After my recent trip to the Henderson Nevada Tommy's I updated the menu. Interestingly, the last time I updated the menu was 2 years ago, 2009, and the menu was actually 5-10 cents cheaper in most cases. Not sure if it is the Nevada pricing is different from California or what, but great staying power for Tommy's prices!
Back in January 2011, I posted this review observing that McDonald's simply doesn't appear to put a lot of thought or care into making a good chicken sandwich.
Tonight I walked into the same McDonald's in Crystal City Virginia where January's sandwich was encountered to find that they are now advertising "New" premium chicken sandwiches. Now, since the McDonald's website doesn't seem to be promoting an upgraded line-up, my curiosity was piqued.
The "improvements" seem to be in a new bun that promises 8g of whole grains. Other than that, I did not see or taste much that had changed in the last six months. Below is a reminder of what that old sandwich looked like:
The new sandwich had the same ingredients, stacked in basically the same order. The meat was not flavorful, the tomato lonely and thin, and the only component that could be described as "juicy" had to be the gob of mayo on the bun.
I can't even blame the particular location. Just compare McDonald's own press picture for their chicken sandwich with my personal favorite from Carl's Jr. Both are grilled (charbroiled in Carl's case) and have bacon, swiss, lettuce, tomato and mayo:
Just look at the two sandwiches and tell me which one YOU'D want to eat. If McDonald's own food stylists can't make their sandwich look as attractive as the competition's in a controlled environment, how do they ever expect to compete? Maybe they don't want to. I don't know, but I do know that, for chicken sandwiches, McDonald's will not be first to come to mind.
I was pleasantly surprised to find a few improvements during my latest trip to my local Wendy's. First off, they installed new digital signage for the menu boards. Very slick looking and attractive, although some of the rapidly-changing animations were a bit distracting.
But the best change took a few seconds to register in my brain. When I ordered my soft drink, the cashier put an empty cup on my tray. Wait a minute - you mean I get to pour my own soda like all the other chains? Great.
It's funny how fast we can get used to a thing like pouring our own drinks. Obviously it is a labor saving benefit for the chain. But for the Wendy's guest who had to stand to the side and wait for a cashier to find a gap between customers to get a refill, self-service is a welcome change.
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