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The current restaurant environment can be summarized by aggressive promotional activity from both the QSR and casual dining. As I noted yesterday, the trend continues into 2Q and appears to be intensifying, with deeper absolute discounts (buy-one get-one free) and now a number of free food offers (see previous nugget posting). I believe this level of promotion will continue, given the challenges restaurant operators have holding guest traffic.

With this thought in mind, CKE Restaurants put out a press release yesterday that said - Hardee's(R) announced that it is thumbing its nose at the current value menu movement by rolling out the ultimate premium burger, the Prime Rib Thickburger(R).

We've never been ones to follow the fast-food herd mentality! (It should be noted at this point that Hardee's has one of the lowest AUV in the industry).

So, while other places are hopping on the value bandwagon and, thus, promoting their smallest and lowest-quality menu items, we'll keep doing what we do best by giving our customers what they really crave: big, delicious, premium-quality burgers.
The small size Prime Rib Thickburger combo featuring Hardee's Natural-Cut Fries and a drink will be sold at participating restaurants for $6.49. Prices may vary.

Research Edge thought......

The industry is a zero sum game and every restaurant company is in a battle for market share. Currently, Hardee's is losing market share. How is this going to help? At a $6.49 price point, Hardee's is priced in line with casual dining, with less value

For nearly the same price here are two examples of what you can get at casual dining:

Chili's - The Bottomless Express lunch - your choice of soup and salad, served with house-made chips & salsa as soon as you order, and all with unlimited refills.

Olive garden - Lunch entrees are priced between $6.00 and $9.00 and you get freshly baked garlic bread sticks and your choice of homemade soup or garden-fresh salad.

No wonder the big boys are all emphasizing value and convenience!

I can't wait to see how this one ends!