Hamburglar Returns, Touting Tweaks to McDonald’s Burgers

Hamburglar Returns, Touting Tweaks to McDonald’s Burgers

Fast-Food Mascot Helps Spread the Word about Changes to McDonald’s Burger Menu

Hamburglar is on the loose again! The favorite felon among fast-food mascots is back, this time in TV commercials that pitch enhancements to the Big Mac, McDouble, Classic Cheeseburger, Double Cheeseburger and basic burger.

McDonald’s said the fast-food mascot is doing his bit to inform diners about an altered cooking technique that delivers “hotter, meltier cheese” and modified grill settings that improve the searing of patties, Bloomberg reported. McDonald’s also is rolling out softer buns and putting more sauce on Big Macs.

Changes to McDonald’s Burger Menu

Ad Age said McDonald’s pronounced the new toasted buns “pillowy” and the cheese “perfectly” melted. The meat gets an upgrade in juiciness and caramelized flavor by adding white onions to the patties while they are being cooked on the grill. In a McDonald’s news release, Chad Schafer, senior director of culinary innovation of McDonald’s USA, said “small changes, like tweaking our process to get hotter, meltier cheese and adjusting our grill settings for a better sear” have provided a major boost in flavor.

AdWeek quoted Tariq Hassan, McDonald’s USA chief marketing and customer experience officer, as saying: “Our classic burgers are what made McDonald’s famous. They’ve become a cultural icon over the years. We saw the opportunity to make a few changes in our kitchens to make them even more delicious and get back to what people loved most about them in the first place.

To get the word out, we’re bringing back a McDonald’s favorite – the Hamburglar – because what better way to show just how good they are than to turn the most notorious burger thief loose in our marketing campaign as he tries to get his hands on our best burgers ever.”

Hamburglar’s History

The mischievous- and impish-looking Hamburglar debuted 52 years ago and has stuck around as a fan favorite, taking second billing only to Ronald McDonald among the burger giant’s fast-food mascots. He’s easily recognizable in his striped prison attire accessorized with a fedora, red gloves and a black mask over his eyes.

He has popped up intermittently over the decades. For instance, Hamburglar appeared as a fit father in 2015 to publicize the restaurant chain’s just-minted Sirloin Third Pound Burger. In fall 2022, he was a key player in Happy Meals during McDonald’s promotional partnership with the Cactus Plant Flea Market apparel label.

Rollout of McDonald’s Menu Upgrades

Hamburglar’s affinity for McDonald’s menu upgrades followed taste tests in Australia, Belgium and Canada. The changes already have premiered in several western U.S. cities and areas adjacent to them, including Los Angeles; Seattle; Portland, Ore.; San Francisco; Sacramento, Calif.; Phoenix; Las Vegas; Salt Lake City; Denver; Boise, Idaho; and Tucson, Ariz.; USA Today said.

The product changes will reach all 50 states next year, according to McDonald’s. During the ad campaign, McDonald’s will use two Hamburglar TV commercials, and they’re scheduled to air in markets as the menu changes become available locally. In the first ad, the fast-food mascot peers through binoculars in making plans for a heist; in the second, Hamburglar goes into full-theft mode, AdWeek reported.

Other News from McWorld…

Burger menu tweaks aren’t all that McDonald’s marketeers have been working on, USA Today reported. Starting April 27 and for a limited time, McDonald’s will let fans of Big Mac sauce indulge in the condiment to their heart’s content.

Customers who order through the chain’s app can get free dipping cups of the sauce to accompany orders of Chicken McNuggets, according to the newspaper. The silver-and-blue dipping cups will harken back to the original Big Mac wraps. Alternatively, diners can add Big Mac sauce packets a la carte with any order, USA Today said.

USA Today points out this isn’t McDonald’s first rodeo with a Big Mac sauce promotion. The burger giant enjoyed a massive number of social media hits in a giveaway of 10,000 bottles of Big Mac sauce in 2017.

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Mary Vinnedge is an award-winning journalist who has served as editor in chief, managing editor and senior editor at national and regional publications, including SUCCESS and Design NJ magazines. She also held reporting and editing roles at The Dallas Morning News and Charlotte Observer newspapers.

Before Mary began covering franchise news and trends as a staff writer for FranchiseWire and Franchise Consultant Magazine, she developed articles on topics ranging from lifestyle, education, health and science to home projects, horticulture, gardening, interior design and architecture. These articles included her reporting on academic news at her alma mater, Texas A&M University, when Mary worked in the marketing department of the Texas A&M Foundation. She continues to be a news junkie and subscribes to several publications.

Today Mary and her husband are empty nesters living on Galveston Island near Houston. The couple’s blended family – scattered around the United States – includes five children, four grandchildren and two very spoiled, very barky miniature schnauzer rescues.
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