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Beyond McDonalds: 10 International Burger Chains

Beyond McDonalds: 10 International Burger Chains

Switch out McDonald's on your next trip and try one of these international burger chains

Many international burger chains offer specialty burgers inspired by the food culture of the region.

During your travels around the world — whether you're visiting Beijing or spending a night in Stockholm — it is quite possible (if not certain) that you will run into the familiar golden arches of a McDonald's. With more than 33,000 McDonald's in 119 countries all over the world, filling your craving for a Big Mac is definitely not a hard task, even when far away from American soil. But if you're feeling the need for a new burger to satisfy your hunger in a hurry when you're abroad, a local international burger chain might be worth a visit.

Click here to see the 10 International Burger Chains (Slideshow)

In fact, there are several countries where other chains braved the risk of competing with the "burger giant" McDonald's, opening up burger locations to provide an alternative place for visitors to get their burger fix. Some international burger chains, like Belgian Quick, have branched out across borders, while others, like Indian Burgs, are located inside one nation only. In Finland, there are almost three times more local Hesburger restaurants than there are McDonald's.

While the basic burger in its different sizes and with various toppings is still a staple on the menu at most of these international burger chains, regional specialties revealing the local culture are what you would you should try if you're visiting one. How about a tandoori paneer burger at Indian Jumbo King, in which the patty is replaced with a thick slab of fried cheese, or a SPAM burger — a bun stuffed with a chunk of SPAM, topped with an fried egg — at Freshness Burger in Japan? Click through our slideshow of 10 international burger chains to see more global options where you can grab a burger in a hurry.


Breaking: Beyond Meat and McDonald’s to Test Plant-Based Menu Items in 2021

Is McDonald’s going McVegan? Following a decades-long PETA campaign, the fast-food chain appears to be done denying how massively popular animal-friendly foods are. According to reports, diners will soon be able to enjoy some greener options beneath the golden arches. McDonald’s will begin testing its new McPlant line of products—developed with help from Beyond Meat—in 2021. Beyond Meat has already helped other large chains create successful meat-free options, including the Beyond Tacos at Del Taco and the Beyond Meat Breakfast Sandwich at Dunkin’. We’re sure that the new McPlant line will be a game changer for curious diners across the country once the products begin debuting next year.

PETA offers detailed guides to help you eat vegan at fast-food restaurants across the nation. Once McDonald’s officially begins testing McPlant items, we’ll let you know where and how to order them.

At the Natural Products Expo West in 2015, PETA staffers tried Beyond Meat patties served McDonald’s-style—talk about mouthwatering foreshadowing.

Previously, McDonald’s featured a vegan burger on the menu of its Chicago headquarters restaurant. The chain took the most popular menu items from its overseas outlets and added them to its flagship eatery’s menu—this included the vegan McAloo Tikki burger from India.

Hearing that a vegan burger was a massive hit anywhere in the world is hardly surprising. The only thing that is surprising is how long it took McDonald’s to put a vegan sandwich on a U.S. menu. The chain has been testing vegan burger options in Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, the U.K., and—most recently—Norway.

We’ve been urging McDonald’s to do better since 1997, when we attempted to work with the company to ease the suffering of animals killed for its restaurants. After two years and a major lack of cooperation on McDonald’s part, we launched our McCruelty campaign with The Pretenders’ Chrissie Hynde at the helm.

And we haven’t eased up since. We’re certainly thrilled to see McDonald’s join the vegan revolution, but there’s still so much room for improvement. Click below to drop the company a quick, polite note letting it know that you’d like to see vegan items on your local franchise’s menu, too.


McDonald's Secretly Removes This Burger From Its Menu After Trial Run

A new menu item coming to your favorite fast food restaurant is always exciting, especially when an icon like McDonald's decides to do something radically different. This is what happened when the Golden Arches introduced the P.L.T.—a burger made up of lettuce and tomato atop a Beyond Meat patty. But all good things must come to an end, as Mickey D's has pulled the plug on this sandwich.

