BK has sights set on being the top (hot) dog in fast food

Discussion
Feb 12, 2016
George Anderson

Burger King’s management thinks they are onto something big — we’re talking Whopper-like big. So, what’s the next big thing in fast food? “Flame-grilled” hot dogs.

According to a Burger King press release, Americans eat over 20 billion hot dogs a year. Beginning on Feb. 23, BK will become the largest restaurant chain in the U.S. to serve hot dogs made on a grill.

The 100 percent beef dogs supplied by Oscar Mayer will come in two forms — the Classic Grilled Dog, priced at $1.99, and the Chili Cheese Grilled Dog at $2.39.

Other smaller fast feeders including Dairy Queen and Sonic sell hot dogs, which are also a mainstay of convenience store foodservice options.

Alex Macedo, Burger King’s president, North America, told USA Today that the company’s hot dog test in Baltimore, Detroit, Kansas City, Memphis and Salt Lake City was the biggest the chain has ever done. “We haven’t been as excited about a product announced like this in a long, long time,” Mr. Macedo said.

Source: bk.com

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Will the chain-wide availability of hot dogs propel sales to a new, higher level at Burger King? What will Burger King need to do to realize the sales potential represented by hot dogs?

Please practice The RetailWire Golden Rule when submitting your comments.
Braintrust
"I will not go to Dairy Queen for a hot dog. Nor will I go to Burger King. The thought of it does not make me feel very good. I think I am going to have to go lay down. OMG."
"Too bad they’re not using Nathan’s hot dogs. The brand equity of Oscar Mayer has to be pretty strong to successfully use the name in promoting the new menu item. They might be better off just describing the way it’s prepared and how it will taste."

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10 Comments on "BK has sights set on being the top (hot) dog in fast food"


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Richard J. George, Ph.D.
Guest
5 years 2 months ago

It provides a point of difference to Burger King. The question is will it be a differential advantage. Both Sonic and Dairy Queen have developed a fairly substantial hot dog business. Now Burger King gives consumers another option. The only question is, will this dilute Burger King’s burger image? I think not. Consider how successful McDonald’s has been in offering breakfast all day.

One of the most difficult challenges in the fast food arena is developing unique and sustainable new product options. Perhaps this U.S. standard represents such an opportunity for Burger King.

Ed Rosenbaum
Guest
5 years 2 months ago

I will not go to Dairy Queen for a hot dog. Nor will I go to Burger King. The thought of it does not make me feel very good. I think I am going to have to go lay down. OMG.

Joan Treistman
Guest
5 years 2 months ago

Since I believe in “testing” and Burger King is touting their results, I think they’re going to see revenue move to a new plateau. Hot dogs may add variety so that current customers come back more often and new customers want to give Burger King’s hot dogs a try. Too bad they’re not using Nathan’s hot dogs. The brand equity of Oscar Mayer has to be pretty strong to successfully use the name in promoting the new menu item. They might be better off just describing the way it’s prepared and how it will taste. Those who know about hot dog sales in stadiums will have more credible contexts.

Mel Kleiman
Guest
5 years 2 months ago

Great move if it is a great product. The quality of the dog will determine the success of the addition to the menu. It will be easy to get a lot of consumers to try it once but if it’s not a great dog it will be send to the pound where it will languish.

David Livingston
Guest
5 years 2 months ago

Sonic, Wienerschnitzel, Skyline Chili, James Coney Island, etc., have generally been smaller regional fast food restaurants that serve hot dogs. Dairy Queen has also sold hot dogs but I haven’t been to one in 10 years. McDonald’s had a bratwurst for awhile and co-branded with a major producer. Convenience stores sell them two for $1 just about everywhere. Costco is the king, selling giant quarter-pound dogs and a drink for $1.50 nationwide, even in Hawaii! If Burger King could sell a hot dog and a drink, I’d try it. Costco has mustard and onion dispensers so Burger King would probably need to add that. I think at the end of the day, most people will look at that Burger King hot dog, see the price they just paid, and realize they could have gotten something twice as big at half the price at Costco.

Karen McNeely
Guest
5 years 2 months ago

Isn’t a hot dog what you eat when you can’t find anything else? For purists these will be a sorry excuse. For the rest of us, meh. About the only benefit I can think of is maybe it will be a draw for families with small children.

Li McClelland
Guest
Li McClelland
5 years 2 months ago

Hot dog lovers have many condiment and bun variety preferences inculcated by region. I wonder if Burger King can manage this? The difference between New York and Chicago hot dogs is just the tip of the regional iceberg. (Chicago’s are best.) Just because Burger King’s dogs are cheap does not necessarily mean that a generic or nationalized version of the always highly-discussed sandwich contents will succeed. People expect authenticity even (or perhaps especially) in their hot dogs!

Lee Kent
Guest
5 years 2 months ago

I love me some dogs! And I am not alone. Some of us dog lovers will chase any prospect to see if the dog is worth it. A grilled dog? I will definitely go try it ,but they better have some slaw available because i like my dogs with chili and slaw. And maybe some pickles tucked in.

My 2 cents gives this a thumbs up.

Craig Sundstrom
Guest
5 years 2 months ago

Another day, another “can’t hurt , won’t help…much” situation. BK’s biggest problem is that it doesn’t really stand for anything anymore. At one time it positioned itself as the anti-Mc Donald’s, offering flame-broiled and customized — well, sort of customized — burgers. But lot’s of people do that now, at a variety of price points and in frequently more appealing surroundings. And having the name of “Burger King” does little to making people think “hot dogs”… it will take work.

Carlos Arambula
Guest
5 years 2 months ago

Hot dogs are not the answer to Burger King’s woes. Burger King suffers from lack of consistency across all restaurants; the addition of hot dogs will only add inconsistent hot dogs across the restaurants.

Additions to the menu are not the solution. Operations need to be tightened up and franchisees need to be reeled in. Until then, nothing will change.

wpDiscuz
Braintrust
"I will not go to Dairy Queen for a hot dog. Nor will I go to Burger King. The thought of it does not make me feel very good. I think I am going to have to go lay down. OMG."
"Too bad they’re not using Nathan’s hot dogs. The brand equity of Oscar Mayer has to be pretty strong to successfully use the name in promoting the new menu item. They might be better off just describing the way it’s prepared and how it will taste."

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