Arby's isn't expected to roll out its entry in the burger market, the Roastburger, until March. But some entrepreneur apparently got his or her hands on some of the promotional materials a little early. For sale on eBay are tee shirts emblazoned with the announcement, "New! Roastburgers are here," emblazoned above an Arby's logo. They're selling for $22.77.
The back of the shirts carries the boast, "the burger done better."
The rollout of the Roastburger, Arby's foray into the prime market of sister brand Wendy's, hasn't exactly followed the usual steps. Free samples of a product bearing the Roastburger name were provided free to anyone who voted last November, a giveaway widely reported on the internet. A highly publicized commercial depicts a unit being warned via a frozen burger patty hurled through the plate glass window to "stop making the new Arby's Roastburger--or else." "The competition's nervous," remarks the voice-over.
And, perhaps most famously, the chain teased the Roastburger earlier this month by running a provocative full-page ad in Sports Illustrated's annual swimsuit issue. The spot has generated considerable buzz on the web.
Part of the unusualness is the product's name, which apparently was recycled from an earlier item. All the indications suggest the Roastburger will indeed be a new hamburger. But the same I.D. was apparently used in the past for an Arby's sandwich made with thinly sliced roast beef. It was touted as an alternative to the hamburger.
Then, of course, there's the matter of family complications. The Roastburger ad suggests the new item may be made with fresh rather than frozen beef, a signature of the Wendy's concept since its inception.
There must've been some interesting boardroom discussions down in the headquarters of their parent, Wendy's/Arby's Group.