The P.L.T. was McDonald's trip into the plant-based space and was only available in locations in Canada as a trial run. Back in January, it was said that the burger could be found at 52 restaurants and would extend its stay on these menus for a few more months. But in April, the P.L.T. was quietly removed, with McDonald's not giving a public statement on the results of the trial and the fate of the burger.

One fan did inquire on Twitter and the official McDonald's Canada account replied, letting her (and the rest of the world) know that there are "no current plans to bring it back to our menu at this time."

While this news might be a bit of a bummer for those who follow a plant-based diet and were hoping to see this burger expand to more locations, this could possibly have to do with the state of McDonald's menu in general right now. As you may know, McDonald's trimmed down its menu options everywhere because of the global pandemic. The limited menu meant cutting salads, sandwiches, breakfast, and dessert items. But the cuts allowed for a more streamlined menu that even ended up reducing the amount of time you'll spend waiting for your food, as the McDonald's drive-thru got 25 seconds faster.


Between their icy Frostys and their hilarious Twitter roasts, it might be difficult to remember how great Wendy's burgers are. So don't forget–they're delicious. Next time you're there, try out one of the chain's most popular sandwiches, the Baconator. Made for hardcore carnivores, this burger consists of two 1/4-pound patties and six strips of bacon, then topped with cheese, mayo, and ketchup. It's a bit pricier, but with that much bacon, who cares?

You'll be in paradise when you order a burger from this island-themed restaurant. Cheeseburger in Paradise offers customers a large menu of divine sandwiches. If it's your first time, order the All-American. Topped with the usual burger toppings and sandwiched between a toasty bun, it's sure to satisfy. Since it's a sit-down restaurant, it's a bit pricier and not as quick – but once you bite into one of their burgers, it'll all be worth it.


Burger King

As of Aug. 8, the Impossible Whopper is available at every Burger King in the U.S.

Burger King started testing the “Impossible Whopper” at select locations in St. Louis, Missouri Montgomery, Alabama Columbus, Georgia and Miami, Florida back in spring 2019. According to CNBC, the Burger King locations offering meat-free patties in St. Louis during testing saw an 18 percent increase in foot traffic compared to the national average.

If you haven’t yet tried the Impossible Whopper, check out this April Fool’s YouTube video of unsuspecting Whopper lovers not realizing that their favorite meaty treat has been swapped out for the Impossible Whopper.


Exclusive: Impossible Foods has stopped McDonald's burger talks, shares of Beyond Meat jump

SAN FRANCISCO/NEW YORK (Reuters) - Impossible Foods is no longer trying to win a coveted deal to supply McDonald's Corp MCD.N with plant-based burgers, telling Reuters it cannot produce enough of its imitation meat to partner with the world's No. 1 fast-food chain.

It is the latest twist in the battle of imitation-meat makers hoping to convince more restaurants to offer their patties. But it was unclear how far talks had progressed with McDonald’s, which declined to comment on the discussions.

Shares of Impossible rival Beyond Meat BYND.O surged on Tuesday, closing 12.5% higher, after Reuters reported that Impossible was no longer in talks with McDonald's.

The stock had risen earlier in the day on Impossible’s unveiling of its plant-based pork products at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on Monday, spurring further optimism about the sector.

Referring to McDonald’s, Impossible Foods CEO Pat Brown told Reuters in an interview that “it would be stupid for us to be vying for them right now . Having more big customers right now doesn’t do us any good until we scale up production.”

Impossible Foods and its rivals are duking it out over partnerships with fast-food chains to cash in on the roughly $3,500 per person average that Americans spend each year on food away from home.

The privately held, Silicon Valley-based Impossible Foods teamed up with Burger King last year to launch its soy-based Impossible Whopper in the United States. Impossible Foods is now working to more than double production instead of trying to win a deal the size of McDonald’s, Brown said.


