pound burgers made with fresh beef is part of the chain's attempt to improve food quality. Announced in March, the new sandwiches are already in selected test markets and are expected to be served in all U.S. stores by mid-2018.

But the success of the initiative may well hinge on satisfying important customers like Moore: speed-minded drive-through patrons who account for 70 per cent of the firm's U.S. revenue.

An on-demand Quarter Pounder takes about a minute longer to land in a customer's hands than does the original sandwich, according to restaurant managers and analysts, even though fresh beef fries up faster than frozen patties. That's because grilling begins only after a patron orders. Traditional Quarter Pounders were often cooked up in batches ahead of time.

Every second counts in the fast-food business. McDonald's drive-through speeds already lag those of some major competitors, according to one widely watched survey. McDonald's does not share such data, but company representatives told Reuters earlier this year that service times have slowed.

Still, company executives are bullish on prospects for the popular Quarter Pounder, which accounts for about one-fourth of McDonald's U.S. burger sales. At an investor conference last month, Chief Executive Steve Easterbrook said the changeover has created fewer complications than expected and that restaurant operators are on board.

Some industry veterans, however, are skeptical. Richard Adams, a former Southern California McDonald's franchisee-turned-consultant, says convenience is paramount for the chain's patrons, who may go elsewhere if speed deteriorates.

"Any time the cooking process begins after the customer orders, the service time will be slower," Adams said.

The fresh-beef initiative comes as pressure builds on McDonald's kitchens.

Adams says restaurant crews already are juggling trickier menu items thanks to the recent national launch of McDonald's new "Signature Crafted" sandwich line, which allows customers to pick their own meat, buns and toppings. "Signature Crafted" quarter-pound burgers also will use fresh beef as it becomes available nationwide.

McDonald's cooks could be further strained by the chain's embrace of self-service kiosks and mobile ordering. The technology shaves ordering times, but can create new bottlenecks by swamping kitchens at peak hours, as companies such as Starbucks Corp have learned.

FRESH VS. FAST

The revamped Quarter Pounder is the latest move by Easterbrook to modernize the 60-year-old chain and reverse four straight years of traffic declines.

It's also a direct shot at Wendy's Co, Whataburger and In-N-Out. Those fresh-burger chains are among the fast-food rivals that McDonald's says have siphoned 500 million U.S. transactions from its stores since 2012.

Easterbrook's introduction of all-day breakfast in October 2015 was a big hit and has helped lift sales. The company's stock price is up more than 25 per cent so far this year.

Analysts expect the fresh-beef push, along with moves to ditch artificial ingredients in popular items such as chicken nuggets, to bolster sales by addressing consumer demand for simpler, "cleaner" and fresher ingredients.

The Quarter Pounder makeover has won early support from analysts and McDonald's franchisees in the heart of cattle country, where the product has been tested for almost two years in about 400 stores in Oklahoma and Texas.

Three Dallas-area McDonald's managers who spoke with Reuters estimated the switch has improved their Quarter Pounder sales from 20 per cent to 50 per cent, albeit aided by advertising and coupons.

"We've been stealing customers from a Whataburger down the street," said Edgar Meza, a manager at a McDonald's restaurant in an upscale neighborhood in north Dallas. Officials at Texas-based Whataburger, a regional chain, declined to comment.

Some burger lovers are taking notice too.

"They're a little juicier," said Bob Riley, who was polishing off a Quarter Pounder at an outlet near Dallas' Deep Ellum neighborhood, his third McDonald's meal of the week.

"I think Wendy's woke them up," he said.

Joe Jasper, a former McDonald's executive who owns 20 restaurants in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, has been deeply involved in the effort. He described the new Quarter Pounder as "the best burger in our industry, but more importantly, (one delivered) at the speed of McDonald's."

Trouble is, the "speed of McDonald's" isn't as fast as that of many of its competitors.

The average service time at a McDonald's drive-through last year was 208.2 seconds, according to a study published by QSR magazine, an industry publication, using data from SeeLevel HX, an Atlanta-based business intelligence firm. That's well behind industry leader Wendy's at 169.1 seconds, according to the survey. Burger King, Dunkin' Donuts and KFC all beat McDonald's too.

