Tuesday, December 16, 2008

BK takes a Shot on sliders

Burger King’s sliders have arrived. A midtown Manhattan unit sports a sign today announcing the addition of BK Burger Shots, two flame-broiled mini-burgers priced at a mere $1.49 for the pair. Other markets are already airing commercials for the burger-ettes, available with or without cheese, according to blog posts.

A rollout of sliders had been expected since late spring by those who care about such things. In May, BK generated considerable buzz in the United Kingdom by adding a clever take-off on the slider, a uniquely American product. The Angus 6 Pack consisted of an oversized, scalloped-edged burger patty served on a similarly misshapen roll. The patty was actually six connected sliders, or miniature burgers, and the roll was similarly a six-in-one. A customer tore the burger and bun into six individual sliders.

The Burger Shots are much different. Indeed, they look more like Hardee’s Little Thickburgers, a downsized version of that chain’s belly whoppers, than a true slider like White Castle’s bite-sized mini’s (my usual order: 10).

Their larger size may be the result of operational considerations. As I said in a blog written while I was still gainfully employed, BK tried a slider during the 1980s called the Burger Buddy. The little patties proved to be a production nightmare because they would slip through the slats of the conveyor belt inside BK’s charbroiler.

BK has yet to make a formal announcement of the Burger Shots, which were identified in the New York store as a limited-time product. But why should that be a surprise? Half of the things it does are introduced through stealth marketing campaigns.

1 comment:

steakman said...

I think it is brilliant. How do you increase a dollar menu to a$1.49 and at the same time make the portion smaller without pissing off your customer base? Call it mini burger or slider. Pure Genius. I predict the next trend will be microburgers packaged with a looking glass film that will make them look like sliders. They will be less than 1 oz but look like 4 oz and will be 50% fiber so you will feel full.

Sincerely, Steakman