Whatever Happened To Burger King's Burger Shots?

Who doesn't enjoy a slider? If you have ever had White Castle before, it's more than likely you've had their small yet addictive hamburgers. Those tiny burgers are the basic slider; a miniature hamburger. According to Serious Eats, White Castle founder Walter Anderson is credited with inventing the first slider in Wichita, Kansas, in 1916. The name "slider," however, is believed to have been created by U.S. Navy sailors in the 1940s, who referred to the mini burgers as "sliders" since they supposedly "slid" around the grill as the ship maneuvered waves. To no one's surprise, a miniature hamburger with cheese, onions, and savory condiments would turn out to be pretty popular, especially in White Castle's case.

Although White Castle is the palace of sliders, that's not to say that others haven't tried to add the slider to their menu. TGI Fridays and Arby's both have their unique take on sliders, of course, but strangely enough, you don't see sliders at your local McDonald's or Wendy's. It would seem obvious to have miniature hamburgers on their menus, right? For those who may remember, Burger King actually attempted to sell sliders, with less than stellar results. Just what exactly were Burger Shots, and why did they fail, despite the popularity and novelty of a miniature burger?

BK's mini-burgers were a bust — twice

In late 2008, Burger King introduced BK Burger Shots. No, they weren't cute shot glasses shaped like the famous Whopper, but instead Burger King's take on the classic slider. Similar to White Castle's burgers, Burger Shots were tiny flame-broiled patties topped with ketchup, mustard, and pickles (via Nation's Restaurant News). They lacked the onions of White Castle fame, differentiating themselves from the original slider. This wasn't Burger King's first attempt to market sliders to its customers. In the 1980s, the company introduced "Burger Buddies" — tiny sliders that were conjoined at both beef patty and bun, thus the "buddies" name (via In the 80s).  This wasn't too bad of an idea on paper. After all, who wouldn't love a tiny flame-grilled Whopper they can split with a buddy?  But the tiny patties, it turned out, would wind up slipping through the broiler's grill, forcing the fry cook to grill another pattie set all over again. Due to lackluster sales and the wait time caused by lost patties, the Burger Buddies were quietly slipped off the menu.

The BK Burger Shots, perhaps, suffered from the same problem. Lackluster sales, poor cooking procedures, and maybe even a poor marketing campaign doomed them. The advertisements used to market BK Burger Shots were bizarre at best, featuring the Burger King mascot breaking into a man's bedroom and waking him up with an airhorn (via Youtube). Whatever the case, BK sliders are out the door, making this the first time in history a Castle conquered a King.