McDonald's narrowed the gap with Wendy's by one-third from 2012 to 2016 by adding more drive-through lanes at some stores and by scrapping products such as "snack wraps," tortilla-wrapped sandwiches that proved time-consuming to prepare. Still, its average drive-through service time last year was almost 20 seconds slower than it was in 2012, according to SeeLevel HX data.

Claudia Barcenas, assistant manager at a McDonald's off Dallas' Central Expressway, says her counter and drive-through staff inform patrons that fresh-beef Quarter Pounders can be delayed, particularly if the sandwiches are ordered well-done.

"We have to explain that it takes a bit longer. Perhaps a minute," Barcenas said.

Whether that's worth it for McDonald's customers remains to be seen as the experiment goes nationwide.

Juan Rodriguez waited on his lunch break for a fresh-beef Quarter Pounder at the drive-through of another Dallas McDonald's outlet about nine miles from Barcenas' store. At the three-minute mark, the 20-year-old was getting restless.

"If it's better, I don't mind waiting," Rodriguez said. "But if it tastes the same, then no."


Will McDonald's customers wait for the new Quarter Pounder?

Tracy Moore grew impatient as she waited for a Quarter Pounder recently in the parking lot of a McDonald's restaurant in central Dallas.

The burger, made with fresh beef and billed as hotter and juicer than the original made from a frozen patty, is part of the company's effort to serve tastier food.

But after about four minutes, it was Moore who was steamed. Like other customers who'd ordered the new Quarter Pounder at the restaurant's drive-through, she was asked to pull into a parking space and wait.

"If it's going to be that long every time, I won't order it. I'd go" elsewhere, said Moore, who hits the drive-through every morning for a Coke and dines frequently at the chain.

The tradeoff between time and taste looms large for McDonald's Corp as it works to win back business lost to rivals. The introduction of cooked-to-order, quarter-pound burgers made with fresh beef is part of the chain's attempt to improve food quality. Announced in March, the new sandwiches are already in selected test markets and are expected to be served in all U.S. stores by mid-2018.

But the success of the initiative may well hinge on satisfying important customers like Moore: speed-minded drive-through patrons who account for 70 per cent of the firm's U.S. revenue.

An on-demand Quarter Pounder takes about a minute longer to land in a customer's hands than does the original sandwich, according to restaurant managers and analysts, even though fresh beef fries up faster than frozen patties. That's because grilling begins only after a patron orders. Traditional Quarter Pounders were often cooked up in batches ahead of time.

Every second counts in the fast-food business. McDonald's drive-through speeds already lag those of some major competitors, according to one widely watched survey. McDonald's does not share such data, but company representatives told Reuters earlier this year that service times have slowed.

Still, company executives are bullish on prospects for the popular Quarter Pounder, which accounts for about one-fourth of McDonald's U.S. burger sales. At an investor conference last month, Chief Executive Steve Easterbrook said the changeover has created fewer complications than expected and that restaurant operators are on board.

Some industry veterans, however, are skeptical. Richard Adams, a former Southern California McDonald's franchisee-turned-consultant, says convenience is paramount for the chain's patrons, who may go elsewhere if speed deteriorates.

"Any time the cooking process begins after the customer orders, the service time will be slower," Adams said.

The fresh-beef initiative comes as pressure builds on McDonald's kitchens.

Adams says restaurant crews already are juggling trickier menu items thanks to the recent national launch of McDonald's new "Signature Crafted" sandwich line, which allows customers to pick their own meat, buns and toppings. "Signature Crafted" quarter-pound burgers also will use fresh beef as it becomes available nationwide.

McDonald's cooks could be further strained by the chain's embrace of self-service kiosks and mobile ordering. The technology shaves ordering times, but can create new bottlenecks by swamping kitchens at peak hours, as companies such as Starbucks Corp have learned.

FRESH VS. FAST

The revamped Quarter Pounder is the latest move by Easterbrook to modernize the 60-year-old chain and reverse four straight years of traffic declines.

It's also a direct shot at Wendy's Co, Whataburger and In-N-Out. Those fresh-burger chains are among the fast-food rivals that McDonald's says have siphoned 500 million U.S. transactions from its stores since 2012.

