McDonald’s in Sweden is inviting diners to book a table as it continues efforts to move perceptions of its brand more upscale in Europe.
The chain today (Sept. 22, 2015) will introduce its latest limited-time specialty burger in Sweden, the 150 g (5.3 oz.) Maestro Classic. Sophisticated but simple, the beef patty is accompanied by bacon, red onion, lettuce, Cheddar cheese, ketchup and a “Wild Mustard” sauce with mustard seeds; all served on a sesame- and poppy-seed-topped bun.
A fancy burger deserves a suitably fancy experience, so for a short time McDonald’s is inviting consumers to reserve a table at one of several selected locations to try the new burger. Reservations can be made for up to four people from Sept. 22 through Oct. 2 at 7 p.m. on a first-come-first-served basis.
The program is a collaboration with the Swedish reservations site Bookatable, whose site explains that, “You also get a unique hamburger experience because we in Sweden are the first in the world with our exclusive, time-limited, pop-up service McBordsbokning (McTableReservation).” Those who secure one of the limited reservation slots will receive email confirmation.
McDonald’s did a one-day pop-up called “Restaurant M” with a fancy sit-down dinner in Japan earlier this year.
McDonald’s has been accelerating trials and introductions of new more-upscale service models in Europe. Bringing food to guests at their tables already is in place in France (as are ordering kiosks) and will spread across all 1,250 McDonald’s units in the UK by year-end. U.S. fast-casual brands such as Shake Shack, Smashburger and Five Guys have entered Europe, causing quick-service to brands there to rethink their operations as has happened in the U.S.
But McDonald’s has a history of developing high-end menu items in the UK and Europe that dates at least from 2009 when the chain launched the fancy “Le M” burger in France, followed by “Der M” in Germany and “Il Mac” in Italy. It has developed premium burgers with beef from local cattle breeds in France, Italy and Spain. Earlier this year in Switzerland it added a high-end “Signature” menu that included a $12 burger called The Prime that had been created by TV chef René Schudel.
In Ireland this month, McDonald’s introduced the McMór, a double cheeseburger topped with bacon and local fancy-foods products Ballymaloe Relish and Charleville Cheddar. This week in France McDonald’s adds the Grand Premium cheeseburger, which is served with thick-cut steakhouse-style fries. McDonald’s Spain this month welcomed the beefed up Nuevo Grand Big Mac Bacon.