Burger King's new French Fry Burger: Just plain lazy product development

Norman Byrd's picture

Burger King will roll out the French Fry Burger for its value menu to compete with the new Valu Menu being offered by McDonald's. But with fast food restaurants putting up innovative ideas like pretzel burgers and Bacon Ranch Habanero Quarter Pounder burgers, they might have to try a little harder.

Because, really, just putting French Fries on a regular burger is just plain lazy. If that's all that Burger King's product development people can come up with, then it's about time the company invested in some new blood. Maybe hire somebody like Nick over at Dude Foods for some really creative new food ideas...

But you can hear the snipers saying, "What do expect for a buck?" Well, maybe something truly innovative.

Regardless, the Associated Press reported (via Yahoo Finance) this week that Burger King will unveil the French Fry Burger, offering it for a dollar, on Sept. 1.

To put the idea of tossing a few salted fries on a burger with minimal fixings and holding it down with a bun into proper perspective, David Teicher and Simon Dumenco, provided a list of 11 additional items via Ad Age that Burger King could offer along with the French Fry Burger. They describe the new products as "low effort menu items" that are "pretty much as brilliant" as the French Fry Burger and can be assembled from ingredients "conveniently already on the Burger King menu."

It's a rather hilarious read, composed of the Burgerless Whopper (self-descriptive), the Deconstructed Whopper (all the whopper ingredients laid out on a tray), the "Carb-Lovers" Double-Bun Whopper (bonus: no meat pattie!), the DIY Whopper Sliders (a regular Whopper and a knife for quartering the Whopper), and the French Fry Burger Deluxe (which offers 25 percent more fries: a fifth fry to go with the four that comes with the regular French Fry Burger).

Priceless... Well... If these great items were offered, they'd cost at least a dollar each, so... Anyway...

The point is: C'mon, Burger King. Stop phoning it in!

The fast food arena is as competitive as ever, what with coffee becoming an integral part of most menus, the advent of pretzel buns, the rise of bacon being incorporated into almost everything, and the new benchmark of the Taco Bell Doritos Locos Tacos campaign (a phenomenal sales success). But Burger King, which is the second largest burger chain, is now feeling the pressure of McDonald's pushing a Valu Menu. With overall sales dropping for Burger King (0.5 percent in restaurants open at least one year) and many of their competitors seeing slight sales gains, the pressure is increasing to add new products to drive sales.

It is doubtful that something like the French Fry Burger will be the engine to do that driving.

(Read: Wendy's set to unveil 'Pretzel Burger': Genius or a twisted take on an old standard?)

And perhaps the guys at Burger King realize that the new item isn't the answer. According to their Facebook entry, the French Fry Burger will be offered for just a limited time.

Perhaps long enough for someone in product development to come up with something just a little more inspired.

(photo credit: Burger King, promotional use)