Easterbrook's introduction of all-day breakfast in October 2015 was a big hit and has helped lift sales. The company's stock price is up more than 25 per cent so far this year.

Analysts expect the fresh-beef push, along with moves to ditch artificial ingredients in popular items such as chicken nuggets, to bolster sales by addressing consumer demand for simpler, "cleaner" and fresher ingredients.

The Quarter Pounder makeover has won early support from analysts and McDonald's franchisees in the heart of cattle country, where the product has been tested for almost two years in about 400 stores in Oklahoma and Texas.

Three Dallas-area McDonald's managers who spoke with Reuters estimated the switch has improved their Quarter Pounder sales from 20 per cent to 50 per cent, albeit aided by advertising and coupons.

"We've been stealing customers from a Whataburger down the street," said Edgar Meza, a manager at a McDonald's restaurant in an upscale neighborhood in north Dallas. Officials at Texas-based Whataburger, a regional chain, declined to comment.

Some burger lovers are taking notice too.

"They're a little juicier," said Bob Riley, who was polishing off a Quarter Pounder at an outlet near Dallas' Deep Ellum neighborhood, his third McDonald's meal of the week.

"I think Wendy's woke them up," he said.

Joe Jasper, a former McDonald's executive who owns 20 restaurants in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, has been deeply involved in the effort. He described the new Quarter Pounder as "the best burger in our industry, but more importantly, (one delivered) at the speed of McDonald's."

Trouble is, the "speed of McDonald's" isn't as fast as that of many of its competitors.

The average service time at a McDonald's drive-through last year was 208.2 seconds, according to a study published by QSR magazine, an industry publication, using data from SeeLevel HX, an Atlanta-based business intelligence firm. That's well behind industry leader Wendy's at 169.1 seconds, according to the survey. Burger King, Dunkin' Donuts and KFC all beat McDonald's too.

McDonald's narrowed the gap with Wendy's by one-third from 2012 to 2016 by adding more drive-through lanes at some stores and by scrapping products such as "snack wraps," tortilla-wrapped sandwiches that proved time-consuming to prepare. Still, its average drive-through service time last year was almost 20 seconds slower than it was in 2012, according to SeeLevel HX data.

Claudia Barcenas, assistant manager at a McDonald's off Dallas' Central Expressway, says her counter and drive-through staff inform patrons that fresh-beef Quarter Pounders can be delayed, particularly if the sandwiches are ordered well-done.

"We have to explain that it takes a bit longer. Perhaps a minute," Barcenas said.

Whether that's worth it for McDonald's customers remains to be seen as the experiment goes nationwide.

Juan Rodriguez waited on his lunch break for a fresh-beef Quarter Pounder at the drive-through of another Dallas McDonald's outlet about nine miles from Barcenas' store. At the three-minute mark, the 20-year-old was getting restless.

"If it's better, I don't mind waiting," Rodriguez said. "But if it tastes the same, then no."


Will McDonald's customers wait for the new Quarter Pounder?

Tracy Moore grew impatient as she waited for a Quarter Pounder recently in the parking lot of a McDonald's restaurant in central Dallas.

The burger, made with fresh beef and billed as hotter and juicer than the original made from a frozen patty, is part of the company's effort to serve tastier food.

But after about four minutes, it was Moore who was steamed. Like other customers who'd ordered the new Quarter Pounder at the restaurant's drive-through, she was asked to pull into a parking space and wait.

"If it's going to be that long every time, I won't order it. I'd go" elsewhere, said Moore, who hits the drive-through every morning for a Coke and dines frequently at the chain.

The tradeoff between time and taste looms large for McDonald's Corp as it works to win back business lost to rivals. The introduction of cooked-to-order, quarter-pound burgers made with fresh beef is part of the chain's attempt to improve food quality. Announced in March, the new sandwiches are already in selected test markets and are expected to be served in all U.S. stores by mid-2018.

But the success of the initiative may well hinge on satisfying important customers like Moore: speed-minded drive-through patrons who account for 70 per cent of the firm's U.S. revenue.

An on-demand Quarter Pounder takes about a minute longer to land in a customer's hands than does the original sandwich, according to restaurant managers and analysts, even though fresh beef fries up faster than frozen patties. That's because grilling begins only after a patron orders. Traditional Quarter Pounders were often cooked up in batches ahead of time.

