Mini Burger Trend has Long Term Potential
This is so smart for the chains to start offering. I have always loved the Sliders at Fridays.
Thinking small is the watchword for an increasing number of operators who offer downsized sandwiches and bburgersurgers. They play a variety of roles, ranging from easy-to-eat bar munchie, shareable nosh for groups and affordable meal option for wallet-watching patrons.
More and more small sandwiches and sliders are popping up across the restaurant landscape. Boston Market recently launched a line of Market Sliders?? that are touted as a light meal or snack. The sliders, priced at $2.99 for three for a limited time, are available in BBQ chicken and cheddar, meatloaf and cheddar, and turkey and Swiss versions. Last year, Jack in the Box introduced Mini Sirloin Burgers, which are topped with American cheese, grilled onions and ketchup and served on small buns similar to Hawaiian sweet rolls. They’re price at $3.89 for a trio.
About a month ago, McDonald’s launched McMini sandwiches across its stores in Canada. McMinis come in two variations, a grilled or crispy chicken breast on a mini bakery-style baguette with a choice of either spicy Thai sauce or pesto for about $1.95 in U.S. dollars. Early indications are the minis are “building a loyal following among those looking for a smaller meal or snack option,” said a McDonald’s of Canada representative.
Tiny sandwiches are “the American grab-and-go version of small plates, our version of the great sampler,” said Clark Wolf, a New York City-based restaurant consultant. “It allows you to present attractive price points and allows you to build sales. And it allows people to sample things without making that big investment.
“We love the idea of samplers, but this is not an economy for tasting menus,” he added. “When there is a lot of money, things get a bit refined and fancy. When the money goes away, we do similar things but in a friendlier way. What’s more unpretentious than a slider?”
Cheeseburger in Paradise, a Tampa, Fla.-based chain of 33 tropical-themed casual eateries, introduced plates of Mini Cheeseburgers back in 2001, long before they became the popular item they are today, said Tom Kempsey, the chain’s vice president of culinary. “We just saw the magic in these things,” he said.
The chain has expanded the mini burger line with mini crab-cake sandwiches.