[Watch the BK ribs commercial here.]
Burger King began its roll out of its new Fire-Grilled Ribs today. The limited-time promotion, expected to last through July 4, puts the chain’s new batch broilers to work and adds a super-premium-price product to the chain’s “barbell” pricing strategy, which seeks to balance budget-price and higher-ticket “indulgent” items such as the ribs.
In Chicago, at least, BK Fire-Grilled Ribs have been introduced at $7.49 for a 6-piece combo meal (with fries, barbecue dipping sauce and drink) or $8.99 for the 8-piece meal. That tops out at the bottom end of casual-dining pricing territory. For example, a half rack of baby back ribs with one side dish at Chili’s is only slightly higher in price at $9.99. And Chili’s Classic Bacon burger is less, at $8.39. Similarly, a small portion of Applebee’s Riblets with fries is priced at $9.99, and its Southwest Jalapeño Burger in its Realburgers line is $8.99. Considering the $5.99 pricetag on casual-tier Red Robin’s recent Prime Chophouse Burger LTO, Burger King is pushing up on QSRs’ price ceiling. But it’s not alone: Wendy’s new salads, coming in the third quarter, will be priced just under $6, the chain says.
In February, Burger King Chairman-CEO John Chidsey said installation of the new broilers opened the door to a number of new menu possibilities, including the ribs, stuffed burgers and grilled chicken. A Tuscan Grilled Chicken sandwich is expected to be introduced as early as June.
In Chicago and a few other Midwest markets, Fire-Grilled Ribs will be sharing the Burger King menu with another limited-time pork item, the Country Pork Sandwich. That’s a mid-price item at $3.49 (or $3.99 with mayo, lettuce and tomato). It and the Fire-Grilled Ribs were developed in association with the National Pork Board.