Burger King specializes in burgers. It's right there in the name. Sure, the pseudo-royal fast food chain has at one time or another also hawked chicken fries and Doritos-encrusted cheese triangles, but burgers have always been the chain's proverbial bread and butter (even when they're extra-long or served on weird red buns).
Now, however, the chain with the creepiest mascot in all of fast food is making a sharp right turn by adding the hamburger's long-time arch nemesis, the hot dog, to its menu — permanently. The new "flame-grilled" dogs will be unveiled February 23 at locations nationwide and come in two varieties: a classic version with ketchup, mustard, onions, and relish, and a chili cheese variety.
According to a press release from BK, "With this launch, BURGER KING® restaurants will serve hot dogs in more restaurants than any other restaurant chain in the U.S." National fast food chains that already specialize in hot dogs include Sonic — which unveiled croissant dogs last year — and Wienerschnitzel, though the latter is but a blip on the radar for BK with just 320 locations across 11 states (versus BK's 14,000 stores in 100 countries).
But however strange, this isn't unforeseen: Burger King began testing the waters last year by offering hot dogs and corn dogs in select Maryland and Michigan stores. Bizarre as it may seem, perhaps BK knows what it's doing: Last year when McDonald's was in the midst of a terrible sales slump, Burger King was reporting big increases in revenue. As McDonald's gets a boost from all-day breakfast, it seems unlikely that adding hot dogs will result in any significant new traffic for BK — but hey, they can't be much worse than the dirty water specimens served by your friendly neighborhood street vendor.