Recently there’s been news of some interesting changes happening over at the Castle Hill McDonald’s branch. Maccas is trialling some new changes to the way they serve customers, and when I heard that you could now create your own burgers and receive table service, I knew I just had to give the golden arches a visit.
‘Create Your Taste’ is the name given to the DIY burger experience where you can customise your own burger from 19 ingredients. I’ll admit that I’m a bit sceptical – Maccas is meant to be fast food, so how does a gourmet burger positioning work?
Upon entering the Castle Hill branch, you’ll be greeted with two touch screen kiosks which are quite intuitive and fun to play with. Here’s a preview of how it works:
Firstly there’s the option to create your own burger or to select a burger which has already been created by Maccas. Of course, you should do the create your own burger option for DIY funtimes – you’ll then be prompted with a query about whether you’d like just the burger or a meal with that. Prices are $8.95 for just the burger, $11.45 for a small meal or $11.95 for a medium meal (I didn’t capture the price of a large one). They’re about 20-30% more expensive than normal Maccas prices but still affordable in my opinion.
Then comes the fun part! Choose your bun, how many angus beef patties you want, cheese, toppings and sauces. There’s some real gourmet options here including a brioche bun, 4 different types of cheese, toppings such as bacon, guacamole, grilled mushrooms, grilled pineapple, beetroot and 9 different sauces including herb mayo, chipotle mayo, tomato chilli jam and tomato onion relish to name a few.
Next you choose a drink and also your side. Typically chips are the default side but you can swap this out for a garden salad or the newly added sweet potato wedges. What is particularly useful as well is they then ask if you want to downgrade or upgrade your sides and it’ll proportionately adjust the price (eg. choosing a small drink will lower my cost by $0.50) – perfect since I like more sides and less drink.
The kiosk then issues you with a receipt with an order number and you then seat yourself anywhere in the restaurant. About 5 minutes later, our burgers are brought out served on wooden boards and the fries served in metal baskets. It’s already feeling a little bit fancy!
Our first burger which comes out is made from a brioche bun, coon cheese, 2x bacon, red onion rings, caramelised grilled onions, guacamole, grilled mushrooms, herb mayo and special sauce. I’m quite thrilled that because it’s custom made that the burger stood nice and tall! This one was a bit messy to eat as a lot of the fillings kept slipping out, although this was partly our fault for getting two different sauces. Regardless it was finger licking good! Accompanying this was a Coke float which wasn’t as airy as I thought it would be – the Coke doesn’t really froth up with the soft serve ice cream compared to normal vanilla ice cream, although it did turn the coke into a creamy vanilla drink. The fries were tasty as usual, but it didn’t look like a medium serving when served in the small basket.
I went a bit more crazy with the second burger and crammed in a lot of fillings. It consisted of a crusty bun, 2x beef patties, Swiss cheese, egg, tomato, lettuce, caramelised onions, 2x guacamole, grilled mushrooms, grilled pineapple and tomato chilli jam sauce. The end result was a towering, tall burger which couldn’t fit in my mouth!!! I ended up having to deconstruct the burger to eat it 🙁 #fail. On the upside, that tomato chilli jam sauce was actually spicy, leaving my mouth tingling and was delicious. I remember years ago Maccas had a chilli sauce in a promotional burger and it wasn’t even spicy, but this sauce definitely packed a punch. Other highlights included the super juicy pineapple and guacamole which went amazingly with my double angus beef patties.
To finish it off, we also tried one of the new pre-made burgers and sweet potato wedges. The clubhouse also stood tall but the highlight were the wedges which were crispy on the outside, soft on the inside and seasoned well. If it’s possible, I’d swap my fries for wedges anyday!
Overall, the new Create Your Taste experience is interesting and one of a kind. It feels like they’ve taken the customisation component of Subway and tried to mesh it with the gourmet burger experience of Grill’d. What’s great is that your burgers will actually stand tall, there’s a lot more toppings to choose from and those sweet potato wedges! What’s not so great is that it’s a lot messier to eat now (since the burgers have more fillings) and it’s no longer really “fast food” as the wait time increases. For just a 20-30% price premium, I’d try it again but it’ll be interesting to see if this takes off – best of luck Maccas!
Excuse Me Waiter trialled the ‘Create Your Taste’ concept as guests of McDonald’s
McDonald’s Castle Hill
3 Showground Road, Castle Hill NSW
Ph: (02) 9680 2312