Burger King has begun selling a five-item meal for $4 on January 5, a deal that marks its answer to the recently-launched McDonald’s McPick 2 and Wendy’s 4 for $4 deals.
The new Burger King promotion includes a bacon cheeseburger, small French fries, small drink, 4 piece chicken nuggets and a warm chocolate chip cookie. The fast-food chain and its rivals all acknowledge they are aggressively pursuing value-conscious customers looking for the cheapest of the deals. Burger King officials did not say how long their promotion will last.
Alex Macedo, president for Burger King in North America, said the promotion builds on the company’s “strategy of bringing people into our restaurants with great tasting food at an accessible price point”.
The new deal comes as McDonald’s on January 5 launched its McPick 2 promotion, which allows customers to choose two of the following items for $2: McChicken, McDouble, mozzarella sticks, and small French fries.
Wendy’s beat their burger rivals to the punch last year when the Dublin, Ohio-headquartered chain introduced its 4 for $4 deal that includes a junior bacon cheeseburger, 4 chicken nuggets, small fries and a drink.
It’s not just the fast food burger giants that are fighting for customers looking for lots of food for little money.
On January 4, Pizza Hut launched a seven-item value menu in which each item is $5 if the customer purchases two or more. The menu options includes one-topping medium pizzas, eight boneless wings, pasta, double order of breadsticks, chocolate chip cookie pizza, brownies, and four Pepsi beverages.
McDonald’s is initially testing its McPick 2 for five weeks, but has already expressed confidence that it will be a winner in driving sales. Company officials downplay concerns that customers will trade down for cheaper items and depress overall sales.
“So far in the tests, we have done we haven’t seen that,” McDonald’s chief marketing officer Deborah Wahl told reporters ahead of the launch.
Burger King has decided to drop sugary soft drinks from kids’ meals following similar moves by McDonald’s and Wendy’s earlier this year.
The fast-food giant is replacing fountain drinks with fat-free milk, low-fat chocolate milk and apple juice in Burger King Kids Meals, USA Today reported.
Soft drinks will still be offered, but they will be nixed from the Kids Meal menu.
Major fast-food chains have reportedly stopped marketing sodas to kids due to pressure from consumer advocacy groups working to end childhood obesity. McDonald’s, for instance, has partnered with The Alliance for a Healthy Generation, founded by the Clinton Foundation and the American Heart Association, NPR reports.
Burger King made the switch as part of an “ongoing effort to offer our guests options that match lifestyle needs,” Alex Macedo, president of Burger King North America, told USA Today.
Just a day after McDonald’s announced plans for a new chicken item dubbed Mighty Wings, Burger King has come out with a revolutionary $1 French Fry Burger – to compete head on with its rival’s lucrative Dollar Menu.
McDonald’s will roll out the Mighty Wings nationally as a limited-time offer through November, selling the bone-in chicken wings as three, five and 10 pieces, starting at $2.99. The morsels will come with nine different sauces to choose from including Chipotle Barbeque, Spicy Buffalo and Tangy Barbeque.
Meanwhile, the French Fry Burger will launch on September 1 and will be available through the fall.
Burger King is focusing more on cheaper items after McDonald’s aggressive push for its Dollar Menu, which brings in the most cash of all its offerings.
Burger King has come out with a revolutionary $1 French Fry Burger to compete head on with McDonald’s lucrative Dollar Menu
French Fry Burger, which clocks in at 360 calories and 19 grams of fat, is a relatively novel offering, but doesn’t require any extra investment from Burger King; it’s basically a standard beef patty topped with four of the chain’s french fries.
The offering comes as fast-food chains jump through hoops to get customers through their doors, in large part by heavily promoting their cheapest eats.
McDonald’s has stepped up advertising for its Dollar Menu, which now features its Grilled Onion Cheddar Burger and a more substantial McDouble, which has two patties and a slice of cheese.
That forced Burger King and Wendy’s to adjust their tactics earlier this year to stress value more clearly as well. Burger King, for example, has offered any two sandwiches for $5 and a Junior Whopper for $1.29.
It’s not clear whether the strategy will pay off for the chains, or what impact it could have on wearing away at profit margins over the long term.
But in the latest quarter, Burger King said its sales at North American restaurants open at least a year slipped 0.5%.
Wendy’s reported a 0.4% rise, while McDonald’s reported a 1% increase for US restaurants.
The metric is an important indicator of health because it strips out the impact of newly opened and closed locations.
Other chains, by contrast, are faring better. Chipotle reported a 3.4% increase and Starbucks said the figure rose 9%.
Photographer Dario D was fed up with his fast food order not looking quite as appetizing as it did on the advert and decided to see how the food sold over the counter matched up to the promised product.
He bought burgers and tacos from some of the biggest chains in the United States and set them up in his studio for a professional standard photo shoot.
And the difference was clear to see.
Dario D found that most of the burgers he bought were not quite as tall as the adverts promised they would be.
