In June, Burger King served the first limited edition burgers for £95 (about $190) each at the Gloucester Road restaurant in London. Still served in a foil wrapper, "The Burger," as it's been coined, is made of flame-grilled Wagyu beef, topped with Cristal champagne onion straws, white truffles, Pata Negra ham, Modena balsamic vinegar, pink Himalayan rock salt and organic white wine- and shallot-infused mayonnaise, all nested in an Iranian saffron dusted bun and accompanied by a complimentary glass of wine.
"The Burger" was only available for one day at the store in Kensington, a neighborhood that has also sustained big price-tag gourmet sandwiches at retailers Harrods and Selfridges, but can be pre-ordered via a hotline to be served only on Thursdays at the restaurant. All proceeds from burger sales will go to a London children's charity.
"The main message that I'm trying to communicate to the brand, being a chef, is quality," says the burger's creator Mark Dowding, Burger King EMEA's director of new product development and innovation. "Everything we do in Burger King, whether it's serving a Whopper or a £95 burger is defined around that. This was a food initiative. I want us to have a food culture in the business. It's also about reinforcing the quality of what we've already got on the menu."
Earlier this year, competitor McDonald's supported efforts to appeal to up-market customers in London with new employee uniforms by fashion designer Bruce Oldfield (he was a favorite of Princess Diana) featuring muted colors, pencil skirts and heels for women and suits for men, a move that follows refreshed, mod interiors in McDonald's restaurants and a sourcing push for higher quality products.