Chili’s is releasing a new burger that set up this showdown with McDonald’s

May 7, 2024

The battlelines between fast food restaurants and casual sit-down chains are getting blurred.

Fast food fans hungry for a mouthwatering burger will have a tough choice to make. 

Now Chili’s is releasing a new burger that set up this showdown with McDonald’s.

Chili’s launches a new burger to compete with the Big Mac

Rampant food inflation has driven up the cost of eating out at an alarming rate. 

And fast food is no longer the value that it once was from rising food and labor costs.

The days of dollar or value menus are long gone with combo meals at many fast food chains coming in at over $10.

A photo of a Big Mac Combo Meal went viral on social media last summer for costing $18 in Connecticut. 

And California’s new minimum wage law of $20 an hour has sent the price of a Big Mac Combo Meal to nearly the same in the state.

The rising price of fast food is giving other restaurants a chance to compete for their customers.

Now Chili’s Grill & Bar is putting itself into direct competition with McDonald’s and other fast-food chains with the release of its new hamburger.

The Big Smasher Burger is Chili’s answer to the Big Mac with double the portions.

It comes with twice the amount of meat as the Big Mac with a nearly half-pound, hand-smashed burger patty.

The Big Mac patties are 3.2 ounces before they’re cooked.

And it features toppings that are almost identical to its McDonald’s counterpart – diced red onions, lettuce, pickles, Thousand Island dressing, and American cheese.

For $10.99, burger fans can get a Big Smasher Burger, French fries, unlimited chips and salsa, and a bottomless fountain drink as part of Chili’s 3 For Me menu.

That put Chili’s squarely in competition with fast food chains on value.

“We know diners are experiencing sticker shock from the rising cost of fast food, with little change to the actual quantity or quality of fast food combo meals,” Chili’s Chief Marketing Officer George Felix said. “We believe that Chili’s 3 For Me offers better value than you’ll find in any drive-thru and, with the all-new Big Smasher burger, we just made the 3 for Me even better. We believe our guests can enjoy better quality, better pricing and a better experience every time.”

Chili’s also noted that adults could pick up a classic margarita for $3.99 as well, which they wouldn’t find at any drive-thru.

Chili’s using value to compete with fast food and other casual restaurants

Chili’s became famous for their sizzling fajitas but they’re leaning into hamburgers, chicken sandwiches, and chicken tenders to draw in customers.

They’re capitalizing on the frustration of many consumers with the rising prices of fast food.

Restaurant Business News reported in January that promotions like the 3 for Me menu saw sales jump by 31% from the previous quarter.  

Even McDonald’s management acknowledged that they had to do a better job with their value because chains like Chili’s are willing to go toe to toe with fast food chains to win over hungry customers.

Read All About It will keep you up-to-date on any developments to this ongoing story. 

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