McDonald's CBO Angus Burger (and Free French Fries!)

Categories: $7, Fast Times

Photos by Christina Uticone
After writing Fast Times for about a year now, I remain amazed at the frequency with which my fast-food orders are screwed up. If I were (more) OCD, I would probably be keeping a spreadsheet, but it's definitely hovering around two-thirds of the time. I have actually played a game, now and again, where I order what I don't want, just to see if I receive what I actually want by mistake. Example: a chicken sandwich version of a promotion, when I really want the burger. It hasn't worked yet, but it's still a fun game.

So this week I stopped by McDonald's to check out the CBO Angus Burger, where CBO=Cheese, Bacon, Onion. As I pulled up to the window to claim my food, the employee confirmed, "Just the burger, right?" and I answered in the affirmative. Four kind of long minutes later, I took my take-out bag and drove away, only noticing once I hit the next stoplight that I was gifted with a meal -- fries included. My waistline does not say thanks.

The CBO burger, made with a one-third-pound Angus beef patty, also comes in grilled or fried chicken sandwich form, if you are so inclined. I was tempted to "be good" (460 calories) and get the grilled chicken, but I went whole-cow and opted for the 790-calorie Angus burger ($4.75).

I was totally prepared to diss this burger, but I have to admit that it was completely delicious. The three toppers -- white cheddar, hickory-smoked bacon and caramelized onion -- sit atop a juicy (for McD's) burger. The heft on the sandwich is pretty impressive as well. I didn't weigh it, but then I'm not going to weigh myself for a while, either.

I wish there were more caramelized onions to give the sandwich more sweetness. Without a lot of onions to balance the beef, cheddar and bacon, the burger was a little one-note. I could have added ketchup, but I live in Texas now! Aren't you proud?

Are there better ways to blow those 790 calories? Yeah, probably -- there are certainly hand-crafted burgers around town that will scratch the itch better, though you'll also have to invest a few hundred more calories (at least) and more than a few extra bucks. But judged on its own merits, against other fast-food burgers, the BCO is definitely a winner.

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I admit to being pleasantly surprised by some of the latest burger options at McDonald's.  While they're not going to drive Beck's Prime or Hubcap Grill out of business anytime soon, it's nice to know I can find a passable burger at the Golden Arches.


But I have to echo @adams14 's comment:  The McDonald's stores in my area do a terrible job with order accuracy, especially through the drive-through window.


I tried the healthier grilled chicken option and it was pretty tasty as well...


As the McDonal's menu has grown in complexity so has the number of errors in the customer service process. No amount of computerization can make up for the human factor. The more

options and meal combos, the more mistakes. The problem is that the people who design the

menu and the marketing programs do not understand what goes on in the restaurants.


The genius of Ray Kroc was that he understood McDonald's could not be "all things to all people".


R. Adams - Franchise Equity Group


 @adams14 Accuracy shouldn't be that hard to do. The orders are displayed on a screen, and the order-filler should be trained to match what is on the screen to what goes in the bag.


Seems to me that the problem is they are trying to do things too fast, or bypassing steps ("is that 'measure twice, cut once' or 'cut twice, measure once'?") - either way, a good trainer - and a good eye overseeing the whole operation - should be able to correct that type of problem.

conebaby topcommenter

 @etee56  @adams14 It just seemed odd to me, since the woman at the delivery window verbally confirmed my order--"just a burger, right"?--and then disappeared for four full minutes before handing me my bag. Several other bags were already lined up on the counter--I'm assuming now one of them was my single burger, and some poor shmuck behind me watched me drive away with his fries.


 @etee56 Nice in theory. That's the same way upper management of the company thinks because they don't live in the real restaurant world. By the way, this isn't just a McDonald's problem, most of the large chains suffer from the same problem. Look at the Taco Bell Menu or Burger King.


 @conebaby  @etee56  @adams14 She was probably off making a very fancy, complicated coffee drink and forgot about the orders she had lined up. There's no excusing it or explaining it - it's just what happens when you give human beings too many things to juggle.


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