Why Burger King Employees Hate The Ch'King

Enough time has passed since Burger King's return to the chicken sandwich wars for the luster of the Ch'King to become somewhat tarnished. Recently, a Reddit user purporting to be an employee posted a complaint about the difficulties involved in preparing the Ch'King. Namely, the glaze is aggravating to apply, and the patty does not always cook all the way through due to the amount of breading it bears. Furthermore, its size means only three can be cooked per basket, and Burger King restaurants typically only have two fryers with two baskets each, pushing the total Ch'Kings cooked at any one time to 12. In their summary, "the ch'king is the bane of my existence."

While no one came out to argue that making the Ch'King was not as aggravating, others affirmed that the sandwich is delicious, so it was worth the annoyance. Other responses suggested that it might not be a good idea to trash talk the only good food offered by the burger chain. For Burger King, however, the Ch'King's breading is the very thing that sets it apart from competing sandwiches. "We've mastered the process, ensuring that every freshly hand-breaded chicken filet has a bite that's crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside," the fast-food company wrote in a statement shared by Thrillist. So, considering that Burger King is purposefully making the sandwich this way, the grievance of one employee and the admitted annoyance of a few others probably will not deter the restaurant group.

Burger King is eyeing the Ch'King as the future

The importance of the Ch'King to Burger King seems hard to overstate. On June 17, CNBC reported on a change in approach that Jose Cil, chief executive of Burger King owner Restaurant Brands International, detailed in a strategy meeting. Mainly, it was decided that the Ch'King would represent Burger King's pivot from focusing on promotional concerns to fundamental ones, like preparing meals that people would want to order or would deserve to be promoted.

"I think the development of that product and how we've launched it should be an indicator of how we're thinking about and reprioritizing the business at Burger King," he said when discussing the addition of the Ch'King to the Burger King menu.

The Ch'King may well serve as a symbol for the self-renewal of the restaurant chain that extends to the updated exterior design, menu boards, and logos that recently debuted at a newly constructed Burger King in late June, as the St. Louis Business Journal reported.

All these considerations no doubt were spurred by the near-universal praise the sandwich has received, including positive reviews from Thrillist and Insider. The popularity of the sandwich has gone so far that AdAge reported on how feedback suggested the Ch'King could even surpass the Whopper. With such success, Burger King may decide to restructure its kitchens to alleviate the stresses of cooking the Ch'King and, more importantly, ensure that it is actually cooked all the way through.

The pivot has yet to pay off

"Saying it's better than the whopper?" one Reddit user wrote in response to Burger King's promotional advertising for the Ch'King. "That's your product! Why do you go out of your way to essentially trash your headline product?" And, they might be right. iSpot posted a Burger King advertisement with the title "Ignore the Reviews: Get a Free Whopper," with the reviews being that the Ch'King was the best item on the menu and the free Whopper being a test for customers to experience the difference. You can also watch the nightmare ad on YouTube as the King is haunted by a terrible dream where the Ch'King has taken over and usurped the Whopper on the menu. As you can see, Burger King is very insistent that the Ch'King is not only worth the years of development, but worth any other costs as well.

Burger King's timely decision to ignore the burger upon which its brand was built and from which it drew inspiration for its name just reeks of bravery. As many may point out, it's called Burger King, not Chicken King, no matter how badly it wants the cutesy product name to catch on.

Yet, it still has not received the universal praise it pretends. Eat This, Not That, for example, ranked five fast-food chicken sandwiches and Burger King's new addition took last place. Many Reddit comments from the posts quoted were not kind toward the new offering. Perhaps when the luster fades, the fad will finally fizzle out.