Beyond Meat Confirms 3-Year Deal With McDonald’s, Major Collab With Yum! Brands KFC, Pizza Hut & Taco Bell

Beyond Meat has just announced a two new global deals with the “holy grail” of QSR chains McDonald’s and fast food corporation Yum! Brands. The food tech will be supplying the Golden Arches with its plant-based patties for the three-year partnership, while also working with Yum! to launch plant-based menu items across the group’s iconic chains KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell.

El Segundo-headquartered plant-based meat leader Beyond Meat has revealed new global strategic partnerships with both McDonald’s Corporation, and Yum! Brands, the fast food operator of KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell with its reach spanning 50,000 restaurants in more than 150 countries, the food tech revealed on Thursday (February 25).

In the partnership with McDonalds, Beyond Meat has entered into a three-year agreement to become the “preferred supplier” of its new McPlant burger, which is currently being trialled in Denmark and Sweden, before a wider roll-out in other global markets. In addition, both firms will “explore co-developing other plant-based menu items”, including chicken, pork and egg analogues.

It marks a major extension of the previous partnership it had with McDonald’s in 2019, which tested a Beyond Meat sandwich in Canada, move that Beyond Meat CEO and founder Ethan Brown described as an “exciting milestone for Beyond Meat” with the world’s biggest fast food restaurant with over 38,000 locations in 100 countries.

Entering into this strategic agreement is an important step on our journey to bring delicious, high quality, plant-based menu items to our customers.

Francesca DeBiase, Executive VP & Supply Chain Officer, McDonald’s

The McPlant burger is currently being tested in Scandinavian markets (Source: Green Queen Media)

“We will combine the power of Beyond Meat’s rapid and relentless approach to innovation with the strength of McDonald’s global brand to introduce craveable, new plant-based menu items that consumers will love,” Brown added.

Francesca DeBiase, executive vice president and chief supply chain officer at McDonald’s, said that the new agreement is all about “giving customers more choices” and “entering into this strategic agreement is an important step on our journey to bring delicious, high quality, plant-based menu items to our customers.”

In the global collaboration with Yum! Brands, the two firms are set to co-create new plant-based protein menu items exclusive to KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell over the next few years, with no specific date or timeline mentioned about the deal. It is also an expansion of previous U.S.-based collaborations between all three restaurant chains and the food tech, as well as in mainland China, where the brands are independently operated by Yum China, in a move that Yum! Brands said was catered to the “evolving tastes of the consumers of today and tomorrow”.

We look forward to expanding our work with the teams at Yum’s iconic KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell brands to together bring truly delicious plant-based product innovation to consumers.

Ethan Brown, Founder & CEO, Beyond Meat

Commenting on the landmark deal, Brown said: “We are honoured to enter into a global strategic partnership with Yum! Brands, one of the world’s largest restaurant companies.”

Beyond Fried Chicken launch event in an Atlanta-area KFC chain in 2019. (Source: Beyond Meat)

“We look forward to expanding our work with the teams at Yum’s iconic KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell brands to together bring truly delicious plant-based product innovation to consumers,” Brown continued.

Previous U.S. partnerships Beyond Meat has launched with Yum! Brands includes the introduction of Beyond Fried Chicken at KFC in 2019, the nationwide roll-out of two plant-based Beyond Meat pizzas across Pizza Hut in 2020, as well as most recently in January this year, teaming up with Taco Bell to “explore a new plant-based protein” that will be tested in the coming months.

Speaking about the extension to an international strategic collaboration in a statement released on Thursday (February 25), Yum! Brands CFO Chris Turner said: “Today’s announcement builds on our strong relationship with Beyond Meat and, given the consumer response during recent tests with Beyond Meat, we’re excited about the long-term potential plant-based protein menu items have to attract more customers to our brands, especially younger consumers.”

Beyond Meat and Pizza Hut partnered up in the U.S. in 2020 to launch two new pizzas nationwide. (Source: Beyond Meat / Pizza Hut)

“We expect this Beyond Meat partnership to strengthen our brands’ capability to offer delicious, plant-based menu items that are driven by consumer demand for more diverse protein options and our brands’ strategies in local markets,” Turner added.

