Has Carl’s Jr. Shattered the $5 Burger Ceiling?

May 19, 2015

Carl’s Jr. tomorrow (May 20) introduces its Most American Thickburger and most eyes will be on TV spokesmodel Samantha Hoopes or the burger’s unusual combination of a third-pound Angus beef patty topped with a split hot dog and potato chips. But what quick-service restaurant operators see is a test of consumer resistance to higher pricing. Given the push for higher minimum wages, high beef prices and the continuing crush of operations overhead, price elasticity will be increasingly critical to operators.

Carl’s Jr. and sibling Hardee’s have priced the new cheeseburger (at r.) at $5.79 for the third-pound version and $8.29…