That One Time McDonalds Had Premium Burgers

When you go to McDonald's, you're not exactly expecting high-class food. This isn't to say that McDonald's sells bad food. After all, who hasn't had a craving for some of their famous fries? Still, if we're being honest, McDonald's isn't exactly the place that screams "fine dining." It's hot, it's greasy, and it's cheap.

Now, to be fair, it's that kind of hot and greasy attitude that made them one of the burger giants of America. This hasn't stopped McDonald's from trying to "dress up" its image, however, make themselves look a little more high-class. They could appeal to kids through Happy Meals and college students through cheap dinners, so why not aim for the higher-ups: the refined diner on a budget?

One of these efforts to rebrand themselves was the infamous Arch Deluxe, a burger that touted itself as being "meant for grown-ups" (via Eater). Despite boasting specially made potato rolls, peppered bacon, and its own secret sauce, the Arch Deluxe became one of Ronald McDonald's biggest flops, costing $100 million all for nothing (via Esquire). It turned out that no one really wanted a high-class burger from a place that had a clown for a mascot. Yet, McDonald's wasn't done trying to reinvent their burgers. To them, they just needed to wait a little longer.

In 2017, McDonald's rolled out its Signature Crafted line: burgers that would bring a bit of gourmet fresh off the grill, or so they claimed.

The Signature Crafted burgers weren't the right fit

McDonald's had a very simple line of thinking: If it were to make its food look and taste better, customers would be willing to pay more for higher quality. Following this thought process, the company launched the Signature Crafted Recipes line of burgers in 2017. These burgers, which could be served with your choice of beef or chicken, came in a variety of flavors (via BizJournal). These included the Pico Guacamole burger topped with white cheddar, pico de gallo, guacamole, and ranch; a Maple Bacon Dijon Sandwich with chicken, maple bacon, and dijon sauce; and a Sweet BBQ Bacon sandwich with bacon, sweet barbeque sauce, and crispy onion straws. With such an impressive lineup of burgers, could McDonald's have finally created a truly upscale burger?

The answer, it seems, is no. As Restaurant Business Online explains, it seemed that the Signature Crafted Burgers took far too long to make when compared to a plain old cheeseburger or Big Mac. People coming into McDonald's wanted their food now, instead of waiting in line at a drive-thru while someone's Pico Guacamole burger was being made. In 2019, McDonald's once again ditched the idea of a fancy burger and instead focused on simplifying its menu for the sake of convenience (via Fox Business).

Although the Signature Crafted line didn't take off as well as Mickey Dee's thought it would, it's not as bad as the biggest flops in McDonald's history.