Every second counts in the fast-food business. McDonald's drive-through speeds already lag those of some major competitors, according to one widely watched survey. McDonald's does not share such data, but company representatives told Reuters earlier this year that service times have slowed.

Still, company executives are bullish on prospects for the popular Quarter Pounder, which accounts for about one-fourth of McDonald's U.S. burger sales. At an investor conference last month, Chief Executive Steve Easterbrook said the changeover has created fewer complications than expected and that restaurant operators are on board.

Some industry veterans, however, are skeptical. Richard Adams, a former Southern California McDonald's franchisee-turned-consultant, says convenience is paramount for the chain's patrons, who may go elsewhere if speed deteriorates.

"Any time the cooking process begins after the customer orders, the service time will be slower," Adams said.

The fresh-beef initiative comes as pressure builds on McDonald's kitchens.

Adams says restaurant crews already are juggling trickier menu items thanks to the recent national launch of McDonald's new "Signature Crafted" sandwich line, which allows customers to pick their own meat, buns and toppings. "Signature Crafted" quarter-pound burgers also will use fresh beef as it becomes available nationwide.

McDonald's cooks could be further strained by the chain's embrace of self-service kiosks and mobile ordering. The technology shaves ordering times, but can create new bottlenecks by swamping kitchens at peak hours, as companies such as Starbucks Corp have learned.

FRESH VS. FAST

The revamped Quarter Pounder is the latest move by Easterbrook to modernize the 60-year-old chain and reverse four straight years of traffic declines.

It's also a direct shot at Wendy's Co, Whataburger and In-N-Out. Those fresh-burger chains are among the fast-food rivals that McDonald's says have siphoned 500 million U.S. transactions from its stores since 2012.

Easterbrook's introduction of all-day breakfast in October 2015 was a big hit and has helped lift sales. The company's stock price is up more than 25 per cent so far this year.

Analysts expect the fresh-beef push, along with moves to ditch artificial ingredients in popular items such as chicken nuggets, to bolster sales by addressing consumer demand for simpler, "cleaner" and fresher ingredients.

The Quarter Pounder makeover has won early support from analysts and McDonald's franchisees in the heart of cattle country, where the product has been tested for almost two years in about 400 stores in Oklahoma and Texas.

Three Dallas-area McDonald's managers who spoke with Reuters estimated the switch has improved their Quarter Pounder sales from 20 per cent to 50 per cent, albeit aided by advertising and coupons.

"We've been stealing customers from a Whataburger down the street," said Edgar Meza, a manager at a McDonald's restaurant in an upscale neighborhood in north Dallas. Officials at Texas-based Whataburger, a regional chain, declined to comment.

Some burger lovers are taking notice too.

"They're a little juicier," said Bob Riley, who was polishing off a Quarter Pounder at an outlet near Dallas' Deep Ellum neighborhood, his third McDonald's meal of the week.

"I think Wendy's woke them up," he said.

Joe Jasper, a former McDonald's executive who owns 20 restaurants in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, has been deeply involved in the effort. He described the new Quarter Pounder as "the best burger in our industry, but more importantly, (one delivered) at the speed of McDonald's."

Trouble is, the "speed of McDonald's" isn't as fast as that of many of its competitors.

The average service time at a McDonald's drive-through last year was 208.2 seconds, according to a study published by QSR magazine, an industry publication, using data from SeeLevel HX, an Atlanta-based business intelligence firm. That's well behind industry leader Wendy's at 169.1 seconds, according to the survey. Burger King, Dunkin' Donuts and KFC all beat McDonald's too.

McDonald's narrowed the gap with Wendy's by one-third from 2012 to 2016 by adding more drive-through lanes at some stores and by scrapping products such as "snack wraps," tortilla-wrapped sandwiches that proved time-consuming to prepare. Still, its average drive-through service time last year was almost 20 seconds slower than it was in 2012, according to SeeLevel HX data.

Claudia Barcenas, assistant manager at a McDonald's off Dallas' Central Expressway, says her counter and drive-through staff inform patrons that fresh-beef Quarter Pounders can be delayed, particularly if the sandwiches are ordered well-done.

