Pizza or burgers? It's the "Sophie's Choice" of fast food decisions.
Starting next month at Burger King's Times Square Whopper Bar, it will
at last be possible to have both. Behold the Pizza Burger
, a 9-and-a-half-inch wide, 13 dollar, 2500
calorie paean to the virtues of marinara-soaked ground beef. Here's what
people are saying:
- A Disgrace What is it with fast food joints
and these beastly burgers, asks the Chicago Tribune's Phil
Vettel. "It's like all the national quick-service chains take turns
foisting grotesque, heart-attack-in-a-polystyrene-box sandwiches to the
American public." Vettel was particularly annoyed by Burger King's note
that the Pizza Burger's pesto (oh yes, it has pesto) is nut-free.
That's right, "the company may be dishing out burgers that might burst
your aorta on contact, but if you have a nut allergy, Burger King's got
- Bad Branding BNET's Carol
Tice says this typifies Burger King's recent "marketing
schizophrenia." If the Pizza Burger expands beyond the one test
location, it could put further strain on the tense relationship between
the company and franchisees:
franchise owners are already fed up with their corporate parent, which
has commanded they add both too-cheap menu items that made them lose
money (the $1 double cheeseburger) and poorly planned menu items that
they ran out of (BK Fire-Grilled Ribs). The last thing they need is a
menu item that’s hard to assemble — one can just imagine how much it
could slow down the assembly line and hurt sales volume if hourly
workers have to stop and dab marinara and pesto mayo on pizza burgers.
Several of the ingredients seem to be unique to the pizza burger, which
could potentially also create waste for franchise owners if the item
isn’t a hit.
- Not Even Good Whopper Bar allowed Joshua David Stein of Eater to try a sample. He wasn't
impressed. "It succeeds in the semiotic suggestion of a pizza," concedes
Stein, "but it doesn't really taste like a burger and certainly tastes
not a lick like a Whopper, a strange failure for the pièce de résistance
of a Whopper Bar."
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