11/15/2004: Holy fuck!
I can feel my aorta congealing into a hockey puck just thinking about it.... Hardee's introduces new mega-calorie Monster Thickburger. Considering that food calories are actually kilocalories, that makes the Monster Thickburger literally a megacalorie meal:
As many fast-food chains are catering to the health-conscious, Hardee's is introducing the biggest and thickest of its Thickburgers -- one with enough calories to make Ronald McDonald blush.Ah, once again we see the secret to success in America: nothing succeeds like excess.
The St. Louis-based chain on Monday rolled out its Monster Thickburger -- two 1/3-pound slabs of Angus beef, four strips of bacon, three slices of cheese and mayonnaise on a buttered sesame seed bun. The sandwich alone sells for $5.49, $7.09 with fries and a soda.
Even a news release touted the Monster -- at 1,420 calories and 107 grams of fat-- as "a monument to decadence." Add fries and a soda and a single meal would involve more calories and fat than most people should get in a day.
The introduction comes at a time when McDonald's, Wendy's and other fast-food giants are offering salads and other lower-calorie fare. Subway advertising has long used patron Jared to tout the low-calorie items on the menu.
Hardee's has gone another direction.
The restaurant, founded in the 1960s, was originally known for its charcoal-broiled burgers, but eventually expanded its menu to include roast beef, fried chicken, even hot dogs.
That changed in April 2003 when Hardee's went back to burgers -- and big ones. Sales for the 2,067-restaurant chain have risen steadily since the introduction of the Thickburger family. Same-store sales are up 7.8 percent this year.
Jerry McVety, president of the restaurant consulting firm McVety & Associates in Farmington Hills, Mich., said Hardee's has found a niche.
"Before, it was difficult to know who Hardee's was and what they stood for," McVety said.
"Now, they're basically filling an area where the big three burger boys (McDonald's, Burger King and Wendy's) have deviated from. Maybe this is a smart strategy because there are still folks out there who care about the taste and size of their sandwich, and less about their weight."
Even before the new Monster Thickburger, the chain offered five sandwiches with 1,000 calories or more, and eight overall that have more calories than what was once the big-burger standard -- the 600-calorie Big Mac. [Emphasis added --LRC]
Len on 11.15.04 @ 08:20 PM CST