McDonald’s is going fresh in an attempt to woo back customers whose tastes have evolved.
The world’s largest hamburger chain announced on Twitter Thursday that it will serve fresh beef patties — as opposed to frozen — on all of its famous Quarter Pounder burgers across a majority of its 14,000 U.S. locations by mid-2018.
Since 2012, McDonald’s has lost more than 500 million customer visits to rivals like Wendy’s. The competing fast food chain — which has used only fresh beef since its founding in 1969, hence its “Fresh, Never Frozen” slogan — was quick to Tweet a snarky response to the Golden Arches’ news.
McDonald’s move toward fresh beef patties is part of a $1.7 billion capital expenditure plan designed to entice customers back to the iconic American brand and boost sales.
“The fresh beef burgers, cooked right when ordered, are the latest step the company has made to meet customers’ changing expectations,” McDonald’s said in a press release.
In Oct. 2015, McDonald’s launched its all-day breakfast menu and saw same-store sales increase by 5.7 percent by Jan. 2016, according to CNN Monday. Last year, the chain also removed artificial preservatives from popular items like Chicken Nuggets.
In an effort to further improve its offerings and customer experience, McDonald’s is also focusing on store renovations, self-service ordering, table service and even delivery, which already has a large presence in Asia, according to CNBC.
Despite the efforts, many investors wonder how the brand will perform in 2017. McDonald’s reported $6.42 billion in sales in Q3 of 2016 and $6.03 billion in sales in Q4 — a 6-percent drop.
Last month, Wendy’s reported its 16th consecutive quarter of positive same-store sales, with a 0.8 percent gain. Fellow competitor Burger King also announced a 3 percent rise in Q4 sales.