This is the end, my flabby friends, the end. With McDonald’s set to consign their Create Your Own option to history, I say boo. Boo that sir, indeed. It was the only reason why I still went.
Companies make mistakes. That’s a fact of life. What seems odd though is when they snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, as McDonald’s has so recently done. Now, I love McDonald’s, don’t get me wrong. There is nothing more satisfying than sinking my teeth into a delicious burger when that’s exactly what I’m in the mood for. And I don’t find them any more or less reprehensible than any other large fast food company. Actually, I take more umbrage with KFC’s practices, but that’s neither here nor there.
I’m here to talk about the Create Your Own Taste debacle. More specifically, how they don’t do it anymore.
McDonald’s spent what I can only assume was millions of dollars on installing those ordering kiosks, big Create Your Own Taste signs, rolling out the special packaging and everything else that comes with introducing something new to an established restaurant.
This logo was everywhere!
And then, one day, without warning, in possibly one of the stupidest moves I’ve ever seen, they just ditched the service.
I discovered they’d abandoned the idea when I went in to eat at McDonald’s close to my home. My girlfriend and I went to the kiosk and, lo and behold, we couldn’t find the option. So, I went up to the girl at the counter and she very politely informed me that they no longer did Create Your Own Taste.
So we left. We left and went to another one around the corner that still did it. Slowly but surely though, all the locations stopped doing it. And I can’t wrap my head around it. They had made such a big deal out of it, trying to make McDonald’s classy with its table service and new burgers and customisation, only to be replaced with a Gourmet Creations menu, which is six sucky burgers that suck.
The move to discontinue Create Your Own Taste isn’t only one that irritates me, but is one that is going to drive away customers. It already has.
My girlfriend is a vegetarian and, after McDonald’s got rid of their (incredibly limited run) veggie burger patty, there was nothing for her to eat but the fries and the ice cream. With Create Your Own Taste, she suddenly had options: a bun filled with vegetables! A halloumi burger! Wrap that shit in lettuce! It was great. We could actually eat McDonald’s together! Now, that’s over.
People from my parents’ generation were also coming back to McDonald’s. The choices were so good. My dad said that the Create Your Own Taste burger he made was one of the best he’d had in Australia, and I can’t help but agree. I had created my perfect fucking taste. My mum, who’s gluten-free, could have a chicken burger wrapped in lettuce. We could go to McDonald’s as a family and everyone could enjoy it. Now, that’s over.
Also on The Big Smoke
My parents don’t go anymore. Their friends don’t go. My girlfriend doesn’t go. I go less, because I’m not as excited. The taste on my tongue for the burger I created will go unsated forever.
And why? No answer. And what of all those signs falsely advertising the best thing McDonald’s ever did? They’re still standing, a testament to a massive failure in management. I’m honestly baffled by this decision.
Create Your Own Taste made eating McDonald’s fun again. It made it feel like eating out. Bringing home those big cardboard boxes of burgers and fries felt like something special, like Maccas felt when you were a kid. And then they killed that in favour of burgers that, honestly, taste far, far worse than their original menu.
Also, you’re telling me you can create a goddamn Chicken Big Mac, but you’re gonna get rid of one of the best burgers you ever made: the Crispy Chicken Jalapeño?
For shame, McDonald’s.
Rest in peace, you delicious bastard.