New chicken sandwich

One of the new McDonald’s chicken sandwiches, with a milk shake on the side, is served up at the East Rome McDonald’s. The nationwide launch of the new 4.75-ounce protein meal is set for Feb. 24, but is already available at the Turner McCall Boulevard and Martha Berry Boulevard McDonald’s locations.

Well over a year in development, the new McDonald’s crispy chicken sandwich, which will launch nationally in February, is already available at the Martha Berry and Turner McCall locations in Rome.

Jim Aaron, owner of the two stores, helped pilot the sandwich as part of the McDonald’s National Menu team.

The sandwich comes in four different forms, all featuring a 4.75 ounce cut of chicken which Aaron said is much more substantial than the former chicken sandwich offered for decades by the fast food chain.

The new sandwich is also served on a potato roll, which is sweeter and thicker than the old traditional burger bun.

“We worked closely with Tyson, our chicken providers and our culinary chef team in Chicago,” Aaron said.

Nationally, Aaron said chicken sandwiches overtook traditional burgers about 15 years ago.

“Per capita consumption of chicken went past beef and it just didn’t look back,” Aaron said. McDonald’s business is still driven by beef as opposed to chicken. He said the new product would make McDonald’s a major player in the so-called chicken wars.

Aaron, a longtime McDonald’s franchisee across two states, is one of the leaders on the McDonald’s national menu team. He was able to pilot the sandwich at several of his locations across Northwest Georgia and Southeast Tennessee.

Aaron started with his Summerville restaurant and one in Vonore, Tennessee before adding the sandwiches to his Rome restaurants. His stores in Lafayette and Chickamauga followed.

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