NEW YORK (MainStreet) – Love the toppings on burgers, but hate it when they fall on your lap? Well, Jan. 17 is your lucky day.
Burger King announced Monday what is either a shameless gimmick or the next big thing in fast food: a burger with toppings on the inside. The BK Stuffed Steakhouse Burger, which will be offered for a limited time starting Jan. 17, has chunks of cheddar cheese and jalapenos infused into the burger itself. (It will also have poblano sauce, but that will be on top of the burger; management apparently doesn’t trust their employees to inject sauce into the meat.) It will sell for $3.99.
While Burger King only plans to offer the Stuffed Steakhouse Burger through mid-February, there’s always a chance it could become a cult classic like McDonald’s McRib. “Burger King Corp. always considers feedback from its guests when evaluating menu mainstays,” a company spokesperson told MainStreet. “If an offering resonates well, it has a better chance of making a return engagement.”
Now, Burger King obviously didn’t come up with the idea of mixing toppings into the meat – burgers stuffed with blue cheese, for instance, are a pretty common sight at some restaurants. And they’re not even the first national chain to do it, as IHOP last year introduced the “Bacon ‘N Beef Burger,” which included chopped-up bacon in the hamburger meat. Still, the fast food industry tracker BurgerBusiness.com has declared it the first of its kind to be offered by a national quick-serve chain, which makes sense given that most fast food burgers are too thin to stuff with anything.
While we applaud Burger King for its pioneering ways, it’s hard not to wonder whether this is just the latest gimmick from the chain responsible for the Pizza Burger. Burger King has struggled mightily to play catch-up to arch-rival McDonald’s, and last year Brazil-based 3G Capital became the latest private owner to try its hand in the burger wars when it acquired the foundering chain. If more gimmick items are the best the new owners have to offer, it doesn’t look like the tide’s going to turn anytime soon.
Still, we’ll withhold judgment until we’ve had a chance to sample the latest menu item.