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After Year of Flubs, McDonald's Loses Its Taste for Novelty

Bacon Clubhouse Burger
Bacon Clubhouse BurgerCourtesy McDonald's

You could say 2013 was a year of experimentation for McDonald’s: Fish McBites came out in February, McWraps in March, and Mighty Wings in September—all relative novelty items for the fast-food giant. All that innovation amounted to a 0.2 percent drop in U.S. same-store sales over the year. Maybe that’s why for its first permanent addition to the menu in 2014, McDonald’s is sticking to basics: a new burger.

The Bacon Clubhouse, available in beef or chicken this week, is the chain’s first burger besides the Big Mac to be topped with special sauce. It comes with leaf lettuce—not the shredded stuff—and a thick slice of tomato. Taking a cue from Wendy’s fancy bread strategy, the Clubhouse is served on an “artisan roll.” A reviewer on Grubgrade.com called it “the most satisfying burger I’ve ever had from McDonald’s.”