Burger King Switches Focus from Value-Priced to Higher-End Items

Burger King A1 Steakhouse XT

Image courtesy Burger King Corporation, via Fast Food Maven

Burger King announced the nationwide rollout of its newest menu offering,  the Steakhouse XT line of premium hamburgers.

Though already available in select markets, the line — which consists of three hamburgers, each containing a seven ounce, seasoned ground beef patty on a bakery bun — should arrive in all U.S. and Canadian Burger King locations by the end of the month, according to an official news release issued by the company.

The line’s flagships sandwich, the Steakhouse XT, debuts at an introductory price of $3.99, which the Wall Street Journal notes is the most the chain has ever charged for a single-patty hamburger.

The Wall Street Journal also heralds the Steakhouse XT line as a shift away from Burger King’s recent emphasis on its cheaper offerings, like its heavily-touted $1 Double Cheeseburger and other items on the “BK Value Menu.”  The article quotes Burger King executive Mike Kappitt as hoping the new burgers will entice the restaurant’s current customer base to spend more while also drawing traffic from fast-casual chains.

If it seems like Burger King has placed all its energy into the company’s bottom line, it’s because the chain has done just that.  Burger King will devote 75% of its next advertising cycle on the new burgers, which should bring in a profit of $2.99  each (versus the $0.47 profit drawn from the sale of a single $1 Double Cheeseburger).  Burger King has also begun experimenting with other luxury menu items.  The aforementioned press release also unveiled the chain’s new, proprietary broiler that should reduce gas consumption by 52% and electricity consumption by 90%, which, according to the WSJ article,  saves each Burger King location no less than $4,000 annually.  Instead of passing these savings onto the customer, however, the company has decided to take advantage of the broiler’s new features, such as variable cooking times and temperatures, to begin serving items like bone-in, flame-broiled chicken, and BK Fire-Grilled Ribs, which Kappitt says will bring in an even larger per-item profit than the Steakhouse XT.

The Steakhouse XT and the A1 Steakhouse XT go on sale nationwide this week.  Customers can also order the Smoky Cheddar Steakhouse XT (with its added barbecue sauce, slice of cheddar cheese, and strips of bacon) this week, but for a limited time only.





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