Man talking(l+r), McDonald's burger and fries(c)

Patcharaporn Puttipon4289/Shutterstock @chefmikeharacz/Tiktok (Licensed)

‘Still a quarter pound?’: McDonald’s expert addresses whether the Quarter Pounder is getting smaller—and why it looks different

'Burger King, here I come.'


Kahron Spearman


Posted on Feb 16, 2024   Updated on Feb 16, 2024, 6:55 am CST

In a trending TikTok clip amassing over 37,000 views, former McDonald’s corporate chef Mike Haracz (@chefmikeharacz) delves into the intricacies behind the iconic Quarter Pounder, addressing rumors about its size and quality.

Responding to a user’s query, Haracz provides a detailed explanation on whether McDonald’s is altering the Quarter Pounder to cut costs or change its size, focusing on the claim it remains a quarter pound before cooking.

According to Haracz, McDonald’s could mix frozen meat with fresh, never-frozen meat, use fattier beef portions, adjust the specification range, or adjust the shelf life of the meat. He explains: “They can adjust the lean-to-fat ratio. If they use fattier beef portions, then they can actually make it fattier. It weighs more, but when you cook it, more of that fat is released, and you might have a smaller-looking patty.”

He says, “The last thing they can do is adjust the shelf life. With fresh beef, obviously, they are not adding anything else to the beef mixture. If they did, it would have to be on their website and declare that it is in their beef patty. There are some loopholes and processing aids, but I don’t believe they do anything like that.”

But he says the packaging techniques of the meat may extend shelf life, for ultimately less waste.

Haracz’s insight into the possible changes to the Quarter Pounder has sparked a lot of interest among McDonald’s fans. Many have shared their thoughts and experiences in the video’s comments section, with some claiming that the burger tastes the same, while others have noticed a difference in size or texture.

Haracz asked his viewers, “Let me know in the comments if you have noticed any difference with the Quarter Pounder. Does it taste the same, different? Is it fattier? Does the size look different? I want to know your thoughts on the matter.”

One commenter stated, “DQPC is my go-to at McD’s. I’ve noticed a change recently. Seems closer to a frozen patty from the grocery store you’d cook at home. It’s a [thumbs down emoji] in my book, but I still get the DQPC extra onions.”

Another person concurred, writing, “It’s getting thinner and smaller. I’m not going to McDonalds anymore because the last time I got one, it was dry and thin. Burger King, here I come.”

Haracz’s video has shed light on the intricacies of the fast-food industry and how companies like McDonald’s navigate the balance between profitability and customer satisfaction. Despite the potential changes, McDonald’s has continued to market the Quarter Pounder as a never-frozen burger made with 100% beef. 

@chefmikeharacz Replying to @digital.captures Former #McDonalds corporate chef talks about the #QuarterPounder getting smaller. #McdonaldsLife #McDonaldsTikTok #mcdonaldssecrets #McDonaldsSecret #FastFoodSecrets #FastFoodTikTok #FastFoodLife #fastFood #fastfoodstories #FYP #fypシ #ForYou #McDonaldsQuarterPounder #QuarterPounderwithcheese #doublequarterpounder #quarterpounders ♬ original sound – Chef Mike Haracz

This discussion raises pertinent questions about the intersection of cost efficiency and product integrity within the fast-food industry. As a former insider, Haracz’s insights offer a rare glimpse into the potential behind-the-scenes adjustments companies like McDonald’s might consider balancing economic pressures with maintaining the iconic status and expected quality of their flagship products.

The Daily Dot has contacted Haracz and McDonald’s for comment.

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*First Published: Feb 16, 2024, 7:00 am CST