On one of the biggest burger-grilling weekends of the year, fast-food chains are ready.
Not only is it Memorial Day, the traditional start of summer, but Monday is National Burger Day when many will roll out deals, discounts and other offers to mark the occasion.
Hamburgers are big business. And the offerings are getting better.
The industry is contending with pressure from the so-called “better burger” places, such as Smashburger, Five Guys and In-N-Out.
Among the first of the big chains to dive into fancier burgers was McDonald’s. Some analysts credit its Signature Crafted Recipes, which includes a sriracha burger and non-burger selections such as the pico guacamole buttermilk crispy chicken sandwich, with boosting the company’s sales. They are priced at $4.99 and up.
Millennials are driving the move to better burgers, demanding better food.
“Millennials are used to spending a little more for a better product at a fast-casual (restaurant).” said Jennifer Kennedy, director of marketing for Jack in the Box’, a 2,200 chain based in San Diego. “Now, they’re looking at fast food and saying, ‘You need to do this. We’re expecting it.’ There’s a need to step it up to make sure we’re competitive.”
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So as a new upscale offering, Jack in the Box created a Ribeye Burger late last year based around ribeye steak meat with a red-wine glaze. The All American Ribeye sports red onion, provolone cheese, lettuce tomato and also comes with mayonnaise. Both are served on a potato roll bun. It also sells at a premium price: at least $5.50, depending on the market, compared to $3.99 for its traditional burgers.
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