The King Is Out; Guacamole Is In!

Submitted by Mark Esposito, Guest Blogger

The creepy, plastic, perpetually grinning Burger King mascot is no more according to spokesperson, Miguel Piedra. “We are food-centric, and we want to appeal to a broader audience,” he added. First appearing in print ads in 1955, the King will be dethroned this month but may appear in another form, accoridng to the spokesman.

 A restaurant concentrating on food quality? What a concept.

The struggling fast food giant has been hard hit by the economy and has seen its target market of  working young males shrink as the recovery lags. Now instead of focusing on an economically sensitive group, Burger King (BK) is looking to that staple of society, moms, to prop up its lagging sales.

BK has been resistant to change unlike McDonalds and Subway which have been pitching the health benefits of their new offerings. Despite criticism, BK has held the line with bigger burgers, fried foods, and greasy fries as it seeks to raise market share. T’aint working. Of the big four, (McDonalds, Subway, and Starbucks), only BK’s profits have fallen and by a hefty 2.5%.

Nest week BK will unveil the new California Whopper, with what else, guacamole as a key ingredient. Not sure how the burger covered in swiss cheese, bacon, and guacamole fits into a healthy diet, but that’s the “mom strategy” the company has spent millions on developing. Maybe the word “California” will make mom’s dream of sandy beaches and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s pecs. Quite the irony here, as California has led the nation is preaching the hazards of high fat, high salt diets like the offerings from “The King.” We read about those efforts on this blawg.

Speaking of  “The Terminator” maybe he can be the next mascot. After all that ubiquitous symbol of the healthy California lifestyle is  always grinning and good with working moms!

Source: NY Daily News

~Mark Esposito, Guest Blogger

14 thoughts on “The King Is Out; Guacamole Is In!”

  1. Damn, but I want you guys to invite me over for dinner! And *I’m* the one opening a restaurant!

  2. Mespo,

    The third course….beef was wonderful….about 8 oz of prime cut 1 1/4 inch thick…over bed of sauteed onions, garlic and Julianne cut potatoes…..simmered in a red wine sauce…with grilled asparagus with sliced Parmesan cheese…

    The second course was corn, tomato and cucumber salad…with a wine and vinegar dressing……

    The first course was fried lobster wonton fritters with a hollandaise sauce with accompanying blue corn lobster hushpuppies…

    and to finish it off was ricotta cheesecake with strawberry’s…

    I need sleep now….

  3. I just discovered a local smoke house that mixes some of their smoked brisket in with their burger meat. I ordered their version of the “western burger” which has cheddar, BBQ sauce, and onion rings. It was what I always wanted those to taste like.

    It didn’t hold a candle to my White-tail burgers though. I grill them with a little bit of cherry wood in with the charcoal, and serve them on home-made kaiser rolls, with grilled onion slices and a variety of fixings. My favorite combinations are: the Western (replacing the onion rings with the grilled onion), a Guacamole (if I’m feeling really ambitious I’ll grill all the Guac ingredients) bacon burger (which I can’t recommend enough if you haven’t tried it); or just lettuce, good ketchup (we’ve got a Cajun restaurant near us that makes and sells their own), the grilled onions a nice spicy German Mustard, with pickles if we’ve got ’em. Although if I’ve got the extra money, a Blue Cheese burger is good too (of course, you need GOOD blue cheese for it). One of these days when I’m feeling truly decadent I’ll make myself a Blue Cheese\Marrow sauce to go on top.

    Well I guess I know what I’m having for dinner tomorrow (the rolls take 2 days).

    Oh and if you’re ever in Colorado Springs, make sure to get to a Conway’s Redtop. It’s an institution. Plus my Mom worked at one when they first opened up (she, and most of my brothers and I all went to school with Conways).

  4. The King was beyond creepy. The last time I ate in Burger King was when I was 17 and the word of a new hamburger chain in my neighborhood brought me in. When I tried to order a plain hamburger I was told that it only came with all the “fixins”. Walked out and I’ve never been back. I suppose about two years later they came up with the “Have it your way” slogan because many more than me rejected the one size fits all theory they had for marketing. I think Five Guys has the best semi-fast food burgers and fries you can get and I also love Chipotle Grill when I’m fast fooding it.

  5. Carol,

    That will teach you to read those signs… say 600 calories…then I must ask them to hold the mayo….I would hate to exceed 1800 calories at one sitting…

  6. He was absolutely creepy. They say the calorie count info that has to be put up for consumers to see hasn;t made a difference but when I pass the Food Court on my way to the train I always seem to get a hankering for a junior Whopper. Then I see it is something like 600+ calories. Boy that craving just goes right away.

  7. mespo,

    Here are the choices from the select menu….

    Optional First Course (additional $10):
    Lobster Wontons, Whipped Parsnip, Serrano Vinaigrette

    Salad Course – Choice of:
    Tomato, Corn, Cucumber Salad (or)
    Roasted Summer Squash Soup, Shaved Gruyere, Creme Fraiche

    Main Course – Choice of:
    Roasted Garlic Stuffed Beef Tenderloin, Western Plaid Hash, Syrah Demi Glace (or)
    Berkshire Pork Chop, Fennel-Onion Veloute, Roasted Mushrooms (or)
    Sweet Potato-Chorizo Stuffed Trout, Cilantro-Orange Butter Sauce

    Dessert Course –
    Ricotta Cheese Cake with Balsamic Glazed Strawberries

    As soon as you quit drooling…get back to me…set your reminder for this….

    AUGUST 25 2011 – 7:00 A.M.

    New York, NY
    Chef Tim Love will be appearing on the Today Show on August 25, 2011 showing you some great techniques and recipes to cook for Labor Day.

  8. There are two things going on with Burger King:

    First, fast food and fast casual are very competitive businesses. While BK has an aging menu and stores, Five Guys, Panera, In-N-Out Burger, Chipotle and other regional players are growing rapidly and putting up higher quality choices that are drawing business across demographic groups. Unemployment is not the major factor.

    Second, BK has done years of damage to its image with odd and crude marketing that a few decision-makers in Miami thought should appeal to their “frequent fliers”. BK did not understand who its customer is, and still does not appear to understand.

    I think some more current numbers may be available. By my reading US sales are down more than 5% while global sales are up. Profits and margins both are increasing year over year into Q2 2011.

  9. Not sure how the burger covered in swiss cheese, bacon, and guacamole fits into a healthy diet,….

    You mean that is bad for you….Oh my….I guess after one of those…I should compensate it with a Texas scoop which is pert near half of a half gallon of Blue Bell “Mexican Praline Ice Cream”

    “Our version has a taste similar to the Leche Quemada candy you find at the checkout counters at Mexican restaurants in our area. If you have never tried the candy, you should definitely have a bowl of the ice cream. It is really a great tasting flavor.”

    To which I can attest….The consumer side of me stocked up on 4 gallons…which should take me through the 26th or 17th of August…..

    Thanks you mespo….but for dinner tonight I’ll be grazing on the bovine that grazed before me….I believe in PETA…People Eating Tasty Animals…..or something like this….Roasted Garlic Stuffed Beef Tenderloin, Western Plaid Hash, Syrah Demi Glace…..

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