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Why Burger King is selling $1 food with stimulus checks on the way

Brian Sozzi
·2 min read

Even though a fresh round of stimulus checks from Uncle Sam are on the way, Burger King is poised to move forward with a new dollar menu as families grapple with finances during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Value has always been a big part of our business. Value for money is one of the key drivers of visitation to quick-service restaurants,” Restaurants Brands CEO Jose Cil said on Yahoo Finance Live. Restaurant Brands (QSR) is the parent company of Burger King, Popeye’s and Tim Horton’s.

In a direct strike on McDonald’s hallowed dollar menu, Burger King said this week it will debut the “$1 Your Way Menu” on Dec. 28. The menu only has four items: a bacon cheeseburger, Chicken Jr. sandwich, fries and a soft drink.

To drive awareness of the new menu, Burger King is depositing $1 into select accounts on PayPal’s Venmo platform.

Added Cil, “I think we have been a bit too promotional as of late. So having an everyday value proposition is important all the time, but especially now when our guests are looking for opportunities to snack as well as to enjoy a great-tasting product at a great value. We’re excited about this. It’s a long-term commitment and proposition and we think it will be an important part of our evolving menu innovation for years to come.”

The dollar menu could be a welcomed boost to Burger King.

FILE- This Feb. 1, 2018, file photo shows a Burger King Whopper meal combo at a restaurant in Punxsutawney, Pa. Restaurant Brands International, the parent company of Burger King and Tim Hortons, reports financial results Monday, Feb. 11, 2019. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)
A Burger King Whopper meal combo at a restaurant in Punxsutawney, Pa. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)

Restaurant Brands’ third quarter consolidated same-store sales fell 5.4% due to ongoing challenges from the coronavirus pandemic. Same-store sales at Popeye's continued to be hot on the back of demand for its popular chicken sandwich — sales rose 17.4%. But, same-store sales at Burger King and Tim Horton's fell 7% and 12.5%, respectively.

Cil told Yahoo Finance more than 90% of the company’s restaurants remain open despite a resurgence in the pandemic that has triggered renewed mobility restrictions.

Brian Sozzi is an editor-at-large and anchor at Yahoo Finance. Follow Sozzi on Twitter @BrianSozzi and on LinkedIn.

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