Meet Hayley, Tiffany and Quang — three typical 20-something millennials. In addition to working for Allure Media, they share something else in common: none of them have ever eaten a Big Mac. No, really.
Apparently, this is quite common for their age group and Big Mac sales are suffering as a result. Something clearly needs to be done here. The very existence of McDonald's beefy mascot could depend on it. So we force-fed our coworkers a bunch of Big Macs, for the greater good.
"Two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun."
This used to be McDonald's unofficial anthem — disseminated through jingles, poster taglines and freebie promotions. But a move towards premium-style burgers coupled with changing generational tastes could see the Big Mac consigned to the deep fryer of history.
According to a recent report in the Wall Street Journal, a whopping four-in-five millennials have never eaten a Big Mac. That's like, 80 per cent of everyone aged between 18 and 34.
At first, we scoffed at this story. Who hasn't tried a Big Mac at least once while growing up? Going from a Happy Meal cheeseburger to a fully-fledged Big Mac is a rite of passage. It's the unhealthy kids' version of taking training wheels off a bicycle. However, a quick office poll proved that the report might have some merit.
A sizable portion of our workplace had either never tried a Big Mac or hadn't eaten one in decades. Most of the lifetime abstainers were millennials. So it's all true then. Millennials are killing the Big Mac.
I'm really not okay with this, albeit mostly on principle. To be honest, I don't actually buy Big Macs all that often — I'm more of a Fillet-o-Fish man myself. And yet, I take comfort in knowing it continues to exist.
Having the Big Mac on the menu is like having an old high school acquaintance on Facebook. (The one who never left your home town and is still trying to be a successful DJ.) You'll probably never hang out with Kirk again, but it's nice knowing the possibility is still there.
To save the Big Mac, we need to get more millennials eating them, so we don't have to. This is more important than the decline of traditional theatre or opera. Actual culture is at stake here, guys.
In a bid to do our part, we fed a Big Mac to Hayley, Tiffany and Quang at lunchtime. Hayley and Quang were bona fide first-timers, whereas Tiffany was a reformed Mac fan. We also invited Gizmodo editor Campbell Simpson along because he doesn't like Big Macs and I like to watch him suffer. Here is the video:
And here are their individual verdicts:
Quang Tran, Account Manager
I came in with low expectations but my first impression of the Big Mac was that it was a sad sight. The burger looked smaller than what I imagined and what I’ve seen in adverts so visually and literally the Big Mac didn’t live up to its name. Taking a look under the hood I stared down at a thin piece of grey, dry looking thing which passed for a beef patty and the unnecessary lettuce looked like shredded office paper.
Taking a bite into the burger it tasted pretty much as it looked. The burger was dry and the famous big mac sauce did not grace my tastebuds until I made my way towards to centre of the burger. The sauce was alright but a more even distribution across the bun would have been nice. Now I’m not one to waste food but 1/3 of the way into the burger I just gave up. I wouldn’t try this again, if I had to get a burger from the Macca’s menu I would go for a cheese burger or the quarter pounder.
Hayley Williams, Social Media & Community Editor
After more than 20 years of eating McDonalds, I finally tried my first Big Mac. It was not exciting at all. Even compared to my usual go-to Maccas burger (the humble cheeseburger) it was really bland. The sauce was barely there, and the only thing really adding any flavour was the pickle. Luckily, I love pickles. But I’d rather just eat a jar of pickles than another Big Mac. With three layers of soft, bland white bun, McDonalds’ particularly uninspiring lettuce and two dry patties, it was a struggle to finish it (in the worst possible way). The Big Mac really just needs to step up its game.
Tiffany Roma, Campaign Manager
I feel like everyone has a McDonalds story, and at a time the Big Mac was a part of mine, but not anymore. It’s not that I don’t like it — I really do, It's nice, but it’s not just for me.
It’s filling: if you get enough sauce-to-bread ratio, then you’re good. There’s a perfect little dance of cheese and onion and lettuce complementing the two beef patties — and it definitely is big. The middle layer of bread evens everything out and it’s the right consistency. Everything points to a good burger, but I’m just not sure it’s good enough.
Campbell Simpson, Gizmodo Editor
Big Macs are fine. But they're worthless gutter trash compared to the glory that is the McDonald's cheeseburger.
So there you have it. We potentially converted one of our four taste testers. Not the best result, but every little bit helps. Stay strong, Big Mac. We got you.