Burger King will offer a new $1 French Fry Burger starting Sept. 1, the company confirmed Tuesday.
The new item sandwiches four fries into a burger with a standard beef patty, a company spokesperson said in an email.
The latest rollout from the Miami-based burger chain shows that the dollar is maintaining its grip on quick-service menus, noted Leslie Kerr, president and founder of Intellaprice, a Boston-based restaurant-pricing advisory firm. “The dollar remains the most common price point on the menu by far,” she said.
“Every other item is spread out among different price ranges, but there are so many items put on the dollar menus,” Kerr said in an interview. “Quick-service restaurants consider it a staple on the menu.”
Innovation at the dollar price point can be difficult, Kerr said, noting that Burger King is showing creativity with its French Fry Burger. Adding the four fries would add just “a few cents” to the food cost associated with the item, she said.
“That’s sort of like a throw-on. It’s a nice, cheap way to add some novelty to the dollar menu. It is hard to innovate there,” she said. “We’ve seen dollar snack wraps and other items that have appeal. But it’s hard to make the items interesting and compelling for the guest and keep that price point.”
In December, McDonald’s expanded its Dollar Menu with Snack Size Fish McBites and the Grilled Onion Cheddar Burger.
However, not all burger chains are adhering to the dollar price cap. “One of the things I’ve seen is that Wendy’s is creeping up,” Kerr observed, noting that the Dublin, Ohio-based chain is putting more items at the $1.29 and $1.49 mark.
“The crispy chicken sandwich used to be on the Dollar Menu,” she said, “but the price has gone up. It’s a good example of a value item that is at a low price point, but it’s evident you don’t have to be at a dollar.”
Burger King said Wednesday that other seasonal items include:
Chicken Parmesan Sandwich: A breaded and fried chicken filet topped with marinara sauce and melted parmesan cheese on a toasted, artisan-style bun. Eric Hirschhorn, chief marketing officer for Burger King North America, said the Chicken Parmesan Sandwich was “back by very popular guest demand.”
Buffalo Chicken Strips: Breaded white-meat chicken tossed in spicy Buffalo sauce, available in three-piece and five-piece orders with ranch dressing through Oct. 27. The strips were launched in the summer.
In the second quarter ended June 30, Burger King reported that net income rose 30.5 percent, to $62.9 million, and revenue fell 48.5 percent, to $278.3 million. Same-store sales were nearly flat, increasing 0.6 percent systemwide.
Burger King has more than 13,000 restaurants in 88 nations and territories.
This article has been revised to reflect the following update:
Update: Aug. 28, 2013 Burger King has also added a Chicken Parmesan Sandwich and Buffalo Chicken Strips to its fall menu lineup.
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