BK Cuts the Cheese in $1 Double CheeseburgerBy Todd • Feb 20th, 2010 • Category: Burger Blog
Consider me royally disappointed with the King’s latest declaration. Burger King has announced that their $1 Double Cheeseburger will cost $1.19, beginning April 20.
Franchise owners had complained since the Double Cheeseburger’s introduction in October that they were losing more than a dime on every one that was sold. (Waaah. Ask one of them how much they make on every cup of Coke they sell and they’ll clam up in a hurry.) Some of them even sued the King, maintaining that the company did not have the right to fix a maximum price on a menu item. So it appears that the King has backed down from this fight and will just charge more for the burg.
Dollar menu fans may take solace in the fact that the chain will replace the Double Cheeseburger with something they’ll reportedly call the BK Dollar Double. But beware: the “Double” in the name refers only to the number of flame-broiled patties. This new cheebie will feature just one slice of cheese, half that of the current $1 Double Cheeseburger.
Caution: corporate spin just ahead…
“We are excited to offer two great-tasting sandwiches to our guests at prices they appreciate,” a Burger King spokeswoman said Wednesday. “BK continues to test innovative new products that will appeal to both value-conscious consumers and those seeking premium indulgent products at affordable prices.” Translation: We were afraid customers might storm our stores with torches and pitchforks if we just got rid of a slice of cheese one night, so we’re going to stick it to them by charging more for that sandwich. But we’ll throw an inferior burger out there so we can say we have one on the dollar menu.
It’s a little reminiscent of the cheesy switcheroo that Wendy’s pulled with its Bacon Deluxe. And it’s the exact same strategy that McDonald’s employed with the McDouble, when a double-patty-single-slice burg replaced the double cheeseburger on the clown’s menu. I have always maintained that BK is better than both of those chains: in quality of food, and certainly in offering what fans want. This move strikes out on both counts.
Wait, there’s more. BK also plans to “test” a price increase for its Whopper Jr. (Yeah, “test.” Like they’ll change their mind and drop the price if the test fails.) Some analysts, like Paul Ziobro of Dow Jones Newswires, speculate that this could be the first step in raising the price of the flagship Whopper as well. According to his recent article: “One franchisee said the Whopper’s price has been stalled for close to three years as the chain has held the price steady on the Whopper Jr. at $1. A higher price for the Whopper only makes sense, this franchisee said, with a concurrent increase for the smaller sandwich, since stores don’t want customers buying two or three Whopper Jr. sandwiches instead.”
So start digging under those sofa cushions, cheeseburger fans. Looks like BK is slowly going to jack up their prices across the board. It must be good to be the King.