Burger King is going to become the Hot Dog King! The fast food chain plans to roll out hot dogs at all of its 7,100 U.S. locations later this month, in a bid to bring lower-calorie and less-expensive options to its menu, MSN is reporting.
With little fanfare, Burger King tested hot dogs at a few specific locations last year. Alex Macedo, president of Burger King North America, said that the hot dogs resulted in increased sales at the locations where they were tested, but he wouldn’t give specifics.
Sonic sold 151.8 million hot dogs in 2015. Today Burger King adds hot dogs to their permanent menu. pic.twitter.com/Y41DyZECvZ
— TheBurdetteLawFirm (@TheBurdetteLawF) February 10, 2016
Food review website The Impulsive Buy was able to sample some of the Burger King hot dogs, and gave them a generally positive review.
“The dog, which has grill marks and a split texture, has excellent snap for a fast food dog, with more blackening than Sonic’s All-American dog. The flavor is moderately smokey and definitely beefy, although to be honest it’s not as beefy as Sonic’s dog. I liked it … a lot. But it felt small and not quite substantial enough. The bun was a bit stale, but it did have a decent buttery-sweet flavor. The meat to bun ratio felt right; I tasted a combination of sharp and sweet toppings, the bun, and most importantly the meaty depth of the hot dog.”
The addition of hot dogs comes as Burger King tries to gain market share in an increasingly crowded fast food landscape. Other big names in the industry are also trying new menu items — and new pricing options — to bring customers through the door. McDonald’s, for example, recently rolled out all-day breakfast, according to this Inquisitr report, with spectacular results. Wendy’s, meanwhile, has offered a “4 for $4” menu to bring in customers.
Burger King joins smaller chains Dairy Queen and Sonic in offering hot dogs. Dairy Queen has, for years, offered both chili dogs and plain hot dogs. Sonic introduced hot dogs, in a wide variety of sizes and flavors, to its menu years ago.
— SwagGrabber (@SwagGrabber) December 17, 2015
Unlike Sonic, Burger King will only offer two varieties of hot dog: a plain version (available with mustard, ketchup, relish and onions) and a chili cheese dog.
However, Macedo believes Burger King’s hot dogs may have a leg up on the competition: like their burgers, Burger King’s hot dogs will be flame-broiled (rather than boiled, like their competition’s), according to Fox News.
“This is probably the most obvious product launch ever. This is much bigger than a product launch. It’s really tapping into a category that’s huge and that we see a big opportunity in serving higher quality product with convenience.”
While Macedo has high hopes for Burger King’s hot dogs, and while initial results are encouraging, the history of fast food is riddled with much-hyped products that have failed, and failed hard, according to the Street.
Perhaps the most spectacular fast-food menu flop was the McDonald’s Arch Deluxe. McDonald’s spent $100 million marketing the adult-oriented burger, failing to realize that much of its market is families with small children. The burger was an embarrassing flop for the fast food chain.
Burger King has had its share of flops, as well. In 2013, the chain introduced low-calorie “Satis-Fries,” which were discontinued less than a year later. Similarly, says Macedo, Burger King tried another product that failed to bring in 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.”
Are you excited about trying a Burger King hot dog?
[Image via Shutterstock/Africa Studio]