Burger King hot dogs will soon be a reality. The fast food chain is striving to become the biggest hot dog seller in the United States.
USA Today reports that two different grilled hot dogs will soon be a permanent fixture on the Burger King menu at approximately 7,100 U.S. locations by the end of the month. The introduction is sure to take a huge bite out of a market already ruled by convenience stores, wholesale clubs, and other retailers.
Last year, Burger King hot dogs were tried in five markets and became an instant hit with customers. Alex Macedo, Burger King’s North American President, says the testing revealed Americans want a higher quality wiener at a lower price point.
“It was the biggest market test that we ever did,” he said. “We haven’t been as excited about a product announced like this in a long, long time.”
Macedo thinks the launch is as big as that of the Burger King staple, the Whopper.
Oscar Mayer will be making the 100 percent beef hot dog for Burger King. Like other beef options at the restaurant, Macedo says the hot dog will be “flame grilled” instead of boiled or put on a “roller” like in many convenience stores.
“This is probably the most obvious product launch ever,” said Macedo. “We might not have the expertise to start serving spaghetti, but hot dogs, we do.”
Customers will get to choose between a “classic” grilled dog with various toppings like ketchup and relish for $1.99 and the “chili cheese” dog for $2.29. Both will be served on a baked, untoasted bun.
As reported by ABC News, celebrities Snoop Dogg and Charo will star in employee training videos for making the Burger King hot dogs.
Burger King says it got Snoop Dogg & Charo for internal hot dog training vids. More likely for marketing later pic.twitter.com/JN7wqqq1pb— Candice Choi (@candicechoi) February 10, 2016
As pressure from competing fast-food restaurants mounts, Burger King has been trying to introduce new menu ideas to improve sales. The burger giant has been looking for an answer to McDonald’s all-day breakfast menu as well as Wendy’s “4 for $4” deal. At Burger King locations in the U.S. and Canada, sales modestly increased by 2.1 percent in 2014. Restaurant Brands International, Burger King’s parent company, will post results for 2015 sometime next week.
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, Burger King added the Extra Long Buttery Cheeseburger to its menu earlier this month. The extended toasted hoagie bun has room for two beef patties covered with buttery garlic sauce.
Burger King is betting that customers will want an all-beef grilled hot dog and will not fail like some previous menu losers. The chain introduced low-calorie fries named “Satisfries” in 2013 but quickly discontinued them within months.
According to Macedo, Burger King has tried other failed tactics to bring in more customers.
“At some point, they tried popcorn. They would give it away for free to guests in the restaurants. I wasn’t here, but I hear a lot about the popcorn days,” Macedo said.
According to research firm NPD, roughly 14 percent of all restaurant visits include an order for a hamburger, yet less than 2 percent buy hot dogs. Additionally, NPD found hot dogs had actually become less popular recently. During 2015, overall orders fell 4 percent when compared to the previous year, however, sales remained positive at convenience stores and some small restaurant chains.
The trend does not necessarily mean customers do not want hot dogs. Burger King may be in a unique position to conquer a category without much competition, according to NPD. Smaller food joints, such as Dairy Queen and Sonic, also offer hot dogs but still mostly sell hamburgers nonetheless.
Two Burger King hot dogs will be on the menu starting February 23. Once the launch happens, the fast-food juggernaut will be the largest restaurant in the nation to offer them, and a new king of the hot dog may be crowned.
[Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images]