Monday, February 14, 2011

A peck of--well, you can guess

Now for some tongue aerobics: Burger chains are picking peppers with plenty of pop as their present promotion for pulling patrons.

The translation for lounge-chair linguists: Whataburger has joined McDonald’s and Burger King, among others, in trying hot peppers this winter as a means of putting some sizzle in sales.

Starting today, the Texas titan is celebrating Jalapeno Week, when customers can get free jalapenos—whole, sliced or grilled—on any sandwich or main item. The chain says it usually fields about 200,000 requests a week for the pepper add-on, apparently for an extra charge.

The chain’s cult-like fans won’t be the only ones gulping more soda this month. McDonald’s is inviting patrons for a limited time to punch up their Angus burgers and snack wraps with a chipotle barbecue sauce.

Bits of jalapeno are part of the draw for Burger King’s ballyhooed new Stuffed Steakhouse. The diced peppers are mixed into the ground beef, along with cheddar cheese.

The latter has been the subject of considerable buzz online—and not all of it good. The speckled appearance has drawn a fair amount of snarky commentary, with more than a few critics likening the sandwich to meatloaf on a bun. They’ve been much kinder in addressing the taste.

It remains to be seen if Whataburger’s promo will get some extra lift from the bigger chains’ pepper-y pushes.
Sorry about all the alliteration. It’s sort of a reflex when you mention peppers to a guy named Peter.

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