This post is part of the Reporter's Notebook blog.
Burger King’s rollout this week of hot dogs to its more than 7,000 domestic locations has ignited a dog fight among some quick-service competitors and convenience store brands.
After Miami-based Burger King on Tuesday wrapped newspapers with a hot dog debut ad in Chicago, Houston, New York, San Francisco and other cities, the 800-unit Checkers & Rally’s chain countered with an ad in USA Today that was headlined: “Hey Burger King, It’s Time to Compare Wieners.”
Other hot dog specialty brands joined the fight on Twitter as well, with Dallas-based 7-Eleven and Irvine, Calif.-based Wienerschnitzel getting their dogs into the hunt.
“When Burger King made their announcement, we laughed,” said Terri Snyder, Checkers & Rally’s chief marketing officer, in a statement. “We’re engaged in a fun, aggressive and provocative Wiener War with Burger King. And it’s a war we plan to win.”
Snyder noted that the Checkers & Rally’s all-beef hot dogs were half the price of Burger King’s, at the recommended 79 cents. Burger King was recommending $1.99 for a regular dog and $2.29 for a chilidog.
Checkers & Rally’s also noted that it hot dogs had been on the brand’s menu for more than 30 years. It was even touting the hashtag #wienersmackdown.
“We’re ready for the fight,” said Rick Silva, Checkers & Rally’s president and CEO.
Tampa, Fla.-based Checkers & Rally’s amplified the message on Twitter:
Convenience-store chain 7‑Eleven Inc., which has long provided hot dogs at its 10,500 are in North American stores, tweeted: “.@BurgerKing - In the great hot dog war, there can only be one weiner.”
Not to be left out, Wienerschnitzel, the 350-unit Irvine, Calif.-based division of the Gilardi Group Inc., tweeted out: @BurgerKing may wear the crown, @7eleven bites might be big, but we're the #WorldsMostWantedWiener
Somebody might soon regret that they let the dogs out.