Photo: Kim Bhasin / Business Insider
We visited McDonald’s global headquarters in Oak Brook, Il., and the company gave us a peek inside its test kitchen.Tucked within the walls of the Campus Office Building, the Culinary centre seems to be in a peculiar place. It’s surrounded by endless cubicles and corporate-folk.
But inside the kitchen, there’s serious work being done.
“It’s not just chefs playing in the kitchen,” said Chef Jessica Foust, a nutrition and culinary manager at the test kitchen.
Every menu item takes years of planning to develop and organise. Different countries, screening, volume — it’s quite the effort, she said.
So, what’s it look like in there? See for yourself.
Disclosure: McDonald’s provided travel and accommodations for the trip.
Tucked away at the McDonald's C.O.B. — or Campus Office Building — is the test kitchen, where the fast food chain comes up with all sorts of products.
It's a bit strange, actually — a McDonald's kitchen encased in glass that's more fitting for a conference room.
Judging by the setup, the kitchen was prepped to handle the McWraps and Fish McBites. The box o' fish is the McDonald's latest limited-time offering, hitting locations just in time for Lent.
So we ran through the whole process of making a McWrap — a product that McDonald's is counting on going forward.
A lot of people shy away from fast food fish, but it wasn't too bad. We wouldn't go out of our way to order it, though McDonald's Filet-O-Fish lovers might.
What's Foust's favourite item that never made it into restaurants? A blueberry yogurt ice cream shake, she told us.
That's not the only kitchen at the McDonald's HQ. There are plenty more running down the side of Big Mac Blvd.
There's also the Sensory Evaluation centre, which McDonald's uses to test the new stuff they're experimenting with in order to get the feedback to improve the products.
It's a key part of product development. In the Difference Test, you evaluate everything from appearance and colour to viscosity and flavour.
The items come through a magic door. We tasted a set of mango pineapple smoothies and each of them were slightly different.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.