Burger King’s Spring Menu for 2013 explodes in literally a dozen directions like fireworks. As BurgerBusiness.com tipped last week, new menu items include a Chipotle Whopper and Donut Holes. But this menu flies all over the board: there are a stuffed beef burger, regular beef burger, turkey and chicken sandwiches plus a chicken wrap. It includes drinks both cold and hot and a snackable dessert. It’s as though Burger King is saying, “Surely there must be something here you’ll like.”
Perhaps so. Here’s the lineup, piece by piece:
♦ The menu surprise is the$3.99 Bacon Cheddar Stuffed Burger. Burger King introduced a Jalapeňo & Cheddar BK Stuffed Steakhouse burger in January 2011. In addition to having a crazy-long name, it was the first attempt at a stuffed burger by a national chain, but Burger King seemed content to put the stuffed-burger idea on hold until now. As with the earlier try, fillings aren’t so much stuffed as kneaded into the meat. That “stuffing” includes hardwood-smoked bacon and Cheddar cheese. Toppings include lettuce, tomato, ketchup, mayo and onion rings on the “artisan” bun used earlier for the BBQ Pulled Pork and other premium sandwiches.
♦ The chipotle items include the expected Chipotle Whopper (topped with thick-cut bacon, pepper-Jack cheese, spicy chipotle mayo, lettuce, tomato and caramelized onion on a sesame-seed bun at $4.29) that is also available in Whopper Jr. size for $2.49. The Chipotle Tendercrisp Chicken sandwich ($4.79) gets the same toppings: spicy chipotle mayo, caramelized onion, bacon, pepper-Jack, tomato and lettuce on the “artisan” bun. It can be halved and rolled in a tortilla as a wrap for $2.99.
♦ For non-beef eaters there’s a$3.99 Turkey Burger. Those who eschew their meat get a new Veggie Burger for $2.99. The “fire-grilled” turkey patty is simply topped with lettuce, tomato, red onion and mayo on that “artisan” bun. The Veggie Burger starts with a MorningStar Farms Garden Veggie Patty like you can find in the supermarket and gets topped with lettuce, tomato, red onion, ketchup and mayo. It also gets the sesame-seed bun.
♦ The new side/snack is Loaded Tater Tots, described as “warm fluffy potatoes filled with flavorful bacon and sweet onions on the inside, with a savory and crisp crumb coating on the outside.” If that sounds good, they come in 8-, 10- or 12-piece packs.
♦ Glazed Donut Holes are the dessert/snack item at $1.49. They’re pitched as a companion to Burger King’s new Smooth Roast Coffee, unveiled last month. The lattés promised then are now available in plain, caramel, vanilla and mocha varieties for just $1.
♦ Finally, Burger King also adds a Piňa Colada Smoothie and peach-flavored sweet or unsweetened iced tea.
If all this sounds like a whole bunch of change for the crew behind the counter to absorb, consider that Burger King last month added Bacon Gouda Breakfast sandwiches that can be served on a muffin, biscuit or Croissanwich. So the total one menu change includes five new entrée sandwiches; a wrap; a breakfast sandwich, a side; a dessert; a new coffee platform including hot and cold drinks; a smoothie and new iced tea. If Burger King stores can handle this kind of repeated menu turnover, they’re an operational example for everyone in the business.
That may be why Burger King has gone a little lighter in Canada. There it has added an all-chipotle menu that includes the Chipotle Whopper and Chipotle Tendercrisp and Tendergrill Chicken sandwiches and a Chipotle Crispy Chicken Wrap. There’s also a Chipotle Breakfast Sandwich not being offered in the U.S. and the smoothie flavor up north is strawberry-banana.