This popular crustacean is coming to McDonald's in the Northeast. Image source:
In fact, the idea of ordering lobster at McDonald's sounds a bit like getting gas station sushi, or purchasing your champagne at 7-11. Despite the seeming incongruity, the fast-food chain brought back its lobster roll for the first time in a decade last summer and is returning it to its menu in 600 locations throughout New England and the Albany, New York, area starting June 20.
At $8.99 the lobster roll instantly becomes the most expensive item on the chain's menu by a few dollars, but people were willing to pay for it last summer, according to chef Michael Haracz, manager of culinary innovation at McDonald's USA.
"It's exciting to see a high demand for regional flavors at McDonald's," he said in a
Is it really lobster?
Since McDonald's has actually addressed whether its hamburgers are made of
"The lobster we supply to McDonald's is a hand-picked, artisan quality product, caught by seasoned veterans of the industry," said Stephen Felsenthal of Mazzetta Company, LLC, one of McDonald's regional lobster suppliers. "This is the same quality lobster served at white tablecloth restaurants on the East Coast."
Is it any good?
Reviews of the McDonald's lobster roll have been mixed.
"The limp bun holds a bizarrely large amount of lettuce, both shredded and whole-leaf, neither of which is anything more than filler,"
Callagan finished his review noting, "If you didn't see what you were eating, I don't think you'd guess, and I doubt you'd continue."
That opinion echoed what many reviewers said about the sandwich, but there were some positive reviews.
"It was a pretty good lobster roll," wrote
McDonald's is not alone
While McDonald's may be the most surprising chain to offer the high-end shellfish, D'Angelo Grilled Sandwiches also offers a
In 2015, the
Griffin was also charitable toward the McDonald's product calling it "a fine, quick summer treat if you can't get to the shore." That's not a rave review, but it's not a pan either.
Is this good for business?
Seasonal and regional items have done well for McDonald's. In this case the chain not only gets a higher-priced item, which the company called a "hit" last summer in its press release, it also gets people talking. Lobster may be a more logical fit on the somewhat more upscale Panera menu, but people do appear to be buying it and it's certainly attention-getting.
A McDonald's lobster roll may seem as silly as Kmart opening open store-within-a store Lexus dealerships, but somehow it works.
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