Few things go together like a hamburger and fries. It''s difficult to even imagine a hamburger without a side of french fries, and the most fast-food company''s efforts to make a difference have gone horribly wrong.
Get McDonald''s Corporation Report, for example, offers apple slices as an alternative to fries in its Happy Meals. Is any kid happy when his mom or day makes that switch?
Many fast-casual and sit-down restaurants allow customers to substitute a side salad or even a vegetable for fries. This might be a good choice, but it''s not one anyone makes because they like a side salad more than fries.
Get Restaurant Brands International Inc Report Burger King has long explored fry alternatives. It has long offered onion rings, the less popular, equally unhealthy cousin, and in recent years it has also added mozzarella sticks as a side option.
Burger King even tried to make french fries more nutritious by offering "Satisfries," a fresh approach to the old favourite that had less calories. That, as you may imagine, was an epic feat. Customers did not want healthier fries, and that experiment lasted less than a year.
Despite rising potato shortages, the chain has decided to experiment with a new french fry alternative. It''s almost certainly not what you think, but it might become a popular menu item.
Burger King Menu Adds Something Unique
Burger King fries aren''t as popular as those offered by McDonald''s''s'' chief rival. They may not even be as well-liked as Wendy''s'' (WEN) - Get Wendy''s Company Report (after a recent reformulation designed to get them closer to what McDonald''s offers),
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Burger King has tried new fry recipes as well, and it is likely to try them again. However, after a potato shortage caused the chain to limit fry availability in its restaurants in Japan, those same locations have added a fresh fry alternative to their menu.
Burger King Japan has decided to offer two meals: a hamburger, a drink, and a ramen, according to SoraNews24.
"The Daitai Potato, or ''Sorta Potato,'' Set, is designed to offer you the salty, starchy pleasure of a bag of French fries, despite its spud-less flavor. Instead of fries, the Daitai Potato Set will offer you a bag of Baby Star Dodekai Ramen, a crunchy dried ramen noodle snack that is very popular on its own, even without the added benefit of a flame-grilled companion hamburger."
Can Ramen Be an Answer for Burger King?
Dry ramen isn''t an unusual menu addition in Japan, but it is not being added to the menu because the restaurant anticipates a lot of customers to opt out of ordering fries. Instead, ramen has been added to alleviate the potato shortage.
The fresh menu update will not make a huge hit, but it might reach a small percentage of visitors. That could give the company some room when it comes to its potato supply. Every order of ramen that sells is a french fries that doesn''t, which might alleviate supply chain issues when it comes to fries.
Dried ramen noodles will not be the rum to a hamburger''s Coke, but they might be a menu success. This isn''t McDonald''s, putting apple slices that nobody wants. It''s closer to Burger King selling onion rings, because some customers will make the switch, even if it''s only a few months old.
The goal of this game is not to replace french fries; no side dish has a chance of doing that. Instead, it''s about offering another salty, satisfying choice that might assist the chain in dealing with the long-term potato shortage.