Fast food giant Burger King is planning to bump the price of its $1 double cheeseburger -- a cost that had franchise owners up in arms -- by 19 cents in April. In its place, the company will remove a 5-cent slice of cheese and offer hungry customers a sandwich with two flame-boiled patties but only one slice of cheese.
That's the change. One less slice of cheese.
The move is similar to the one made by arch rival McDonald's, which upped the price of its double cheeseburger to $1.19 while introducing a $1McDouble with two patties and a single slice of cheese.
The $1 burgers introduced by Burger King in October caused the company heartburn as U.S. restaurant operators took it to court alleging that they were losing money at the $1 price. The double cheeseburger typically sold for up to $2.39.
Burger King ordered its franchisees to sell at the low price to drive traffic in a starving economy. With rising unemployment and shrinking disposable incomes, the restaurant industry is struggling to lure customers into stores. McDonald's had deployed a similar strategy to stay competitive.
Burger King has not made any formal announcement about the upcoming price hike, but made its intentions known in a memo to franchisees that was obtained and reported by Miami Herald.
The new $1 deal is in keeping with the company's value strategy.
"Guests continue to count their pennies, and the fight for traffic and sales is more competitive than ever," Chuck Fallon, Burger King's North America president, and Mike Kappitt, senior vice president of global business intelligence, wrote in the memo.