Posted by: expaticainhelvetica | November 5, 2009

A Hamburger for All Seasons

The marketeers at McDonald’s are experts at how to sell the lowly hamburger across borders.  One thing they’re masters at is taking their food and personalizing it for a region or country.  Example – I believe the McLobster roll is only sold in the New England area.  This is probably a smart idea.  Personally, I barely trust the idea of lobster meat at McDonald’s and I know for sure I’d never trust lobster meat at a McDonald’s in Dubuque. 

The regional food concept is made even more personal in certain countries.  We all know the whole “Royale with Cheese” spiel from Pulp Fiction, but let’s take it one step further.  For example, in a photo I snapped in Zurich, you’ll see Swiss personalizations in the form of the McFondue, McRosti and McRaclette:


What are the above, you might ask?  Well, it appears to be the McD’s way of taking regional delicacies and slapping them on a burger.  The McFondue is easy – it’s basically a burger with fondue cheese (usually Jarlsberg, Emmenthal and/or Gruyere).  The McRosti?  Well that’s a burger with Rosti, or a hash brown, with what looks to be some more cheese.  The McRaclette takes raclette cheese and adds on pickles and onions, which are commonly eaten with the melted raclette cheese, sort of like fondue, but with more veggies, not just bread. 

I’m on the fence about the whole thing.  Personally, if I want fondue, I’m not going to go to McDonald’s and taint my fondue experience with a burger.  Instead, I’d prefer to go home, fire up the fondue pot and go it the traditional way.  I see what they’re trying to do.  In a culture that, as far as I can tell, cherishes tradition, this sort of stunt seems as though it wouldn’t go over too well.  Maybe I’m nieve.  I am by no means a consumer-marketing expert and I’m sure McDonald’s has gobs of research to support why these burgers are a success.  

Of course, if they offered fries with a side of fondue cheese, you might see me in line practicing my German.



  1. ugh – I never ordered one of those. Even back when I still occasionally went to McDonald’s, the thought of trying something with Swiss cheese… ugh. I prefer my burgers without raclette cheese and my raclette without ground beef, salad and sauces 😉

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