In our minds, McDonald’s will always hold a special place in our hearts (if only because we waited for it to come to India for so long). As eateries face competition they have to change or risk becoming irrelevant (for god’s sake, Dunkin’ Donuts is changing its name). McDonald’s new sriracha-kale burger is proof of this fact.
I tried to hold my tongue when I heard about McDonald’s new ‘gourmet’ line (I said I tried, not that I succeeded) but this was the straw. To me, McDonald’s held the promise of being unashamedly ‘fast food’. It made it through all the controversy surrounding Supersize Me (which may or may not have been a farce). It even made it through the ridiculous frork (probably because their fries are so good).
However, kale on a burger? If we wanted kale on a burger, let me tell you right now, we would not head to McDonald’s. Shocking as it may seem, we really do love McDonald’s, just the way it is – without cutlery and burgers that are twice the price.
Not that I have anything against kale or sriracha sauce (I love sriracha, it’s a hard pass for the kale) but the crux of the matter is that McD’s is trying to be something they’re not. In Tim Carmen’s savage words “It’s the fast-food equivalent of watching your Dad sport rompers and pledge his undying love for Drake.” As much as it pains me to say it, he’s got a point.
A sriracha-kale burger isn’t suddenly going to bring all the hipsters to the yard (maybe an avocado burger would do it, I kid). Perhaps instead of broadening their scope to suit, a quite frankly, flakey demographic, perhaps it’s time to get back to the basics. And I mean that in the most non-cliche way.
McDonald’s needs to go back to being unapologetically fast food (greasy, unhealthy, cheap) – that’s the McD’s that we know and love.