McDonald’s is testing more fresh beef

The new Archburger would be made with sixth-pound, fresh-beef patties.

McDonald’s hasn’t introduced fresh beef nationally yet, and it’s already considering its expansion.

The Oak Brook, Ill.-based giant is testing a new Archburger in seven stores in Oklahoma. The burger would be made with a one-sixth-pound patty that would be made using fresh beef, rather than the frozen patties McDonald's has used for decades.

In an emailed statement on Tuesday, a McDonald’s spokeswoman said that the company is conducting a “limited test” to gain “valuable feedback from our customers and crew.”

The Archburger is made with a patty that is bigger than the tenth-pound patties used in Big Macs and the company’s small hamburgers, but smaller than the Quarter Pounder. The burger also includes onions, pickles, sauce and a potato bun.

The burger test was first reported in local publications in Oklahoma.

The test comes as the chain is preparing to start serving quarter-pound burgers made to order using fresh beef in March nationwide. Those burgers include Quarter Pounders and Signature Crafted burgers.

McDonald’s is hoping that improving the quality of its burgers will help the company regain sales lost to competitors like Wendy’s and Shake Shack. McDonald’s improvements to its Egg McMuffin and Chicken McNuggets, among other things, led to higher sales of those products.

The shift to fresh beef, along with improving sales, helped the company’s stock outperform every other restaurant brand on Wall Street.

Instinet analyst Mark Kalinowski on Tuesday called McDonald’s his top restaurant stock pick for 2018, and cited the move to fresh beef as one reason.

Kalinowski wrote that it looks “increasingly possible” the chain expands fresh beef to the smaller burgers used for Big Macs, which would give the company’s premium burger a higher-quality beef.

The company on Tuesday said there is no such test using fresh beef for its smaller patties.

In addition to the fresh beef, McDonald’s is preparing a new iteration of its dollar menu, with items priced at $1, $2 and $3, later this week.

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