040420 This Time, Burger King Does Chicken Right

April 8, 2004

Editorial in SunHerald (Mississippi) - This week I reached out for a new, big TenderCrisp Chicken Sandwich at Burger King.

After 25 years, Burger King has finally done a chicken sandwich right. How'd they do it? By thinking big. Big, as in a 5.2-ounce whole white-meat chicken breast. No more of those chewed 'n' glued, processed, particleboard chicken patties. You know our policy in the drive-thru. The French are wrong: Less is not more. More is more.

Here's the blueprint: a 5.2-ounce chicken breast, lettuce, sliced tomatoes and mayonnaise on a new hoagie bun.

I whole lotta love this chicken sandwich. But whoa, check out those bulging calories and fat grams. Remember, Burger King is the land of "Have it Your Way," so you can pile on cheese and bacon, too. That puts the calorie count over 1,000 and tops your daily allotment of fat. In just one sandwich. In other words, you're done for today, come back tomorrow. When one sandwich can wreck a diet, you know Burger King is onto something good.

Burger King has tried and tried before. In 1979, Burger King introduced its Original Chicken Sandwich - a fried 4-ounce processed chicken patty. It was all right, for its time. But as the competition raised the bar, most notably Wendy's and KFC's lines of whole-breast chicken sandwiches, Burger King stuck to its processed-meat guns. The No. 2 burger chain (11,500 restaurants) trotted out French- and Italian-style chicken sandwiches, and Chick'n Crisp and Chicken Club sandwiches, all with processed patties. They all came and went.

Are you noticing a pattern?

Now comes the mighty, takes-two-hands-to-hold TenderCrisp Chicken Sandwich... and it's a keeper. Burger King has already added it to its permanent menu.

The chicken breast is lightly breaded and tossed in the deep-fryer. It emerges a golden, glistening brown. It's crusty on the outside, tender on the inside - sort of like David Letterman.

Burger King has created a new bun for the TenderCrisp Chicken Sandwich. It's billowy and wide and dusted with cornmeal. Why can't Burger King use this bun for its burgers, too?

The sandwich is dressed with leaf lettuce, tomatoes and creamy mayonnaise. You have the option to customize - I ask for ketchup instead of mayonnaise... and bring on the bacon and pickles.

Wendy's and KFC, the chicken is back in your court.

By Ken Hoffman


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