Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Hungry Jacks Country Beef Burgers

About 6-8 weeks ago, Hungry Jacks (that's Burger King for those outside of Australia) overhauled their menu and menu-board theme to give the brand a "fresher" look.  One of the major changes at that time was the removal of their iconic "Aussie Burger" (no longer supplying the franchisees with beetroot or allowing them to cook eggs outside of Breakfast), and added two organic burgers with the menu launch. The BBQ Onion Country Burger and the BBQ Deluxe Country Burger (yeah, the names are so uninspiring and vague, they need to fire who ever came up with them).

Since I tried these two burgers before starting up this blog, I didn't do a proper review... so last weekend I went to my nearby HJs at Sunnybank, and asked for one of each.

On the left is the BBQ Onion Country Burger, on the right is the BBQ Deluxe Country Burger.
They actually look quite nice in reality, unlike most fast-food franchise foods... these actually translate quite well from their menu-board "fake" photos, looking like what you'd get in a cafe or diner.

BBQ Onion Country Burger
This one has the new beef patty & breadroll, with lettuce, tomato, red onion, chopped onion and BBQ sauce. With no cheese on this one, it is the "lighter" burger of the two.  It tastes very unique with the organic beef and wholemeal roll, plus the BBQ sauce with the chopped onions gives it a relish-like taste and tangyness.
The bun is small, close to cheeseburger size, but a little taller. And the beef patty is even smaller - noticeably smaller than the small breadroll.
An expensive burger, but worth the experience, as it is quite delicious... just not cheap enough to be worth eating too often. 3/5

BBQ Deluxe Country Burger
This one has cheese and mayo instead of the chopped onions of the other one (but has the same lettuce, tomato, red onion, BBQ sauce, beef & wholemeal roll), giving it a creamier, "thicker" taste and texture, especially while it is warm.
I like this one too, but again, it is a very quick eat (being so small), that it isn't worth buying too often. 3/5

Cut open to show how different these look to normal burgers. Definitely not what you'd normally expect from a Hungry Jacks... which is why these sort of "premium" ideas won't work (more on that later).

I'd give both a 4 if they were cheaper, and a 5 if they were bigger than a cheeseburger.
I would like to note that I don't feel as "gluggy" or "sloth like" after eating these, like I usually do with their normal (fatty) burgers.  These fulfill their claim of being a lighter option, but if I wanted a lighter option I'd go to a Subway instead. I'd end up getting a lot more for my money as well.

This was the one criticism I have of these burgers - the lettuce was all blackened. Visually, it puts one off their food when they see blackened, expired food used.

My recommendation to HJs (aside from, bring back the Aussie Burger) is to drop the organic gimmick and keep these burgers on the regular menu at a cheaper, better value price.  No one is ever going to decide to eat at HJs for any "heatlh" reasons, so it's much like KFC's recent failed attempts at pitching to the non-KFC demographics - just stick to your core demographic, or else you'll lose them as well, with them turning towards a real "reliable" BURGER franchise.
Here we have six new burgers that are marketted, and priced, above the social class demographic that supports HJs, or fast food in general.  Those people are wanting quick, cheap, food... fancy and pricy are not what they are interested in. And the people who would be, would never step foot in a HJs.
So the Premium and Organic burgers as nice ideas, but shouldn't be over-emphasised or even made into a significant theme for the whole menu.

(they helped create an iconic "Australian" burger with beetroot and egg, and now they turn their back on that legacy... such a shameful decision by someone high up at HJs - and everyone at Mcdonalds is laughing at him for allowing them to cash in on it with the return of the McOz)

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