- McDonald's will test a Beyond Meat plant-based patty for 12 weeks at 28 restaurants in Southwestern Ontario starting Monday, according to a company release.
- The burger, called the "Plant. Lettuce. Tomato." or P.L.T., will be priced at $6.49 CAD, $4.90 US plus tax.
- "This test allows us to learn more about real-world implications of serving the P.L.T., including customer demand and impact on restaurant operations," Ann Wahlgren, McDonald's vice president of global menu strategy, said in a statement.
With plant-based meat being all the craze, just about every restaurant has been jumping on the bandwagon.
While McDonald's locations abroad have tested options, this would be the first time that it has brought a plant-based meat option with a top distributor. This option will allow the fast food giant to go toe-to-toe with Burger King's Impossible Whopper, and could be a catalyst to improve store traffic.
A test in Canada doesn't necessarily mean U.S. stores will carry the product anytime soon. McDonald's has been cautious. Plant-based burgers would require an operation change, such as a devoted grill space, during a time when the chain is trying to streamline back-of-house operations and ease tensions with franchisees.
If the test were to expand into the U.S., it would be great news for Beyond Meat, which would gain a much larger restaurant network that would rival Burger King's Impossible Whopper. If the test was expanded to all of McDonald's Canada's over 1,400 stores, it would become one of its largest partnerships to date. Burger King's Impossible Whopper is offered at its more than 7,000 U.S. stores, but McDonald's U.S. network holds roughly 14,000 stores.
The fact that McDonald's chose Beyond Meat over Impossible has already boded well for the manufacturer, with Beyond posting an 11% boost in stocks premarket.
Beyond Meat has been securing prominent restaurant tests, which could be due to fallout following an Impossible shortage that lasted several weeks this year and left many restaurants and chains without a plant-based option. The company is also in the process of doubling production, and for a good reason. The company's restaurant and foodservice revenue skyrocketed 486% during the first half of the year.
Impossible has also been playing catchup, and is just rolling out its patties to grocery stores, whereas Beyond has been in supermarkets for several years.
In the restaurant space, Beyond has been hitting it out of the park. In August, KFC sold out of its Beyond Fried Chicken within five hours at an Atlanta store. Dunkin', Just Salad, Del Taco and Carl's Jr. have all been adding Beyond Meat options.
But not all tests have resulted in nationwide launches.
Tim Hortons scaled back its Beyond Meat sausage breakfast sandwich after offering them across Canada. However, it has been successful in Ontario and British Columbia where it will stay on the menu. Considering this is relatively the same area where McDonald's is testing its option, it could also see positive results.