McDonald's Canada launches new menu of customer hacks, new Lil Yachty jingle

McDonald's customer hacks

Canadians who have combined their favourite McDonald's dishes will soon get to see some of their creations hit the fast-food chain’s official menu — a phenomenon growing in popularity across the quick-serve industry.

The golden arches announced its new Remix line on Tuesday, marketing a trio of limited-time sandwiches and a reimagined McFlurry with versions of its 1980s menu jingle remixed by U.S. rapper Lil Yachty and Montreal-born instrumentalist Mike Clay.

"This is tapping into what customers and what fans are already doing today and just making it official and having fun with it," said Alyssa Buetikofer, McDonald's Canada's chief marketing officer.

The Remix promotion features a chicken cheeseburger and a Surf ‘N Turf sandwich with two beef patties and an Alaskan Pollock filet. Both will be topped with cheddar cheese, pickles, onions, ketchup and mustard.

A third sandwich — the Sweet Chili Junior Chicken — adds a sweet chili Thai sauce to the regular Junior Chicken.

The Sweet Chili Junior Chicken was a no-brainer to include.

"That is something that we have hundreds of customers come in and do in our restaurants across the country every day," Buetikofer said, adding it is likely the fast-food chain's most hacked item.

Accompanying the sandwiches is a McFlurry filled with apple pie and caramel.

Narrowing the Remix menu to four items meant parsing through data, trawling social media and carrying out taste tests ensuring the chosen hacks are actually appetizing.

Though, there were lots of contenders.

"If you think about other quick-serve restaurant brands, they have one menu icon, maybe two. We have a whole menu of iconic products," Buetikofer said.

"We figured why not be proud about that, have some more fun with it and drive some engagement and participation with our customers, too."

The Remix promotion makes McDonald's Canada the latest in a string of fast-food giants to let consumer creations guide their menu additions and harness some of the vitality behind dishes to boost brand awareness and profitability.

A&W Canada launched the spicy piri piri potato buddy — a hash brown-filled sandwich inspired by a Brampton, Ont., franchisee — in February, while Harvey’s brought its customer-created pickle pickle poutine to menus last November.

McDonald's Canada previously toyed with menu hacks in 2023, offering a Chicken Big Mac customers had long assembled.

Lisa Hutcheson, a retail strategist with J.C. Williams Group, feels the inclination customers have to get creative with their orders comes from some wanting dishes that meet their preferences and eating habits, and others being enticed by social media.

"Influencers are looking for things that they can use to drive their Instagram moments and these are the kinds of things they can use," she said.

Online, there's an endless scroll of unofficial hacks, including people who dump packets of sauce into their McNugget boxes and shake the container to douse the chicken morsels or others who combine a Big Mac, McChicken and Filet-O-Fish into what they call "the Land, Air and Sea."

The chains see this behaviour as a chance to "drive curiosity" and "differentiate from standard fare" at a time when "people are looking for something kind of fun," Hutcheson said.

And even those whose appetites aren't whetted by outlandish creations may be lured in by menu hack promotions, Hutcheson said.

"If they don't want to necessarily try cheeseburger ice cream, they may still say, 'We are going to go there and check it out' or maybe one person orders and their friends share and it just makes it a reason to go."

The chain hopes to draw people in — no matter what their order is — with Lil Yachty's remix of the Menu Song, its 1989 jingle speedily naming off every McDonald's dish. Mike Clay of the funk and hip-hop group Clay and Friends has made a French version.

"Lil Yachty was at the top of our list from day one. He is former McDonald's crew. He is a true brand fan," Buetikofer said.

"He has charisma and you have to have that type of personality to co-create this with us and actually turn it into something that is a work of art of your own."

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