Burger King came late to the chicken nuggets party.
The Restaurant Brands International (QSR) – Get Restaurant Brands International Inc Report chain introduced its rather lackluster take on McDonald’s (MCD) – Get McDonald’s Corporation Report famed Chicken McNuggets in 2013 — roughly 20 years after its rival made its fried chicken chunks a menu hit.
Prior to its chicken nuggets, Burger King had offered what it called “Chicken Tenders.” These were not that functionally different than a nugget, but they were sort of long and thin, not quite the familiar shape consumers apparently wanted.
With its nuggets never really rivaling McDonald’s or even Wendy’s WEN, Burger King tried again in 2005 with Chicken Fries. These are n even longer and skinnier take on handheld fried chicken served in a french fry-style container — unique and they still exist, but hardly the stuff of fast-food legends.
It has pickles, mayo, and a big piece of fried chicken without bringing any new ideas to the table. And, yes, the Ch’King name is clever and it comes in a few variants, but it’s certainly not bringing much new to the table.
A new Burger King innovation, however, does something completely unique for fast-food chicken, and while you may not be able to taste it all that easily, you may want to.
Burger King Has a “Thai-Riffic” Take on Chicken
Thai food has never quite caught on in the United States the way Chinese and Japanese food have.
It’s a favorite, however, in much of the world and that led Berger King to develop to “Tom Yum Tendergrill Chicken,” which is served in a cup and looks like nothing seen at a Popeyes, Wendy’s, McDonald’s, or even a KFC.
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“Big fan of Thai street food? Have our rendition of the popular grilled skewers in the form of our Tendergrill Chicken topped with savoury Tom Yum Sauce! Let this soaking juicy treat bring back yummy memories of Thai street food!” the company shared on the Burger King Singapore website.
The fast-food chain also has a version where the Tom Yum sauce is on chicken wings (which are also served in a cup) and something called the “Thai Sharing Box,” which has a very confusing description.
“Sharing is caring! Enjoy this Snack Box packed with savoury and crunchy goodness! Get a mix of Fries (S), 3x Mexican Drumlets, and golden Onion Rings (M) all in one box. Furthermore, dip them in our limited time Tom Yum Sauce* to make sure you have a soaking good time!”
Mexican Drumlets? It’s not explained nor is what makes this “Thai,” aside from the Tom Yum dipping sauce.
You can also get the Tom Yum sauce on a fried chicken sandwich or purchase it as a dipping sauce for fries or nuggets.
And, as part of the chain’s self-described “Thai-riffic” menu, you can also order a Mango Sticky Pie, an Iced Lemon Tea Float, or a Drink Called the Purple Rain, which is in fact, purple.
Why Not in U.S. Burger Kings?
When McDonald’s introduced the Chicken McNugget in 1983 it was considered a very bold way to shake up its menu which had been built on a foundation where anything new was a very big deal.
That’s not the market right now. Fast food has become about being bold where different gets attention, yet so many chains chase what has worked elsewhere.
Grilled chicken served in a cup with a Tom Yum dipping sauce would certainly count as bold and it would be much more innovative than adding yet another new topping to The Whopper.
Burger King, which has fallen behind Wendy’s into third place among fast-food burger joints needs to shake things up and it literally already has items on its global menu that could do just that.