Here’s an interesting bit from Nation’s Restaurant News, namely a new menu item from Burger King in yet another bold price-conscious move:

The new bone-in ribs, which have been tested in various markets and use the chain’s new batch broilers that are now in nearly all domestic Burger King units, are priced at $7.99 as a six-piece combo meal in Dallas and $7.49 in Chicago. An eight-piece ribs meal is available in both markets for $8.99. The meals include French fries and a drink.

I think this is a rather striking move from the chain.   You normally go into a fast food joint and spend seven dollars at the most on your selection.  Like most of its competitors, Burger King has lowered its prices to draw in penny-pinching customers.  BK hopes you’ll notice the ribs and impulsively throw away eight dollars for some meat and potatoes.  I don’t buy it for a second but I appreciate its cojones.  When the average price of ribs in America is $11.68 per half-rack, it seems to be solid bang for your buck economics.

Factors I think Burger King missed when considering ribs:

  1. Are ribs car-friendly? No, no and no.  You could throw me in a car with three rolls of paper towels and I’ll find a way to smear my windshield with barbecue sauce.  It is not a possibility, it is fact.  I’d have to cover every surface of my vehicle with napkins to pull this off.
  2. When I think of ribs, do I think of Burger King? Nope, I’m thinking either soul food shacks or quality steak houses.  There are a couple bars whose ribs I trust, but a fast food chain?  I’d rather spend the extra money for quality beef, better atmosphere and homemade sauce than save a couple bucks eating in a Burger King.
  3. The red herring effect. The old bait and switch.  This ruse has many names, but I’m not sure it will work in Burger King’s favor IN THIS ECONOMY.  Ugh.  I look forward to the days I don’t have to write those words.  I don’t know about you, but I’d rather spend three dollars on a burger and fries and save the other five for the electricity bill.
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23 Responses

  1. superiorpromosinc@gmail.com'
    Promotional Products

    Cary,

    Once again, we see eye to eye. There is no way this works and your reasoning is spot on. One more reason, as much as I love BK, there is no reason I would go in for ribs with bone in. This is guaranteed to not be quality meat. I love the burgers, but you can get away with meat quality a little more there.

    Reply
  2. mha@14850.com'
    MHA

    I think your bang-for-your-buck point is key to this situation. We’re not really talking about BK introducing a new premium item at a too-high price point. We’re talking about BK going after a cost-conscious market that’s not flush enough for the $15 plate of ribs down the street but will at least give the $8 plate a try.

    Reply
  3. jeliel1618@gmail.com'
    DAVE ID

    @MHA, a rib connaisseur will pay 35$ for awesome-get-down-and-dance delicious Ribs. Ribbers like the real slow-cook deal. The problem is that when a Fast Food franchise comes up with crap like this it lowers the curve on everyone and people will go get this crap instead of the real ribs which yeah you should pay a higher price for. Sorta like WalFart does for the rest of a local economy.

    Reply
  4. mha@14850.com'
    MHA

    I agree that a great plate of ribs is worth paying for. However, I don’t think this will ruin the demand for the great-plate-of-ribs market any more than I think the 99-cent Whopper Jr. ruined the demand for the $12 gourmet burger.

    Reply
  5. suicide_blond20001@yahoo.com'
    suicide_blond

    and … surprisingly enough….one of my friends called me last week… specifically to tell me that these were pretty darned good…
    go figure…
    xoxo

    Reply
  6. Ribpro@yahoo.com'
    Ribeatr

    Dont eat the ribs,i ate them and almost croaked.They where so poorly cooked i piked for 49 hours straight.I lost part of my large intestine and my whole colon becouse of my ordeal.I now have to carry a clostopheme bag and i am all fooked up i still might not make it.I have lawyers calling me off the hook .Please don`t do this to yourself don`t eat the ribs you been warned!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply
  7. robertmoore2@hotmail.com'
    robert

    Big waste of money.$9.00 for 6 riblets.and a small coke.The ribs were like 2 inches long each one and little meat on the bone.I was shocked how small the ribs were.I drove away opened the box on one of my jobs and was like wtf.This is $9.00 with a coke.SHAME ON YOU BURGER KING.I want my money back.Not kidding.Then top it off i was real hungry after i ate them.BIG WASTE OF MONEY.

    Reply
  8. queraro1@lycos.com'
    Bob H

    I can’t believe how big a ripoff these ribs are. I ordered the 6 pc for $5.69 and got a nearly empty ‘BK Shots’ box. The commercial mentioned sauce. Is it supposed to be on the ribs or separate? There was no trace of sauce anywhere, and they really could have used some sauce. The ribs were tiny and mostly flavorless- 2″ to 2 3/8″ long. This isn’t just a bad deal. This is purposely taking advantage of the good faith of BK’s customers. I can’t believe BK would knowingly alienate their customers this way. If I hadn’t gotten them to go or if BK was reasonably nearby, I would have returned them. As my wife put it, “I think this is the worst we’ve ever been ripped-off.” BK has lost at least these two customers for life.

    Reply
  9. Puff22@aol.com'
    Ray

    I think most of these people never tried em—–I got 8 ribs for $7.50 in central Jersey. Pretty damn good for a 3 minute order. Very good flavor, please don’t compare em to McRibs

    Reply
  10. fatantknee@hotmail.com'
    Chuck

    Just tried them today, I agree with Ray. Dont knock em til you try them… They are pretty darn good for fast food and for a quick rib fix, I’ll definitely be getting them again.

