Fast food generally counts as a guilty pleasure. Nobody eats a a Big Mac or a Whopper and thinks, "that was a good, healthy choice that I'm very proud of." In fact, news outlets have often used the Big Mac as the standard of how we measure unhealthy choices.
It has been common to see people describe some new decadent treat as being "more calories than three Big Macs. That's probably unfair to McDonald's (MCD) - Get Free Report signature sandwich as it's "only" 563 calories compared to 677 for Burger King's comparable offering, The Whopper.
Calories are not really something that McDonald's, Wendy's, and Restaurant Brands International's (QSR) - Get Free Report Burger King worry about all that much. That's something supported by the huge failures of the McLean, Burger King's Satisfries, and pretty much every fast food attempt at offering salads.
Fast food isn't health food. It's about making you feel good (even if you feel bad not that long after). That's something Burger King has more than embraced with its latest sandwiches.
Burger King Launches New Guilty Burgers
The fast-food giant has decided that it's not even going to pretend with its latest menu addition. Burger King Japan has added what it's calling the "Guilty Porcini Burgers" to its menu. Generally, putting the word "guilty" right in the name of your product suggests that it's not the best health choice you might make. In this case, that seems more than true.
Burger King Japan has added two versions of the Guilty Porcini Burger, one with a beef patty and one with fried chicken (which technically makes it not a burger, but the chain does not appear to care).
"Both Guilty Porcini Burgers feature a gourmet creamy mushroom sauce made with different types of mushrooms, mayo, and French fries plus a choice of a flame-grilled beef patty or fried chicken patty all sandwiched between a pair of rich-tasting butter-soaked artisan buns," Chewboom reported. "The special buns are handmade with fermented bread dough that has been loaded up with butter following the fermentation process, prior to baking."
Putting French fries on burgers has long been a fan-favorite menu hack.
Burger King, Wendy's Embrace Fast-Food Excess
While it has has shown some restraint on its U.S. menu, Burger King has embraced decadence overseas. That actually seems to be its strategy in Japan where the chain seems to want to go bigger with every new offering.
"A few of its recent limited editions include the King Yeti, a one pound beef burger sporting four patties and dripping with Gouda cheese, and the Big Mouth, topped with a fried hash brown and a helping of chili. So if you're in training to become a sumo wrestler and need to gain weight fast, you know where to go," TheStreet's Colette Bennett wrote in March.
Wendy's hasn't shown the same domestic restraint as it has made being able to add patties to any sandwich -- including the Baconator -- a celebrated feature of its menu. McDonald's hasn't fully embraced that level of decadence, but it has fully stopped offering salads.
Basically, all three chains have decided to embrace what they are -- places people go to indulge. That may be taken to extremes in Japan, but it's a common thread throughout what each chain is offering domestically as well.