We’re excited about the long-term potential plant-based protein menu items have to attract more customers to our brands, especially younger consumers.

Chris Turner, CFO, Yum! Brands

While specific details of signature dishes that are set to launch over the coming months were not released, the two firms says these co-developed menu items will be “industry-defining” and will be targeted at “appealing to flexitarians”, in a clear show of the mainstream trend that big food is now racing to keep up with.

Other food behemoths that Beyond Meat now lists as a partner includes CPG major PepsiCo, in a new joint venture called The PLANeT Partnership (TPP), which will develop, produce and market new snack and beverage products that are made with plant-based proteins, marking the first time the plant-based meat producer has entered into a new product category.


Burger King/McDonald's McWhopper

To honor the International Day of Peace on September 21, 2015, Burger King published an open letter to McDonald's in The New York Times and Chicago Tribune proposing that the two burger giants call a cease fire on their "burger wars," and honor the day by joining forces to sell a one-day mash-up of their two famous hamburgers at a pop-up shop located in Atlanta—the halfway point between the two cities where the chains' headquarters are located (Chicago and Miami). The letter stated that the "McWhopper" would include "All the tastiest bits of your Big Mac and our Whopper, united in one delicious, peace-loving burger." Burger King spent some significant time and money on the campaign, building a beautiful website and super slick YouTube video, but unfortunately the proposal fell flat. McDonald's CEO Steve Easterbrook responded with his own open letter stating, "We love the intention, but think our brands could do something bigger to make a difference." In other words, "Thanks, but no thanks." He ends his letter with a biting p.s. that reads, "A simple phone call will do next time." Ouch.

It looks like there won't be a real McWhopper in our near fast food future, but that doesn't mean you can't still taste one for yourself. Or, at least a clone of one using this Top Secret Recipe which I assembled from information found on the McWhopper website and the hack recipes I created years ago for the Big Mac and Whopper. If you like both of those sandwiches I promise you that your efforts will be rewarded here. This is a really good burger.

Included in the recipe below is my new, improved hack of McDonald's secret sauce from the new book, Top Secret Recipes Step-by-Step, plus the full assembly instructions for the burger. The Whopper is built with a flame-broiled patty, so you'll need a grill for that, and the Big Mac patty can be cooked in a pan on your stovetop. The bun sizes are different for each of these burgers, so if you want it to be authentic, you'll need to buy a package of small sesame seed buns and a package of large ones. Slap together the six components from each of the two burgers and even though the two halves taste great on their own, when combined these ingredients make a delicious and unique hamburger that unlike any you've had before.

This recipe is available in

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_main
  • 6 ounces ground beef (20% fat)
  • Salt
  • Ground balck pepper
  • 1 sesame seed hamburger bun
  • 1 bottom (heel) of large sesame seed hamburger bun
  • 4 dill pickle slices
  • Ketchup
  • 3 onion rings (from a slice of white onion)
  • 2 tomato slices
  • 1/3 cup coarsely chopped iceberg lettuce
  • 1 slice American cheese
Sauce
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon onion powder

1. First make your special sauce by combining all of the ingredients in a small bowl. Cover this and let it sit for about an hour in the refrigerator. Stir it again before you use it.

2. Form the beef into two round patties on a wax paper-lined baking sheet: make one patty that is 2 ounces and the approximate diameter of the small hamburger bun, and another one that is 4 ounces and approximately the diameter of the large bottom bun. Place these into your freezer for 1 hour.

3. When you are ready to build the burger preheat your grill to high heat (or a grill pan to medium heat on your stovetop) and set a sauté pan over medium heat. Slice the crust side off of the bottom of the small sesame seed bun so that you have a bun with two faces. This is your middle bun (or club bun). Brown each side of this bun, plus the face of the small top bun and large bottom bun in the sauté pan until golden brown. Keep the pan warm.