    Reply
  11. larrybf1989@att.net'
    Joe Rib

    Are you KIDDING me? I pulled into BK tonight to get a burger and saw the ribs ad for the first time so I decided to try them. $10 later I am STARVING. TINY, tiny pieces with so little meat on them it was just plain shameful. WTF?! I’m most pissed off because the photo at the drive thru made them look like ordinary ribs, not these “riblets”. A lot of money for maybe 2 ounces of total meat. What a complete rip off. I drive thru BK a lot for the $1 double cheeseburgers, but I’m taking my business elsewhere from now on. This is just deceptive advertising and overpriced meat.

    Reply
  12. randolphvicker@hotmail.com'
    Randi Vicker

    Not bad, but – a bit expensive. $7 for 6 ribs, fries and a coke @ the Jersey shore. Sauce is seperate – the ribs a bit small. The meat was surprisingly good though. I’d rather go to Charlie Browns and get their 1/2 rack, but, given that these were ready instantly, it was ok.

    Reply
  13. notbad@drunk.com'
    not bad

    I’ve had these things twice now and I’ll say, “I will have them again.”

    Are they great ribs? hell no. Do they have the artificial burger king smoke flavor? yeah. Was it worth the $10 (8 pieces, drink and onion rings)? hell fucking yeah.

    Reply
  14. sandilynn1975@hotmail.com'
    Sandi

    OK from someone who HAS tried them. It was a joke. They are tiny and wouldn’t fill me up at 102 pounds. I got them for my husband and almost cried knowing it was embarrassing even handing him this box of tiny little ribs. They were not only small but very dry looking. They did come with sauce that they definitely needed. It took them 15 minutes to make them. I had to pull up and wait for about 15 more cars to get their order before I did. Then to top it off, they forgot the drink. Nice. Will NOT be buying again. The pictures and commercials lied. They made them look big and juicy when in reality they are about the size of a sauce packet. Check my blog.

    Reply
  15. akaNRoberts@gmail.com'
    Bob Schwartz

    Got a little change back after tax from a $10 bill for 8 piece ribs to go at BK. I thought the bag felt awfully light. When I got home I found out why! 8 tiny ribs, the bone being about 2 inches long with about an inch and a half square of meet on each one. Nothing like what they showed in the tv add or the in store menu board. On top of that 2 were burnt! Total rip off!!

    Reply
  16. luxordis@yahoo.com'
    master p

    All u negative fancies are irrational. They tested these ribs in select markets for six weeks. I had them 2-3 times each week, and they are great. U dip them in the sauce packet given, or just eat plain. Very very flavorfull, fire-grilled! Add 3 more prices for $1.99!

    Reply
  17. chad.beatty@gmail.com'
    Ribmanberg

    First off, when claiming that you’ll pay the extra for higher quality beef, you know that ribs are pork, right? With that, I can assume that your assessment is ludicrous. Hey, BK is coming out with Prime Rib next for you penny pinching fatties who are looking for a substitute for something that really isn’t substituted. As for the price, $8 for six HALF ribs is a complete rip off. This is one piece of American culinary tradition that the likes of Chilis, TGI Fridays, Applebees and only BK only cheapened.

    Reply
  18. texformer@yahoo.com'
    Matt

    Burger King’s prices are higher than any other fast food place. 8 dollars or more for one of their combo meals? Are they insane? I’ve boycotted Burger King from the list of places I go to now. Seriously, drive by and look at the prices of their combos. WENDY’s is just as insane.

    Reply
  19. texformer@yahoo.com'
    Matt

    All of you are over looking the bigger issue here. In a time of recession and increasing gas prices, yall just blindly hand over 10 dollars for fast food. And the country wonders why everybody has no comprehension of economics and why we’re in the mess were in??? Jeeze folks, wake up seriously.
    Boycott these fast food joints. Not forever, just until they get the picture. I mean look at Taco Bell. They are the only ones who have dramatically dropped their prices. And a CNBC report showed they they had the highest gains the year they did that. It was incredible that other fast food places like Burger King, Wendy’s, McDonalds even, and Whataburger continued to increase their prices. Get on YouTube and look up commercials from the 90s and as short ago as the early 00s. And you’ll realize that their prices have increased higher and faster than the rate of inflation and gas prices. It’s unjustifiable!
    Boycott them all… not forever, don’t flip out. Just until they drop their prices back to normal.
    It’s FAST FOOD, it aint Del Frisco. Look at the people cooking the places, and check out the kitchens where you’re getting the scrap you’re happy to hand out 10 dollars for.
    All of you are over looking the bigger issue here. In a time of recession and increasing gas prices, yall just blindly hand over 10 dollars for fast food. And the country wonders why everybody has no comprehension of economics and why we’re in the mess were in??? Jeeze folks, wake up seriously.
    Boycott these fast food joints. Not forever, just until they get the picture. I mean look at Taco Bell. They are the only ones who have dramatically dropped their prices. And a CNBC report showed they they had the highest gains the year they did that. It was incredible that other fast food places like Burger King, Wendy’s, McDonalds even, and Whataburger continued to increase their prices. Get on YouTube and look up commercials from the 90s and as short ago as the early 00s. And you’ll realize that their prices have increased higher and faster than the rate of inflation and gas prices. It’s unjustifiable!
    Burger King’s prices are higher than any other fast food place. 8 dollars or more for one of their combo meals? Are they insane? I’ve boycotted Burger King from the list of places I go to now. Seriously, drive by and look at the prices of their combos. WENDY’s is just as insane.

    Reply

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