Monday Meeting: Line Extensions Rule

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Monday Meeting: Line Extensions Rule

This is high season for QSR menu expansion. New beef, chicken and other burgers sprout on menus in the heat. Begin your week by catching up on these bits of burger news that you might have missed:

Wendy's Spicy Chicken

Wendy’s Spicy Chicken

Wendy’s today brings back its Spicy Chicken Sandwich, flavored with a mix of black pepper, chili pepper and mustard seed and topped with lettuce, tomato and mayo. Introduced in 1996, the burger has been a frequent LTO since. Suggested price is $4.49.

Carl’s Jr./Hardee’s has busted the $5 price ceiling with the first extension of the All-Natural Burger introduced in spring. The Mushroom & Swiss All-Natural Burger tops the natural beef patty with “natural hand-picked sautéed mushrooms,” natural Swiss cheese, tomatoes, mayo, lettuce and red onion and serves it on a baked-in-house bun. The new burger is priced at $5.39, or as a double burger for $7.89. The original All-Natural Burger came out at $4.49. Rising beef prices showing?

Jack Box Portolbello

Jack’s Portobello Swiss Buttery Jack

Jack in the Box has rolled out the Portobello Mushroom Buttery Jack, the first extension of the burger line introduced earlier in the year. This has Portobello mushrooms, peppercorn mayo, grilled onions, Swiss cheese and melted garlic-herb butter on a quarter-pound signature patty and Jack’s new signature bun. Jack’s staying just below the $5 threshold: $4.99 a la carte and $6.89 for a small combo.

Jack also has a new extension of its $6 Munchie Meals line: The Spicy Nacho Chicken meal tops Jack’s Spicy Chicken fillet with jalapeňo slices, melted nacho cheese and crispy onion rings and serves it on sourdough bread. Like its other late-night-only meals, this includes two taco, halfsie fries (regular and spiral) and a small drink.

Max & Erma Burger

Max & Erma’s TMB Burger

Of course, QSRs aren’t alone in improving their menus with burgers. Family-dining chain Max & Erma’s line of 6-oz., $10.99 (go to 10 oz. for $1 more) “Sizzlin’ Summer Burgers”: The Boss is topped with sliced corned beef, sauerkraut, melted Swiss and Thousand Island on toasted brioche; The TMB has over-roasted tomatoes, mozzarella and basil on a toasted Italian country roll with tomato-basil spread; and the Cola BBQ Bacon with Cheddar, caramelized cola-cooked onions, smoky bacon, onion rings and a cherry-cola BBQ sauce, served on toasted brioche.

BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse calls its summer line Loaded Burgers. The varieties includes a Bacon-Guacamole Deluxe ($11.95) and two $12.95 choices: Hickory Brisket and Bacon, and Portobello Swiss.