"We have to explain that it takes a bit longer. Perhaps a minute," Barcenas said.

Whether that's worth it for McDonald's customers remains to be seen as the experiment goes nationwide.

Juan Rodriguez waited on his lunch break for a fresh-beef Quarter Pounder at the drive-through of another Dallas McDonald's outlet about nine miles from Barcenas' store. At the three-minute mark, the 20-year-old was getting restless.

"If it's better, I don't mind waiting," Rodriguez said. "But if it tastes the same, then no."


Will McDonald's customers wait for the new Quarter Pounder?

Tracy Moore grew impatient as she waited for a Quarter Pounder recently in the parking lot of a McDonald's restaurant in central Dallas.

The burger, made with fresh beef and billed as hotter and juicer than the original made from a frozen patty, is part of the company's effort to serve tastier food.

But after about four minutes, it was Moore who was steamed. Like other customers who'd ordered the new Quarter Pounder at the restaurant's drive-through, she was asked to pull into a parking space and wait.

"If it's going to be that long every time, I won't order it. I'd go" elsewhere, said Moore, who hits the drive-through every morning for a Coke and dines frequently at the chain.

The tradeoff between time and taste looms large for McDonald's Corp as it works to win back business lost to rivals. The introduction of cooked-to-order, quarter-pound burgers made with fresh beef is part of the chain's attempt to improve food quality. Announced in March, the new sandwiches are already in selected test markets and are expected to be served in all U.S. stores by mid-2018.

But the success of the initiative may well hinge on satisfying important customers like Moore: speed-minded drive-through patrons who account for 70 per cent of the firm's U.S. revenue.

An on-demand Quarter Pounder takes about a minute longer to land in a customer's hands than does the original sandwich, according to restaurant managers and analysts, even though fresh beef fries up faster than frozen patties. That's because grilling begins only after a patron orders. Traditional Quarter Pounders were often cooked up in batches ahead of time.

Every second counts in the fast-food business. McDonald's drive-through speeds already lag those of some major competitors, according to one widely watched survey. McDonald's does not share such data, but company representatives told Reuters earlier this year that service times have slowed.

Still, company executives are bullish on prospects for the popular Quarter Pounder, which accounts for about one-fourth of McDonald's U.S. burger sales. At an investor conference last month, Chief Executive Steve Easterbrook said the changeover has created fewer complications than expected and that restaurant operators are on board.

Some industry veterans, however, are skeptical. Richard Adams, a former Southern California McDonald's franchisee-turned-consultant, says convenience is paramount for the chain's patrons, who may go elsewhere if speed deteriorates.

"Any time the cooking process begins after the customer orders, the service time will be slower," Adams said.

The fresh-beef initiative comes as pressure builds on McDonald's kitchens.

Adams says restaurant crews already are juggling trickier menu items thanks to the recent national launch of McDonald's new "Signature Crafted" sandwich line, which allows customers to pick their own meat, buns and toppings. "Signature Crafted" quarter-pound burgers also will use fresh beef as it becomes available nationwide.

McDonald's cooks could be further strained by the chain's embrace of self-service kiosks and mobile ordering. The technology shaves ordering times, but can create new bottlenecks by swamping kitchens at peak hours, as companies such as Starbucks Corp have learned.

FRESH VS. FAST

The revamped Quarter Pounder is the latest move by Easterbrook to modernize the 60-year-old chain and reverse four straight years of traffic declines.

It's also a direct shot at Wendy's Co, Whataburger and In-N-Out. Those fresh-burger chains are among the fast-food rivals that McDonald's says have siphoned 500 million U.S. transactions from its stores since 2012.

Easterbrook's introduction of all-day breakfast in October 2015 was a big hit and has helped lift sales. The company's stock price is up more than 25 per cent so far this year.

Analysts expect the fresh-beef push, along with moves to ditch artificial ingredients in popular items such as chicken nuggets, to bolster sales by addressing consumer demand for simpler, "cleaner" and fresher ingredients.

The Quarter Pounder makeover has won early support from analysts and McDonald's franchisees in the heart of cattle country, where the product has been tested for almost two years in about 400 stores in Oklahoma and Texas.

