Last fall brought the news that McDonald's would be rolling out a test of their plant-based alternative burger, dubbed the McPlant, into eight locations and now they're expanding it by a hundred fold. The AP brings word that the McPlant burger will be available in "600 stores in the San Francisco and Dallas areas starting" beginning on Monday, February 14th, Valentine's Day. The initial test rollout for the McPlant was for the fast food chain to determine how introducing this menu item would effect work inside their kitchens with McDonald's revealing that the expansion to hundreds of stores is to "help it understand customer demand."
The AP notes that McDonald's didn't confirm sales figures for the McPlant's initial round of testing, but an expansion into 600 stores seemingly confirms they've figured out a way to integrate it into their already efficient kitchen environment. It was previously confirmed by McDonald's that the McPlant is made from plant-based ingredients including peas, rice and potatoes and served on a sesame seed bun with tomato, lettuce, pickles, onions, mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard and a slice of American cheese, so it'll taste just like a McDonald's burger.
Vegan fans perhaps interested in trying it should read the fine print for the meal though as the the plant-based patty "contains non-plant-based ingredients such as American cheese and mayonnaise. It's also cooked on the same grill as meat-based products and eggs. As always, guests can customize and request to hold the cheese and mayonnaise, or any other ingredients." The McPlant patty being cooked on the same grill as the regular meat burgers might be sticking point for some restaurant guests, and they may be out of luck in hopes of their burger not touching a meat burger.
This roll out of the McPlant isn't the restaurant's first foray into a plant-based sandwich though as the McPlant has previously been released in other markets before with Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands, Austria and most recently the U.K. all getting the plant-based burger last year.
Though often thought of as a leader in fast food options, McDonald's is already somewhat late to the game in terms of bringing a vegetarian option to its menu. Burger King, one of McDonald's biggest competitors, has had a similar product, The Impossible Whopper, a meatless version of the classic Whopper burger, on its menu for almost two years. In recent weeks KFC has rolled out a 'Beyond' Fried Chicken option with Chipotle delivering a plant-chorizo option to its stores as well. Other fast food chains that have vegetarian options as well include White Castle, Carl's Jr/Hardee's, and Wendy's.