Mass-produced, not “Luxury. In a bun” (2/5)Price: £5.09
They pulled out the big guns for this marketing campaign, the plan was to use big words like “Michelin”, “prestigious”, “Chefs Council” and “international royalty” – definitely a significant marketing budget at work here. This was back in November 2015, when the American church of food decided to pilot the “Signature Collection” in the UK. The pilot was successful and the product survived into August 2018, naturally we felt it necessary to take a look, especially after watching the film The Founder with Michael Keaton who played Ray Kroc, prophet and patron saint of McDonald’s.
Another factor that influenced us to want to take a look was the barrage of advertising we recently noticed around the streets of central London and even in the Tube…they’re everywhere!
We found ourselves asking whether it is possible for a citadel of capitalism that serves 75 burgers a second (4,500 burgers a minute) to really produce a great burger worthy of the tagline “Luxury. In a bun”. Luxury is, after-all, something the mass-market can’t afford, it’s rare and usually higher quality than a cheaper product. The word “luxury” is not synonymous with McDonald’s, regardless they’re giving it a shot.
Someone forgot to remind the executives back at headquarters that the First Law of Burgerdynamics prevents a mass-produced burger from attaining high quality status. We ran some experiments and fitted a line to some points on a graph which showed some interesting results – it’s basically not possible to make more than 10 burgers a minute and achieve a high quality burger. Despite this, we approached the Signature burger with no prejudice.
We headed to McDonald’s at Liverpool Street station – this one is open 24/7 and is a large flagship restaurant. The golden arches hang atop an arch like a religious symbol.
We joined other patrons, most of whom were tipsy or drunk, and proceeded to order from our new overlords – you don’t even need to speak to a person as a robot/screen will take your order. Please insert card. We ordered and stared intently at the screen above Collection Point 2. Our number came up, 776, and a human from behind the counter appeared with our package.
There’s nowhere to sit, as such we used the small counter for salt, pepper and napkins to place our brown paper bag containing said luxury item. Unravelling the bag, we got a glimpse of a black box and proceeded to open and eat.
Construction was very poor, most of the lettuce was on the outside of the burger and the mayo was concentrated on one side (consequently oozing out) with 2 bacon strips set in a X pattern on top of the cheese…the layering and ordering here was all wrong (compare the cross-section to their poster).
The bun was terrible, it came fractured and broke apart as the burger was eaten. The meat was surprisingly decent, but you realise that it’s basically a thicker version of classic McDonald’s burger meat in terms of spice and taste, just a little juicier but still nowhere near better burgers. The mayo in the burger was standard McDonald’s variety – they could use chipotle mayo or something more creative to improve. Disappointingly, this was no luxury burger or experience. For £5.09, you’d be far better off spending a few extra quid and going for something more wholesome and less mass-produced, dare we say luxurious? Overall we give this one a score of 2/5.