McDonald’s acknowledges the ‘secret menu’

The QSR is asking its employees to submit their best recipes for a chance to win $10,000.


It appears that it’s finally time to give credit to those creators who have stumbled across ways  to make the Big Mac more unique.

To honour its employees’ “secret menu” items, McDonald’s Canada launched a contest awarding $10,000 to the best idea.

In the first-of-its-kind contest, the QSR’s “crew members” can submit their burger or wrap recipes, using existing McDonald’s ingredients, on a microsite for a chance to win the grand prize money, among other things.

The challenge was developed by Cossette and the Ontario regional marketing team at McDonald’s. To promote the contest, restaurant managers hung posters with a hidden message printed in clear varnish in employee break rooms. They also handed out “secret submission forms” with redacted text suggesting a hidden message.

A video on the Secret Secret Menu microsite, created by Cossette, also helped promote the contest.

The top 10 submissions from each restaurant were submitted to the microsite, which employees could then share on social media to get friends and families to vote for their recipe.

The preliminary judging ends tomorrow, when eight semi-finalists will go to McDonald’s Canada’s head office to work with the company’s “Menu Team” to perfect their recipe. Remaining submissions are still eligible for a people’s choice award of $1,000.

For the grand prize, finalists will attend an event where their recipes will be judged by a live panel of “high-profile” judges.

Currently, the consumer-facing part of the campaign is the website that employees can share with family and friends, the QSR says. The focus is more on building brand ambassadors and celebrating creativity, so the winning item won’t be available to the public in restaurants, although they will be served at the final event.

There aren’t yet any immediate plans to use content from the live judging in any upcoming ads, but depending on the quality of the content, there may be an opportunity to create an online video, according to McDonald’s.