Bad News For Fans Of Burger King's Whopper

If you're a burger fan, chances are you've bitten into a Burger King Whopper at least once. A quarter pound of beef topped with tomatoes, lettuce, mayo, ketchup, pickles, and onions, all sandwiched between a sesame seed bun — who could resist? The fast food giant with more than 18,600 locations across the globe calls its burgers "flame-grilled," and (in a rare truth in advertising moment) they actually are: the pre-made, frozen patties are broiled, according to PopSugar. That broiled taste is precisely what many BK customers return for again and again, with the chain selling more than two billion of the Whopper burgers per year (via Medium).

Although its price is location-dependent, a Whopper usually runs about $3.49, according to Fast Food Menu Prices. In the past, periodic promotions have also offered deals on the sandwich, which can sometimes be snagged at a two-for-$5 or two-for-$6 price. But Whopper fans take note: many locations of the chain will no longer offer this bargain-basement deal. MarketWatch explains that Carrols Restaurant Group, BK's largest franchisor in the United States, is cutting the chain's top-selling item from its list of core discount items, along with some other changes coming to its location's menus.

Burger King is facing major inflation

Supply chain disruptions, labor shortages, and increased fuel costs are majorly affecting the restaurant world, especially fast food chains. Inflation is hurting restaurants' bottom line, with the prices of ingredients going up — and increases eventually have to be passed on to the consumer if companies want to stay afloat. According to the New York Times, fast food prices increased by 8% last year, the largest industry increase in 20 years.

Burger King price increases will affect its chicken nuggets and its best-selling Whopper. According to MarketWatch, the number of nuggets that come with a meal will drop from 10 to eight, and the Whopper will no longer be offered at two-for-$5 or two-for-$6 promotion prices at Carrols Resturant Group Burger King locations. "Domestic food, paper producers, and distributors supplying most of our commodities are dealing with labor constraints, along with higher fuel costs," Daniel Accordino, chief executive at Carrols Restaurant Group, explained on an earnings call. "As a result, commodity inflation overall was approximately 16% this past quarter compared to the prior year period."

Most Burger King locations are franchises, meaning that they're independently owned and operated. But many franchisees have become mini-corporations in their own right, and Carrols is one of them, operating 1,028 Burger King restaurants across 23 states (as well as some Popeyes locations), according to MarketWatch. Therefore, the new price restrictions will affect a decent number of Burger King locations in the U.S.