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McDonald’s Participates in a Fierce Battle for Chicken Sandwich Hegemony

After the fillet, the focus was on the pan. Fifteen to twenty types of bread and bread rolls were considered. More sandwiches were made and taste tested. “It was a lot of bread,” Link said.

Ultimately, McDonald’s decided for the first time to use potato rolls in one of the sandwiches. The rolls are toasted with creamy butter and distributed through a new warmer installed in the restaurant.

“It’s sweet and butter, which really complements the chicken flavor,” said Linda Vangosen, head of McDonald’s US menu strategy.

Last but not least, two pickles have arrived. “I learned a lot about pickles,” Link said with a laugh, explaining that the use of crinkle-cut pickles McDonald’s meant more crunches and more pickle flavors in sandwiches.

Instead of the cardboard box that McDonald’s uses for most sandwiches, the original crispy chicken sandwich and spicy version are offered in foil bags.

By late 2019, the new chicken sandwich had been tested at restaurants in Houston, Tennessee and Knoxville. After a successful test run, it was planned to release the sandwich last summer. However, these plans were abandoned as the coronavirus pandemic spread nationwide and franchise owners focused on opening doors to keep employees safe.

“Our attention had to be in servicing our customers,” Van Gosen said. “It wasn’t the right time to launch.”

Link said the sandwich would be worth the wait.

“I’m very passionate about chicken. I’m from the south, so I eat a lot of chicken,” he said. “I wanted a sandwich, but when I ate that sandwich, I wanted to eat another bite.”

McDonald’s Participates in a Fierce Battle for Chicken Sandwich Hegemony

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