Burger King today responded to McDonald’s “McPick 2 for $5” with a new set of numbers to the burger-chain discount game. Its new “2 for $10 Whopper Meal” deal offers two quarter-pound Whopper burgers, two small fries and two small drinks for one bundled price.
But will consumers see two three-item meals as better than two of its previous “5 for $4” meals (or “10 items for $8”)? That previous deal was a Bacon Cheeseburger, four crispy chicken nuggets, chocolate chip cookie, small fries and a small drink for $4. So consumers are still getting small drinks and fries with the “2 for $10” but a Whopper is a bigger burger. There’s no cookie, though, if that matters to you.
You need a scorecard to keep the deals straight, so to summarize:
⊗ Wendy’s kicked off the competition with its “4 for $4” deal. As it stands, that’s a Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger or Crispy Chicken BLT plus 4 chicken nuggets, small fries and small drink.
⊗ McDonald’s first tried the “McPick 2 for $2” deal but now is offering a revised “McPick 2 for $5” offer that includes full-size sandwich options like the Big Mac and Quarter Pounder with Cheese (which is why Burger King stepped up to a deal that includes its full-size Whopper) along with Chicken McNuggets and fries. Some markets are sweetening the deal with a “Basket of Fries” as part of their McPick math.
⊗ Carl’s Jr./Hardee’s has its “$4 Real Deal” offer that includes two sandwiches—a Double Cheeseburger and Spicy Chicken—plus small fries and a 16-oz. drink.
⊗ Sonic Drive-In today introduced a $5 Sonic Boom Box bundle, which includes the choice of any 6-inch Hot Dog , a Junior Deluxe Cheeseburger, medium tots or fries with a medium fountain drink or tea.
Other QSR chains on the outside of this wheeling and dealing may find they need to join in. Jack in the Box, currently limited to offering a $1 off coupon on any of its Buttery Jack burgers, likely will put together a bundled-meal deal soon.
Rather than sink into discounting, full-service “better burger” concept The Counter has refreshed its menus. It continues to offer create-your-own (CYO) and chef-created burgers and has made additions to both.
The CYO menu adds a few interesting new premium protein choices including a Southern Fried Chicken patty ($2 upcharge though prices may vary by location), skirt steak ($8), organic bison ($4) and crab cake ($6). Patty sizes are 1/3 lb. ($10.5); ½ lb. ($13.50) or 1 lb. ($19.50).
The “Sauce, Aïoli or Dressing” list has blossomed to more than 20 choices with new options that include a proprietary Spicy Tomato Jam and Korean Chili Aïoli.
The “base” menu with signature burgers (1/3 or ½ lb.) and salads has additions that include a Lamburger special (ground lamb, herbed goat cheese, grilled red onions, spinach and spicy tomato jam on a toasted ciabatta bun) and a $16.50 Holy Crab burger (jumbo lump crab cake, jalapeňo Jack cheese, tomatoes, pickles, fresh jalapeňos, coleslaw and house Thousand Island dressing on a Hawaiian roll).
New non-burger sandwiches on the menu are a $19.75 Carne Asada (grilled skirt steak, lettuce, grilled Anaheim chiles, roasted corn and black bean salsa, fresh jalapeňos and guacamole on a brioche bun) and $12.50 Southern Fried Chicken (buttermilk-brined chicken, jalapeňo Jack cheese, tomato, coleslaw, fresh jalapeňos and honey Dijon on a brioche bun).
As before, burgers can be served on greens in a bowl. A gluten-free-menu is available.