In fact, Big Macs would struggle to fit inside their boxes if they matched their picture.
Another McDonald’s burger, the Angus Deluxe Third Pounder, would have the same trouble.
Dario D embarked on the project following: “a lifetime of disappointment, bafflement, and rage”, posting the results on his website.
He gave Burger King’s Whopper a few tries, but after slightly squashed results could only conclude: “They need to fire the guy who does his yoga on top of the Whoppers.”
In one side-by-side comparison, he showed the results of asking staff at different locations to make the Whopper look like its advert.
Photographer Dario D found that most of the burgers he bought were not quite as tall as the adverts promised they would be
“Both times, the cashiers turned and took strangely long, careful looks, as if nobody had ever requested that before,” he said.
“They said sure.”
Out of curiosity, Dario D complained about the “misleading” adverts.
A member of Burger King’s Consumer Relations Team replied: “One may find the Whopper Sandwich as pictured in commercials more attractive because during photo sessions, professional food stylists are used to ensure the consistency and appearance.”
It wasn’t just burger chains where the food failed to size up to its commercial counterpart.
In Taco Bell and Jack in the Box, the tacos were thin compared with the packed shells in the adverts.
Of the Taco Bell results, Dario D said: “Since these tacos are pretty dry and empty, I can only tolerate them with hot sauce, which, for me, is when they become good.”
With the help of a green screen and rotating chair, Dario D took each product’s photo at the most flattering angle he could before using digital software to show the advert and real product side-by-side.
Dario D said: “I gave the items as fair a chance as absolutely possible.”
Burger King’s Twitter account was hacked by a McDonald’s fan.
Burger King’s Twitter page, which has more than 89,000 followers, has been changed to feature their rival’s food and even their logo and Twitter name have been changed, appearing as McDonalds @BurgerKing.
The first sign of trouble was a post made from the official Burger King account stating: “We just got sold to McDonalds! Look for McDonalds in a hood near you.”
The Burger King Twitter account has been suspended after several posts, some racist and offensive, were made by the McDonald’s fan over several hours.
From the Burger King account, the hacker promoted McDonald’s food, posting: “Try our new BK (sm) Bath Salt! 99% Pure MDPV! Buy a Big Mac, get a gram free!”
Since then there has been a string of Tweets from several Twitter users as news of the hack went viral with many tweeting and re-tweeting posts from the hacker.
Burger King’s Twitter account was hacked by a McDonald’s fan
A Burger King spokesperson said: “It has come to our attention that the Twitter account of BURGER KING® brand has been hacked.
“We have worked directly with administrators to suspend the account until we are able to re-establish our legitimate site and authentic postings.
“We apologize to our followers who have been receiving erroneous tweets about other members of our industry and additional inappropriate topics.”
McDonald’s denied any involvement in the hacking, posting on their Twitter page at 6.45p.m.: “We empathize with our @BurgerKing counterparts. Rest assured, we had nothing to do with the hacking.”
Twitter and Burger King are yet to make any official statements about the incident.
Burger King introduces the limited-time dessert Bacon Sundae today as part of its new summer menu.
The 510-calorie sundae – vanilla soft serve topped with fudge, caramel, bacon crumbles and a piece of bacon – has 18 grams of fat and 61 grams of sugar.
Earlier this year, Burger King rolled out an expanded menu with healthier fare – fruit smoothies, wraps and salads – with an advertising campaign featuring soccer star David Beckham. Burger King Bacon Sundae, available through September 3, would seem to be a strategic move in the polar opposite direction – and something akin to Jack in the Box’s 1,081-calorie bacon milkshake, which debuted in February.
It also seems to be an attempt to answer Taco Bell’s wildly popular Doritos Locos Taco, which became “the most successful product launch in the chain’s history” after 100 million were sold in the 10 weeks following its launch in March.
Taco Bell, for its part, is going “upscale.” The “Cantina Bell” menu, debuting in July, will have “fresh ingredients such as black beans, <<fire-roasted>> corn salsa, cilantro rice, pico de gallo and citrus- and herb-marinated chicken that many consumers have come to associate with Chipotle,” according to Advertising Age.
Burger King introduces the limited-time dessert Bacon Sundae today as part of its new summer menu
Burger King’s summer menu also includes a Memphis pulled-pork BBQ sandwich, Carolina BBQ Whopper or chicken sandwich, Texas BBQ Whopper or chicken sandwich, sweet potato fries and frozen lemonade.
The bacon sundae, it’s worth noting, is downright healthy compared to the Krispy Kreme bacon cheeseburger – a 1,500-calorie behemoth that replaces the buns with doughnuts.
Burger King isn’t the first company to market a bacon sundae- Denny’s Baconalia event featured a maple bacon sundae of some description a while back, and one of NYC’s best burger joints, Shake Shake, certainly features a high-end bacon sundae that could theoretically work on some level.