Three Dallas-area McDonald's managers who spoke with Reuters estimated the switch has improved their Quarter Pounder sales from 20 per cent to 50 per cent, albeit aided by advertising and coupons.

"We've been stealing customers from a Whataburger down the street," said Edgar Meza, a manager at a McDonald's restaurant in an upscale neighborhood in north Dallas. Officials at Texas-based Whataburger, a regional chain, declined to comment.

Some burger lovers are taking notice too.

"They're a little juicier," said Bob Riley, who was polishing off a Quarter Pounder at an outlet near Dallas' Deep Ellum neighborhood, his third McDonald's meal of the week.

"I think Wendy's woke them up," he said.

Joe Jasper, a former McDonald's executive who owns 20 restaurants in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, has been deeply involved in the effort. He described the new Quarter Pounder as "the best burger in our industry, but more importantly, (one delivered) at the speed of McDonald's."

Trouble is, the "speed of McDonald's" isn't as fast as that of many of its competitors.

The average service time at a McDonald's drive-through last year was 208.2 seconds, according to a study published by QSR magazine, an industry publication, using data from SeeLevel HX, an Atlanta-based business intelligence firm. That's well behind industry leader Wendy's at 169.1 seconds, according to the survey. Burger King, Dunkin' Donuts and KFC all beat McDonald's too.

McDonald's narrowed the gap with Wendy's by one-third from 2012 to 2016 by adding more drive-through lanes at some stores and by scrapping products such as "snack wraps," tortilla-wrapped sandwiches that proved time-consuming to prepare. Still, its average drive-through service time last year was almost 20 seconds slower than it was in 2012, according to SeeLevel HX data.

Claudia Barcenas, assistant manager at a McDonald's off Dallas' Central Expressway, says her counter and drive-through staff inform patrons that fresh-beef Quarter Pounders can be delayed, particularly if the sandwiches are ordered well-done.

"We have to explain that it takes a bit longer. Perhaps a minute," Barcenas said.

Whether that's worth it for McDonald's customers remains to be seen as the experiment goes nationwide.

Juan Rodriguez waited on his lunch break for a fresh-beef Quarter Pounder at the drive-through of another Dallas McDonald's outlet about nine miles from Barcenas' store. At the three-minute mark, the 20-year-old was getting restless.

"If it's better, I don't mind waiting," Rodriguez said. "But if it tastes the same, then no."


Will McDonald's customers wait for the new Quarter Pounder?

Tracy Moore grew impatient as she waited for a Quarter Pounder recently in the parking lot of a McDonald's restaurant in central Dallas.

The burger, made with fresh beef and billed as hotter and juicer than the original made from a frozen patty, is part of the company's effort to serve tastier food.

But after about four minutes, it was Moore who was steamed. Like other customers who'd ordered the new Quarter Pounder at the restaurant's drive-through, she was asked to pull into a parking space and wait.

"If it's going to be that long every time, I won't order it. I'd go" elsewhere, said Moore, who hits the drive-through every morning for a Coke and dines frequently at the chain.

The tradeoff between time and taste looms large for McDonald's Corp as it works to win back business lost to rivals. The introduction of cooked-to-order, quarter-pound burgers made with fresh beef is part of the chain's attempt to improve food quality. Announced in March, the new sandwiches are already in selected test markets and are expected to be served in all U.S. stores by mid-2018.

But the success of the initiative may well hinge on satisfying important customers like Moore: speed-minded drive-through patrons who account for 70 per cent of the firm's U.S. revenue.

An on-demand Quarter Pounder takes about a minute longer to land in a customer's hands than does the original sandwich, according to restaurant managers and analysts, even though fresh beef fries up faster than frozen patties. That's because grilling begins only after a patron orders. Traditional Quarter Pounders were often cooked up in batches ahead of time.

Every second counts in the fast-food business. McDonald's drive-through speeds already lag those of some major competitors, according to one widely watched survey. McDonald's does not share such data, but company representatives told Reuters earlier this year that service times have slowed.

Still, company executives are bullish on prospects for the popular Quarter Pounder, which accounts for about one-fourth of McDonald's U.S. burger sales. At an investor conference last month, Chief Executive Steve Easterbrook said the changeover has created fewer complications than expected and that restaurant operators are on board.

