The fast-food chain is doing something with the Whopper it said it wasn’t going to do.
With many American struggling with money, or at least worried about their finances, fast-food chains have leaned into being a value option.
Instead of simply being cheap across their entire menus or offering a dollar menu as McDonald’s (MCD) – Get Free Report did back in the day, Restaurant Brands International’s (QSR) – Get Free Report Burger King and Wendy’s (WEN) – Get Free Report have been very strategic about their deals.
Both chains want to serve their audiences by offering deals that contain a lot of food for low prices, but they want to do that in a way that protects their bottom line. That’s a tough needle to thread as customers have become accustomed to certain deals, and changing those offers risks sending people elsewhere.
That’s the narrow line Wendy’s walked when it opted to mostly end its 4 for $4 promotion, offering it only with a Jr. Cheeseburger instead of your choice of a few different sandwiches.
The chain pushed that choice into its $5 Biggie Bag, still offering customers a choice of sandwich (including some with two burger patties), four-piece chicken nuggets, fries, and a drink, but getting an extra dollar out of them.
Burger King has done the same thing, pushing its $5 meal deals to $6 while removing the Whopper, its most famous sandwich, from its core value offers.
Now, Burger King has reversed that decision with its latest deal.
Image source: Shutterstock
Burger King Has a Plan to Handle Higher Costs
Burger King has taken a very active role in managing costs and delivering value for customers, according to Restaurant Brands International Chief Executive Jose Cil. During the chain’s third-quarter-earnings call, he commented on how the company has balanced rising prices and still offered customers good value.
Controlling costs also means “managing mix to ease pressures on margins,” Cil said. “We have examples of that including what we did with Burger King earlier in the year on removing the Whopper from the 2 for $6 platform and having — seeing increases in margins, while still communicating that’s an important value platform.”
During his company’s first-quarter 2022 earnings call, Cil also talked about protecting the Whopper as a premium product.
“This quarter, we demonstrated our balanced approach to menu innovation and value for money while keeping our core equity, the Whopper, top of mind,” he said.
“We kicked off the year with a new $5 Have It Your Way Meal, featuring a Double Whopper Jr. In addition, in order to treat the Whopper as a powerful multibillion-dollar brand that it is, we removed the legendary burger from our core discount offerings and added some fan-favorite variety, the Big King and quarter-pound King to our new two-for-five offer.”
Now, Burger King has reversed that decision.
Burger King Brings Back a Whopper Deal
Burger King has added a more flexible version of its $6 “Pick 2” meal with its new “$5.99 Choose a Meal Deal.” Both offers now include the choice of a Whopper or the BK Royal Crispy Chicken Sandwich along with a small fries and small drink, but the new deal offers a single meal for $5.99.
“As part of the new Choose a Meal Deal, you get your choice of one small meal for $5.99. By comparison, the recently introduced Pick 2 Meal Deal includes your choice of two small meals for $11.98, which works out to $5.99 each. Just keep in mind that you have to buy two meals to get the $5.99 per meal price point if you choose the Pick 2 Meal Deal,” Chewboom.com reported.
The new $5.99 offer returns the Whopper to a core value offering at a price that’s in line with customer expectations (but still $0.99 higher than what Wendy’s offers with the Biggie Bag).