Fast food giant McDonald’s has introduced digital touchscreen kiosks to 100 of its UK outlets, in a bid to stop people switching to new gourmet rivals.
The kiosks allow customers to customise their burger by adding or removing ingredients. Customers can add extra cheese, bacon, lettuce and tomato for a small charge as well as extra onions, pickles, mustard, ketchup or mayo for free.
McDonald’s is changing the way it operates in response to the rise of rivals that offer thicker, bespoke burgers with more exotic themes and dressings.
UK rivals include the likes of Byron and Gourmet Burger Kitchen, which offer tantalising options such as Persian Lamb, Buffalo and Wild Boar burgers.
Figures by retail analysts Mintel show a significant shift towards ‘better burgers’ with 7% of people now using gourmet chains as opposed to fast-food restaurants in the past three months. The shift to higher quality is driving a rise in sales, with the figure expected to be up by 4.5% in 2015.
Richard Ford, Senior Food and Drink Analyst at Mintel, said: “The gourmet burger trend continues seemingly unabated, adding value and interest to the burger market."
“Gourmet burgers have prospered during the economic downturn through their status as an affordable meal that still offers indulgence. The ongoing expansion of ‘better burger’ restaurants continues to add value to the market by encouraging trading up."
“Offering thicker burgers and a greater range of patty meats should provide burger operators with opportunities to further entice customers and maintain their interest.”
McDonald’s UK said no decision has yet been made as to whether it will allow customers complete freedom to create their own burger. However, it confirmed the touchscreen kiosks will allow people more control of their order.