McDonald’s has taken ownership of France’s signature bread and decided to start dishing up burgers in baguettes.
McDo, as the French call it, is trying to appeal to more upscale diners by mixing their famous beef burgers with French-made Emmental cheese and mustard.
Starting in April, the 1,228 McDonald’s restaurants across France will feature the limited edition McBaguette.
McBaguette will replace McDonald’s current special menu in France, which is three limited-edition burgers featuring locally produced cheeses, reports the Wall Street Journal.
The introduction of the McBaguette is in line with the US company’s plan to ensure its restaurants appeal to a broader customer base.
In France, bread is served with many meals and a recent study showed that 65% of the two billion sandwiches sold each year in France are baguette-based.
Yves Marin, a senior manager at consulting firm Kurt Salmon, said to the Wall Street Journal: “McDonald’s is trying to diversify and is aiming at more traditional or older customers.
“The company is willing to attract those who won’t eat the Big Mac.”
The McBaguette debut, could also give McDonald’s more pricing power.
McBaguette will be sold for 4.50 Euros ($6) – more than a euro above the average price of a sandwich in France, reports the Wall Street Journal.
The reaction from France remains to be seen, but one Parisian who was shown a picture of the sandwich as she left a bakery, told the Wall Street Journal:
“It doesn’t quite look like a baguette; a baguette isn’t square. But I would give it a try.”
“It looks good, and much healthier than McDo’s regular burger,” another added.
McDonald’s said it could introduce the baguette burger again if the initial six-week run is a success.
McDonald’s changing global cuisine
McDonald’s is trying to appeal to national culinary tastes and have come up with around 20 locally tailored menu items in 14 European countries including:
Finland: offers the Rye McFeast, a burger served on a rye bun.
Spain: sells the tomato-based soup Gazpacho.
Italy: McDonald’s worked with Gualtiero Marchesi, the country’s only three-star chef, to create three new recipes: two sandwiches called Adagio and Vivace.
The fast-food chain said it has similar plans to work in partnership in Germany and Austria.
In France, McCafés already are serving slices of baguette for breakfast, as well as macarons, sweet meringue-based confections that are riding a popularity wave of their own during the day.