Go Inside the Secret Test Kitchen Where McDonald's Invents New Menu Items

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
McDonald's Test KitchenBy Kim Bhasin

We visited McDonald's global headquarters in Oak Brook, Ill., and the company gave us a peek inside its test kitchen.

Tucked within the walls of the Campus Office Building, the Culinary Center seems to be in a peculiar place. It's surrounded by endless cubicles and corporate-folk.

But inside the kitchen, there's serious work being done.

"It's not just chefs playing in the kitchen," said Chef Jessica Foust, a nutrition and culinary manager at the test kitchen.

Every menu item takes years of planning to develop and organize. Different countries, screening, volume -- it's quite the effort, she said.

So, what's it look like in there? See for yourself.

Disclosure: McDonald's provided travel and accommodations for the trip.

27 PHOTOS
Go Inside The Secret Test Kitchen Where McDonald's Invents New Menu Items
See Gallery
Go Inside the Secret Test Kitchen Where McDonald's Invents New Menu Items

Tucked away at the McDonald's C.O.B. — or Campus Office Building — is the test kitchen, where the fast food chain comes up with all sorts of products.



By Business Insider

The kitchens are up on the top floor on Big Mac Blvd. Yes, McDonald's names all the "streets" in its global headquarters office building.



By Business Insider

Here's what Big Mac Blvd. looks like. Kitchens on the left, cubicles on the right.



By Business Insider

Here we are — the test kitchen is called the Culinary Center.



By Business Insider

It's a bit strange, actually — a McDonald's kitchen encased in glass that's more fitting for a conference room.



By Business Insider

The kitchen has some appropriate reading.


By Business Insider

We met up with Chef Jessica Foust, a nutrition and culinary manager at the test kitchen.



By Business Insider

Judging by the setup, the kitchen was prepped to handle the McWraps and Fish McBites. The box o' fish is the McDonald's latest limited-time offering, hitting locations just in time for Lent.



By Business Insider

It has all the gadgets that a regular McDonald's kitchen would have.



By Business Insider

Like these handheld pumps.



By Business Insider

And the usual cups and shakers.



By Business Insider

There's even a little guide on how to get buns toasted perfectly.



By Business Insider

So we ran through the whole process of making a McWrap — a product that McDonald's is counting on going forward.



By Business Insider

The whole assembly line was set up — simple enough.



By Business Insider

The finished product (well, after we'd taken a bite) — just like you'd see in restaurants.



By Business Insider

We also got to try those Fish McBites, which weren't in stores yet.



By Business Insider

The breading's different from a Filet-O-Fish and it's a totally different experience.



By Business Insider

A lot of people shy away from fast food fish, but it wasn't too bad. We wouldn't go out of our way to order it, though McDonald's Filet-O-Fish lovers might.



By Business Insider

What's Foust's favorite item that never made it into restaurants? A blueberry yogurt ice cream shake, she told us.



By Business Insider

That's not the only kitchen at the McDonald's HQ. There are plenty more running down the side of Big Mac Blvd.



By Business Insider

On the way to another one, we ran into Chef Dan Coudreaut, the executive chef at McDonald's.



By Business Insider

Other chefs were at work too. This one was getting some bacon ready for some unknown project.



By Business Insider

It was a bit of a mess in there, like a scientist's lab, with chefs busy at work with their food.



By Business Insider

There's also the Sensory Evaluation Center, which McDonald's uses to test the new stuff they're experimenting with in order to get the feedback to improve the products.



By Business Insider

It's a key part of product development. In the Difference Test, you evaluate everything from appearance and color to viscosity and flavor.



By Business Insider

The items come through a magic door. We tasted a set of mango pineapple smoothies and each of them were slightly different.



By Business Insider

of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION

Business Insider

Read Full Story

People are Reading