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Are the "tasty improvements" to the Big Mac really tasty and improved?

McDonald's Big Mac
A better looking bun, but check out what is supposed to be "meltier' cheese...

Let me state this right up front, I'm not a fan of McDonald's, they are WAY down my list of fast food joints to buy a meal from.  Their fries may be good, but that's not enough to compensate for lackluster burgers, long wait times, and oftentimes, lukewarm food.

After a big spring announcement in 2023, McDonald's rolled out changes nationwide late last year to the way they make the Big Mac and other burgers on their menu.  The restaurant claimed the "tasty improvements" resulted in the company's "best burgers ever."

Here's a snippet from the McDonald's press release:  

Our chefs have been cooking up small but tasty improvements to the Big Mac® sandwich, McDouble® burger and our classic Cheeseburger, Double Cheeseburger and Hamburger – and we can’t wait for fans across the U.S. to get a taste. The magic is in the details:

  • Softer, pillowy buns that are freshly toasted to a golden brown 
  • Perfectly melted cheese that will make you want to savor every last bit off the wrapper  
  • Juicier, caramelized flavor from adding white onions to the patties while they’re still on the grill  
  • Even more of everyone’s favorite Big Mac sauce, bringing more tangy sweetness in every Big Mac bite 
The under the lid view
A decent toast on the bun, but these patties are toast too! Nothing juicy about them, dry as hell, and they look smaller...

What can I say, I was intrigued.  The changes McDonald's made to upgrade their burgers sound good, so what the heck, it's worth a review, right?


I hit the drive-thru at my neighborhood McDonald's today for a Big Mac lunch.  I was looking forward to biting into the toasted Brioche bun, a juicier burger patty, meltier cheese and more special sauce.  I came away disappointed.  It was a typical McDonald's letdown.

At first appearance, I must say I was impressed, the visual got my hopes up.  The new bun looked great, an obvious upgrade, and the lettuce (a fresher, more generous portion was also hyped as a "tasty improvement") was spilling out on all sides.  But there was a red flag, the cheese wasn't very melty.

I took that first bite, pretty much a standard Big Mac bite, the changes were negligible.  Yes, the bun is improved, it is indeed "softer" and "pillowy", and the light toast was nice.  Yes, there's more lettuce and it was fresh.  Yes, there was more special sauce.  But those burger patties, not only do they look smaller, but there was no "caramelized" flavor to them, they were cardboard dry and the promised, enhanced onion flavor was lacking.  What is supposed to be the star of the show, the burger patties, weren't stars at all.  The other element upgrades amount to window dressing.

It's a better-looking burger, but it's not a better-tasting burger.  Overall, I didn't get "tasty improvements" from the Big Mac upgrade.

Costing me $9.02 for a combo meal, I'm giving McDonald's Big Mac with "Tasty Improvements" 3 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap Stars.  On a sheer price point comparison, this is still a reasonably priced fast food meal, but in my humble opinion, the "Tasty Improvements" hype is just that, hype.  It's a sandwich that's not really any more tasty, the improvements are negligible.  It's not worthy of a repeat buy, McDonald's has done nothing to move up on my list of fast food joints to buy a meal from.

The McDonald's visited on this occasion is located at 1219 S Rock Rd, Wichita, KS 67207.  This is a high-volume location, so I hit the drive-thru at 10:42 am, hoping to beat the lunch rush crowd.  I was able to pull up and order right away, but there were several vehicles ahead of me waiting to pay and pick up orders.  The line moved along OK, but everyone was getting bumped out to the "reserved for drive-thru customers" in front of the restaurant.  It was hurry up and wait.  I received my order at 10:55 am.  I encountered three attendants during the process, one at the pay window, another at the pickup window, and a third who brought my order out to the reserved parking wait area.  The service was obligatory.  Same 'ol McDonald's, lackluster burgers, and long wait times.

$pend Wisely My Friends...

~ Mike





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