Thursday, April 25, 2024

Handheld Happiness: The Battle for the Burger Bite


According to Steven Johnson Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®, handheld food for immediate consumption is driving consumer migration when eating out.   Foodservice Solutions® recently conducted grocerant scorecards reveled that 81.6 percent of consumers prefer entrees that can be consumed by hand when not eating at home. 

That said it is a key driver in the fact that the world of burgers is heating up, and the battle lines are drawn between fast food chains and casual dining restaurants. Both are vying for your burger buck, but how do you know which offers the best value?

The Fast-Food Value Play

For those seeking speed and affordability, fast food chains like Wendy's and Burger King are tough to beat. Their value menus and combo meals offer a complete burger experience at a lower price point. Wendy's Double Cheeseburger, for instance, boasts a lower calorie count and a more customizable option compared to TGI Friday's classic cheeseburger, all at a fraction of the price. Similarly, Burger King's Whopper combos undercut Red Robin's gourmet burgers in terms of price, although you sacrifice some variety and a sit-down experience.

The Casual Dining Experience

Casual dining restaurants like Red Robin and Applebee's offer a counterpoint to the fast-food experience. They provide a sit-down atmosphere with table service, often including bottomless fries or drinks in their meal deals. Red Robin's gourmet burger selection caters to those seeking unique flavors and larger portions, while Applebee's offers a wider variety of burgers with different toppings and sauces. However, this enhanced experience comes at a premium price.

The Fight for the Middle Ground

To lure customers away from fast food, casual dining establishments are adopting various strategies. They're introducing value-priced menus and promotions to compete on affordability. Additionally, they're revamping menus with new and exciting items to cater to evolving taste buds. They're also investing in online ordering and delivery to provide a fast and convenient option for takeout and delivery customers. Finally, they're attempting to create a unique ambiance that blends the comfort of a sit-down restaurant with the speed of fast food.

The Verdict: It Depends

The truth is, the "best value" burger depends on your priorities. If you crave a quick and affordable bite, fast food chains reign supreme. But if you desire a wider flavor variety, a hefty burger, and a restaurant experience, you might be willing to pay extra for a casual dining option. Ultimately, the battle for the burger bite is all about understanding what your taste buds and wallet truly crave.

Foodservice Solutions® team is here to help you drive top line sales and bottom-line profits. Are you looking a customer ahead? Visit for more information or contact: Remember success does leave clues and we just may the clue you need to propel your continued success.

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