Monday, January 26, 2009

McDonald's new sliders

Burger King tried out a slider in Great Britain before adding one on this side of the Atlantic. Is McDonald’s doing the same?

The burger giant’s U.K. outlets recently added two of the mini sandwiches: Little Tasters, or smaller-sized cheeseburgers served on a mini ciabatta bun, and the Little Italian, the same thing but with a sausage patty replacing the hamburger patty. Prices aren’t listed on McD’s website for the U.K., but you can get the rest of the lowdown here.

McDonald’s Corp. CEO Jim Skinner cited the Little Tasters as a “fourth tier” to the chain’s menu, sandwiched price-wise between bargain items and core selections like full-sized single burgers (the other tier apparently consists of premium-priced choices.) He cited the additional example of a new product marketed in France, the Petite du Jour.

As Restaurant Reality Check reported earlier, Burger King’s U.K. stores started selling a multiple slider meal in May 2008 called the Angus 6 Pack. Last month, another type of slider, called BK Burger Shots, was introduced in some U.S. stores. Two Shots are sold as one order, for $1.49.

In a conference call today with financial analysts, McDonald’s officials didn’t say if the sliders now available in Great Britain might show up on this side of the pond. But Skinner noted that about 75% of units in Europe are now outfitted with a kitchen package called the Bridge Operating Platform. One of the new set-up’s strengthens, Skinner noted, is its capability of producing a wider array of products.

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