4. Now cook the beef patties. The large patty gets cooked on the grill or in a grill pan. Lightly salt and pepper it as it cooks. And the smaller patty gets cooked in the sauté pan. Also lightly salt and pepper this patty. When both are done, it is time to build your burger.

5. Place the larger (grilled) patty on the face of the large bottom bun.

6. Arrange 4 pickle slices on the beef patty, followed by some ketchup.

7. Place 2 or 3 loops of onion on top of the pickles, followed by two tomato slices.

8. Place the middle bun on next and top it with a generous portion of the sauce.

9. Add the chopped lettuce on the sauce, followed by the slice of cheese.

10. Finish up the burger with the smaller beef patty and top it off with the top sesame seed bun.


McPlant and more: Beyond Meat inks McDonald's, Yum deals

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Plant-based food company Beyond Meat will be partnering with several major fast-food chains in the coming years to expand offerings that could eventually include plant-based burgers, chalupas or toppings on a stuffed-crust pizza.

Beyond Meat on Thursday announced distribution agreements with McDonald's as well as with Yum Brands, the parent company of KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut.

The company based in El Segundo, California, said it will develop plant-based products for all the restaurants, with exclusive menu items for each brand.

Beyond Meat had limited partnerships with McDonald's and Yum Brands before, testing its products in limited geographies or with only an item or two. The companies are now expanding those ties.

Chicago-based McDonald's will use the Beyond Meat partnership to roll out what it is calling the “McPlant” burger, as well as eventually plant-based pork, egg and chicken products.

Yum will use Beyond Meat to expand its “Beyond Fried Chicken” products, as well as pizza toppings at Pizza Hut. Yum, which is based in Louisville, Kentucky, did not lay out specific menu options for Taco Bell.

Plant-based food products that are designed to imitate meat have grown in popularity in the last few years and several large restaurant chains are now experimenting with food science to make healthier and more environmentally friendly products for customers. Burger King has partnered with Impossible Foods to provide products that use plant-based products as well.


Looking to the Future of McDonald&rsquos

Environmental Sustainability

81% of global consumers believe that companies should take measures to improve the environment, while 85% of millennials believe that it is &lsquoextremely&rsquo or &lsquovery&rsquo important that companies implement programs to do so, according to a report from Nielson Holdings.

In light of this staggering data, McDonald&rsquos announced that it would be taking steps to implement sustainable packaging in all its restaurants over the next several years. According to the company, by 2025, 100% of the fast-food chain&rsquos guest packaging will be sourced from renewable, recycled, or certified sources.

To achieve this, McDonald&rsquos partnered with environmental organizations, like the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and the Program for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC), to ensure that all raw materials used in its packaging come from well-managed sources.

Another measure taken by the company in its push toward environmental sustainability is the goal to recycle guest packaging in all of its restaurant locations by 2025. The company has pledged to work with its employees, franchise owners, and local government agencies to help support the development of the necessary recycling infrastructure at its restaurants.

Reengineering the Drive-thru

By integrating technology into its operations, McDonald&rsquos seeks to transform a service that it helped popularize &ndash the drive-thru. In March 2019, the company announced that it acquired Dynamic Yield, an Israel-based company focused on personalization and decision logic. Through this acquisition, McDonald&rsquos is planning to use artificial intelligence (AI) to automate its drive-thru menus.

This AI integration is set to take personalization to the next level with automated systems that can make real-time menu recommendations based on consumer trends, ordering habits, and even weather conditions.

In a bid to further automate its drive-thru, McDonald&rsquos also acquired Apprente, a Silicon Valley company founded in 2017. The company will use Apprente&rsquos speech recognition AI to understand drive-thru orders. McDonald&rsquos also plans to use this technology in its self-order kiosks and mobile applications.

According to the company, the use of AI technology will help reduce service times, making the ordering process more efficient and improving the overall customer experience. This technology can also be used to provide the company with valuable analytical data, which it can use to improve supply chain operations and strategic decision-making.