It’s National Fry Day! What makes a McDonald’s fry so special?

Believe it or not, French fries were not on McDonald’s menu from the beginning.

It’s National Fry Day! What makes a McDonald’s fry so special?

by Community Manager on ‎07-13-2012 08:30 AM - last edited on ‎07-30-2012 02:45 PM by Community Manager

McDonald's FriesCan you imagine walking into a McDonald’s restaurant and not seeing fries on the menu? Probably not. French fries have been a part of McDonald’s for as long as most of us can remember. Believe it or not, though, they were not on McDonald’s menu from the beginning.


McDonald’s was founded in 1948 by the McDonald brothers, but for the first year of business, potato chips were served instead. From 1949 on, McDonald’s customers have loved the unique taste of our French Fries that is impossible to find anywhere else. From the potato to the plate, World Famous Fries are prepared in a very special way.


I had a chance to sit down with Todd Bacon, Vice President of Quality Systems, and Suresh DeCosta, Manager of Quality Systems. They both work in the U.S. Supply Chain Management department of McDonald’s. This part of the company is very important because it focuses on all aspects of bringing products from farm to plate. In this case, they specialize in helping French fries make the trip from potato to plate, ensuring high quality all along the way.


Before I started interning, I ate McDonald’s French fries solely because I personally like them. While I never put much thought into why I thought the product tasted so great, I quickly learned that the taste is directly related to the quality of the preparation process.


From the potatoes themselves, there are very specific requirements that make a potato good enough to become a McDonald’s French fry. The potatoes we use must be without very many blemishes or defects. In addition, only specific varieties of potatoes can be used and there are very particular size and shape requirements. Choosing the right potato is one of the most important steps in the process. If you do not start with the right potato, how can you make the right French fry?Potato to Fry


Other than choosing the right potato, there are a number of safety and quality checks for French fries that must be done before they are served to a customer. No matter where I am, when I order French fries from McDonald’s, it seems like they have the same special taste. This is because McDonald’s is serious about delivering high quality product to customers. Because McDonald’s fries are such an iconic product, the company goes to great lengths to ensure consistent quality from field to restaurant.


Quality checks for French fries start right at the beginning of the process. This includes checks around seed selection, planting, and potato harvesting. Once the potatoes are received from the field, there are quality checks during the conversion process from the raw potato to the French fry. From peeling to blanching, only the right product is packaged and sent to restaurants.


World Famous FriesOnce at the restaurant, there are additional procedures in place to ensure that the perfect French fries are delivered across the counter. A perfect McDonald’s French fry has a bright, light golden brown outside with a few salt crystals visible on the surface. The inside looks like a freshly baked potato, white and fluffy. And even though you are all familiar with the signature taste of McDonald’s World Famous French Fries, there is a balanced flavor of potato, clean oil, and salt. After reading that description, you would be lying if you said you didn’t want to grab some McDonald’s French fries to celebrate National French Fry Day!


by Me(anon) on ‎07-13-2012 11:49 AM

I just love the fact that the guy's last name is Bacon! How ironic. 

I love McDonald's fries, but LOVE their ketchup! 

by Bunyip(anon) on ‎07-13-2012 11:54 AM

I do indeed have fond memories of those French fries.

by Jkoolkidz2 on ‎09-08-2012 10:09 PM
This is a fact Mcdonalds french fries always taste the same. no matter what state or country i am at.
by Sound Monitor(anon) on ‎04-03-2013 10:26 AM
Never realised how much effort went into making this a truly international product. As a sliver haired mature man working all over the UK I can never resist popping into on of your shops to grab a bite to eat. Not only is the food consistent, but also the quality and cleanliness of each restaurant
by KentC on ‎04-07-2013 12:51 AM

Can someone tell me how to pronounce the name of Mcdonalds. I am in an argument with a friend for years now about it. 1 of us says is more of a quick (Mick)donalds and the other says its a (Mac)donalds. If it is Mickdonalds then why is it called a Big Mac. If it is (Mac)donalds, why is it called not called a Mac Flurry??? Please help settle this once and for all!!!

by Community Manager on ‎04-25-2013 10:12 AM

Hi Kent - Thanks for your question! We've found that McDonald's is pronounced differently all over the world. Here in the U.S. it is most commonly pronounced with a quick 'mick' sound, but in some other countries 'mac' is used. In Australia, McDonald's is actiually referred to as 'Maccies". So feel free to say it however you like...we embrace them all!

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About the Author


I’m Amanda! I’m a senior marketing student at DePaul University in Chicago, and I am spending my summer under the arches as an intern for McDonald’s Corporation. As part of my internship, I have the opportunity to go behind the scenes in all different parts of the business. I look forward to blogging about my experiences and giving you a peek inside the McDonald’s brand.

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