Some industry veterans, however, are skeptical. Richard Adams, a former Southern California McDonald's franchisee-turned-consultant, says convenience is paramount for the chain's patrons, who may go elsewhere if speed deteriorates.

"Any time the cooking process begins after the customer orders, the service time will be slower," Adams said.

The fresh-beef initiative comes as pressure builds on McDonald's kitchens.

Adams says restaurant crews already are juggling trickier menu items thanks to the recent national launch of McDonald's new "Signature Crafted" sandwich line, which allows customers to pick their own meat, buns and toppings. "Signature Crafted" quarter-pound burgers also will use fresh beef as it becomes available nationwide.

McDonald's cooks could be further strained by the chain's embrace of self-service kiosks and mobile ordering. The technology shaves ordering times, but can create new bottlenecks by swamping kitchens at peak hours, as companies such as Starbucks Corp have learned.

FRESH VS. FAST

The revamped Quarter Pounder is the latest move by Easterbrook to modernize the 60-year-old chain and reverse four straight years of traffic declines.

It's also a direct shot at Wendy's Co, Whataburger and In-N-Out. Those fresh-burger chains are among the fast-food rivals that McDonald's says have siphoned 500 million U.S. transactions from its stores since 2012.

Easterbrook's introduction of all-day breakfast in October 2015 was a big hit and has helped lift sales. The company's stock price is up more than 25 per cent so far this year.

Analysts expect the fresh-beef push, along with moves to ditch artificial ingredients in popular items such as chicken nuggets, to bolster sales by addressing consumer demand for simpler, "cleaner" and fresher ingredients.

The Quarter Pounder makeover has won early support from analysts and McDonald's franchisees in the heart of cattle country, where the product has been tested for almost two years in about 400 stores in Oklahoma and Texas.

Three Dallas-area McDonald's managers who spoke with Reuters estimated the switch has improved their Quarter Pounder sales from 20 per cent to 50 per cent, albeit aided by advertising and coupons.

"We've been stealing customers from a Whataburger down the street," said Edgar Meza, a manager at a McDonald's restaurant in an upscale neighborhood in north Dallas. Officials at Texas-based Whataburger, a regional chain, declined to comment.

Some burger lovers are taking notice too.

"They're a little juicier," said Bob Riley, who was polishing off a Quarter Pounder at an outlet near Dallas' Deep Ellum neighborhood, his third McDonald's meal of the week.

"I think Wendy's woke them up," he said.

Joe Jasper, a former McDonald's executive who owns 20 restaurants in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, has been deeply involved in the effort. He described the new Quarter Pounder as "the best burger in our industry, but more importantly, (one delivered) at the speed of McDonald's."

Trouble is, the "speed of McDonald's" isn't as fast as that of many of its competitors.

The average service time at a McDonald's drive-through last year was 208.2 seconds, according to a study published by QSR magazine, an industry publication, using data from SeeLevel HX, an Atlanta-based business intelligence firm. That's well behind industry leader Wendy's at 169.1 seconds, according to the survey. Burger King, Dunkin' Donuts and KFC all beat McDonald's too.

McDonald's narrowed the gap with Wendy's by one-third from 2012 to 2016 by adding more drive-through lanes at some stores and by scrapping products such as "snack wraps," tortilla-wrapped sandwiches that proved time-consuming to prepare. Still, its average drive-through service time last year was almost 20 seconds slower than it was in 2012, according to SeeLevel HX data.

Claudia Barcenas, assistant manager at a McDonald's off Dallas' Central Expressway, says her counter and drive-through staff inform patrons that fresh-beef Quarter Pounders can be delayed, particularly if the sandwiches are ordered well-done.

"We have to explain that it takes a bit longer. Perhaps a minute," Barcenas said.

Whether that's worth it for McDonald's customers remains to be seen as the experiment goes nationwide.

Juan Rodriguez waited on his lunch break for a fresh-beef Quarter Pounder at the drive-through of another Dallas McDonald's outlet about nine miles from Barcenas' store. At the three-minute mark, the 20-year-old was getting restless.

"If it's better, I don't mind waiting," Rodriguez said. "But if it tastes the same, then no."