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    Burger King to Debut $1 Double Cheeseburger

    Despite rumored friction with franchisees, sandwich will be offered starting Oct. 19.

    MIAMI -- After rumored friction this summer between Burger King Holdings Inc. and its franchisees centering on a $1 double cheeseburger, the company will debut the $1 sandwich nationwide next month.

    In July, tension was reported over the $1 double cheeseburger, as Burger King allegedly wanted to use the item to spark sales, but its franchisees reportedly wanted to shelve the $1 product to protect margins, Nation's Restaurant News reported.

    Starting Oct. 19, however, Burger King's quarter-pound double cheeseburger will be available in U.S. restaurants for $1. The No. 2 burger brand, with 11,924 locations worldwide, claims its sandwich offers more meat and more cheese than McDonald's double cheeseburger and Wendy's Double Stack, according to the report.

    "We've conducted extensive tests on this offer in local markets over the past 18 months," said Mike Kappitt, senior vice president, global business intelligence and strategy at Burger King. "Positive sales results and strong consumer demand for our $1 quarter-pound Double Cheeseburger prove this strategy delivers a superior sandwich at an exceptional value."

    Burger King has suffered a sales slowdown in recent months, posting a 4.5-percent drop in systemwide same-store sales for U.S. and Canadian units during its latest quarter ended June 30. The chain said its plan for the future includes the promotion of both value-based items and premium menu offerings. New equipment in the majority of units will help the chain create larger burgers and various new products such as ribs.

    "We will flex premium when we can; we will flex value when we need to," Burger King Chairman and CEO John Chidsey said during the company's latest conference call with investors in late August.

    Value products can be the nemesis of the operating franchisee, as profit margins are cut with a lowered price point. Earlier this year, McDonald's Corp. and its franchisees agreed to remove its double cheeseburger from the chain's Dollar Menu and raise the price to a suggested $1.19. A new sandwich, the McDouble, with lower food costs because it has one less cheese slice, was instead placed on the Dollar Menu, NRN stated.

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