Learning Mode: Why We’re Testing the P.L.T. 

September 26, 2019

P.L.T. burger and Ann Wahlgren

By Ann Wahlgren, McDonald’s VP of Global Menu Strategy  

By now you’ve probably heard that McDonald’s will be testing a plant-based burger for a limited time, in select restaurants in Southwestern Ontario, Canada, starting September 30.   

We’re always listening to our customers and we’re always innovating. It’s my team’s lucky job to keep a close watch on food trends in the marketplace and understand what consumers look for when they eat out – whether it be for new flavors, convenience or value.

As customer interest in plant-based options accelerated rapidly, our curiosity piqued, too. We’ve kept an eye on this emerging trend and now we’re ready to learn more by running a test in one of our markets.  

For this test, our culinary team created a recipe for a juicy, plant-based burger unique to McDonald’s. The new P.L.T. (which stands for Plant. Lettuce. Tomato.) is delicious and craveable, like the rest of our menu. It starts with a plant-based patty, made by McDonald’s, for McDonald’s with Beyond Meat®, and it’s dressed with great-tasting classic toppings and served on a warm, toasted bun. We think customers will love it and we’re excited to learn as much as we can from this global test.  

Why just a small test? We’re in learning mode, so testing is a major part of how we develop our menu. It’s how we look– before we leap.


P.L.T. burger with logo sign

Offering the new P.L.T. in 28 locations in Southwestern Ontario for 12 weeks will give McDonald’s an opportunity to hear feedback from customers, as well as from crew and franchisees. It’s a chance to test new products in a handful of restaurants, and will inform our future plans for introducing plant-based options around the world.  

We have a history of innovation and bringing new tastes to our customers, but we never lose sight of our core business and staying laser-focused on running great restaurants. Day in and day out, we’re committed to serving up the delicious food our customers know and love, at the value and speed they expect, in a way that only McDonald’s can deliver.    

Ann Wahlgren, a veteran McDonald’s employee of 15 years, is VP of Global Menu Strategy.  

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