McDonald’s is unapologetic on the subject of pandering to the appetites of foreign markets, but not every idea works for the international fast food company — particularly when it tries to satisfy Singaporeans.
In 2014, McDonald’s Singapore introduced a burger that offended some people who said they would boycott the eatery if they didn’t stop making burgers that look like “female parts,” and a year later — when a customer was served a McSpicy burger with a little extra protein in the form of a wiggling worm — media went wild.
Stoic to the end, McDonald’s wasn’t about to give up, so when a recent announcement reached the ears of loyal patrons introducing a new, salted egg yolk burger, hungry Singaporeans eager for a taste queued up in droves.
Demand was so great, some McDonald’s ran out of burgers and ordinary citizens spent valuable time waiting for a dish that might not even taste good!
This debacle proved an interesting study in group behaviour, triggering our curiosity: what lessons can runners learn from this experience?
Lesson #1: Just because it’s new, that doesn’t make it perfect.
You see the ad and race to the sporting goods store or the Internet to spend a bundle on a new pair of running shoes because the manufacturer swears this footwear will improve your performance so much, you’ll set a new personal best.
Turns out you’re stuck with shoes that were big on promise and poor on fit. The McDonald’s salted egg yolk burger promised a taste sensation that suits Singaporean palates perfectly, but reviews were devastating for multiple reasons: the burger, most said, is big on “Meh” and short on taste delivery.
Lesson #2: It’s always wise to act early rather than waiting too long.
Attorney Lyvia Ma left her important work behind to walk from Marina Bay Financial Centre to Clifford Centre to score a salted egg yolk burger. By the time she arrived, there were no more.
This lesson is a reminder that putting off registering for an upcoming running event until the last minute — particularly if there are a limited number of slots in the event you prefer — could turn into a huge disappointment and who’s to blame?
Timing is everything in this world, and there’s much to be said about the early bird getting the worm. Or in Lyvia Ma’s case, the salted egg yolk burger.
Salted egg yolk burger SOLD OUT at Mcd Jcube! ? pic.twitter.com/pN1TMhwTFy
— Alfie! (@_Alfieee) June 30, 2016
Lesson #3: Don’t put so much importance on an outcome!
The salted egg yolk chicken burger may have been inspired by “Singaporeans’ love for salted egg yolk,” but in fact, McDonald’s devotees who know a thing or two about recipes swear that this dish is nothing more than a chicken patty version of a McSpicy, topped with curry leaves, chopped lettuce and a rather meagre helping of egg yolk gravy on a white sesame seed bun.
Disappointed consumers have complained bitterly about the taste. It’s kinda like the marathon that looked so promising and turned out to be a disaster — only the burger disaster sets you back between S$2 and S$5.75, while high race fees can hurt your wallet big time.
Had the Salted Egg Yolk Chicken Burger Feast. Worth the hype? Not really. Compared to the initial reviews by others, the salted egg sauce is much more now, but it is too grainy and not much taste in it. I prefer a more smooth texture like those salted egg dishes we have in most tze-char stalls. McSpicy Burger still reign the King of Burgers in MacDonalds.
Lesson #4: Take the advice of the people you respect.
Your coach. Your friends. Maybe even your parents. These people care enough about you to offer the best advice about your training and running routines, habits and proclivities.
If you’ve been told to avoid junk and fast food because it’s important to eat the healthiest fare possible, is it worth compromising your training diet to ingest fried breaded chicken with dubious toppings?
Friends warned friends via mobile devices that McDonald’s queues were long and social media spread the word that these burgers are disappointing, yet people continued to flock to shops. Did you show up when your friends warned you not to bother?
Whoever wanna try the new Salted Egg Chicken Burger think wisely. Its literally too tasteless for a salted egg yolk. pic.twitter.com/hhgA4Ti1Q9
— marksman_ (@zamir_akid) June 30, 2016
Lesson #5: Just because the media hypes it, that doesn’t mean you have to bite.
Not every organisation in charge of Singapore marathons is on the up and up. Some are fly-by-night schemes to take advantage of the nation’s passion for running and the infrastructure built into shoddy events can turn runners off in a heartbeat.
Conversely, the media hype surrounding the introduction of the salted egg yolk burger whipped fast food eaters into such a frenzy, you would have thought they were being offered free meals.
Media is great at breaking important news about upcoming marathons, sporting events and charity runs, but the egg yolk burger? This is a terrific example of the Shakespearean play title, “Much Ado About Nothing”!
— ResortsWorldSentosa (@rwsentosa) July 1, 2016
Lesson #6: How important is following the crowd?
Some Singaporeans bashed others for not showing up at nearby McDonald’s to snag a salted egg yolk burger on the day they were introduced. Does this make sense — especially in light of the fact that over 1,000 negative comments flooded McDonald’s Facebook page and Twitter?
What does that say about the priorities of those who stood in line for something they’ve never tasted over using that time to help others?
Singapore runners have the biggest hearts in the world, and perhaps this McDonald’s salted egg yolk burger brouhaha is meant to serve as a lesson to all of us: Time is precious. Maybe that’s the most important lesson of all!
The hype for the Salted Egg Yolk chicken burger is real.pic.twitter.com/lSMQ74dncX
— Qisthina Quraizha (@qisthinaquraizh) June 30, 2016
To Try or Not To Try the Salted Egg Yolk Burger?
The long-awaited salted egg yolk burger was such a disappointing affair, Genevieve Sarah Loh’s Channel NewsAsia article about the best salted egg yolk foods in Singapore didn’t include the McDonald’s burger, though we did dig up a list of recipe ingredients: breaded whole-muscle chicken, egg yolk flavoured sauce, lettuce and curry leaves plus a sesame bun.
Accompaniments for the burger include menu additions Twist & Shake Fries, Gula Melaka McFlurry with Layer Cake Bites, sweet Banana Pie and Spicy Nuggets.
People with allergies beware: you a risk a reaction because the salted egg yolk burger can contain crustacean, fish, mollusc, peanuts and tree nuts! We searched endlessly to find this burger’s calorie count, but no luck because the dish is so new.
Instead, we turned to Myfitnesspal to approximate the calorie count: McChicken burger (395 calories), McDonald’s sesame seed bun (180 calories) and egg yolk sauce (185 calories) — totalling 760 calories, and that’s just an estimate.
Add those sides and you could be eating a total daily count that surpasses the 2,000 calories recommended for active, healthy people!
Are you willing to spend time in a queue to taste something the day it’s introduced to the Singapore market? What does that say about your priorities and if you have tasted the burger, please share with us your review!