Test Market Nashville: Burger King BBQ Sandwiches, Bacon Sundae, Sweet Potato Fries

GrubGrade readers are awesome.  Thanks to Adam M. in Nashville, TN for a look at some new test items at his area Burger King.  Coca-Cola Freestyle machines in the drive-thru seems kinda crazy.

Looks like they are already working on the next phase of reinvention here in Nashville:  Bacon Sundae, Sweet Potato Fries, BBQ sammies (burger, grilled chicken, and pulled pork varieties) and Frozen Lemonades.  This is the only store in Nashville I’ve seen so far with these new items, but this one, along with one other have installed Coca-Cola Freestyle machines…and at the other store (didn’t try it with this one) you can get Freestyle at the Drive-Thru, too!!

Carolina BBQ, Texas BBQ, Pulled Pork BBQ Sandwiches: How do you think these would do with a nationwide release?

Sweet Potato Fries seems like an obvious choice since it’s the popular “new” thing lately.  Chick-fil-A has recently tried its hand at sweet potato fries in certain markets.

Oh my, Bacon Sundae.  Looks like Burger King is going the Denny’s route with this one.  UPDATE: BK Bacon Sundae Review

Let’s hope Burger King’s Frozen Lemonade is better than the abomination that was the McDonald’s version.

80 comments on “Test Market Nashville: Burger King BBQ Sandwiches, Bacon Sundae, Sweet Potato Fries

  1. Crunchytacopizza says:

    Eww who would eat a bacon sundae. Wonder how good the pulled pork is.

    • N8 says:

      “who would eat a bacon sundae”

      Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. Bacon + ice cream + chocolate is a real treat.

      I’ve tried various takes on maple+bacon ice creams and gelatos, and my only complaint is that in some of them the bacon is just, well, fat, because it’s been soaking in the ice cream for a while. Serving the bacon on the side is sheer genius.

      It’s still BK, the quality is going to be crap. But if you can stomach their normal fare, then you’ll probably enjoy a bacon sundae.

      But if you really want to try it, fry yourself up a couple of strips of bacon, drain them, and crumble them over your next sundae. Bacon is the Food of the Gods, and like all things of the Gods it must be eaten by us mere mortals in careful moderation. But life without a little joy from time to time isn’t worth it.

  2. Adam M. says:

    When I pulled into the BK a few weeks ago and was getting ready to go in to try the new Chef’s Choice Bacon Cheddar BBQ burger or whatever it was, I was surprised to see the Coca-Cola Freestyle sign in the little island as I approached the speaker. No one was in line, so I drove right up to the sign and rolled down my window, expecting to see “Dine-In Only” in fine print at the bottom. But I didn’t.

    So I did a drive-by of the window and saw the Freestyle machine (a little more industrial-looking than the one in the dining room) inside the little window. I was stunned!

    When I was watching her fill my drink, I could tell that the screen also had a more ultilitarian interface that allowed her, I think, one-touch access to many flavor combos at one time — as opposed to the way it usually works where you choose a base, then a flavor.

    I really wouldn’t think that it would slow things down that much on the production side, but the problem could come in — at first — with people who aren’t familiar with the Freestyle offerings like I already was (I knew that I wanted a Raspberry Coke Zero as soon as I pulled up.)

    Good for them…I’m glad to see more of these machines rolling out…and I’m sure they aren’t cheap! But at the end of the day, they are only going to be able to turn things around by consistently turning out good food which in my opinion hasn’t happened there for a very long time!

    • Ryan says:

      I’m a fan of the peach Sprite :)

    • Raiders757 says:

      That’s what I wondering. A lot of people just stand around looking confused at the machine, so it seems it would be a drive-thru disaster waiting to happen. Then again, my local Wendy’s offers any of the combos in the thru, and it runs smoothly the majority of the time.

    • Crysta says:

      I am amazed that Burger King shelled out the cash for a Freestyle. The pulled pork still sounds gross though, lol.

      • N8 says:

        Soda is almost pure profit, because the ingredients are water and sugar or chemical sweetener plus some artificially flavored syrup and a little compressed CO2. Anything BK can do to push soda is profitable. They’ll make back their money on a Freestyle machine purchase in a few days.

  3. Ac says:

    Where in Nashville is this?

    • Adam M. says:

      The pictures are from the Nashboro Village location (they have a Freestyle, but I’m not sure about the drive through.) The one where I know they have it in the drive-thru is the Hickory Hollow location.

  4. Adera says:

    Cool I’m in Chattanooga. Sounds like it is a perfect weekend for a Nashville road trip

    • Adam M. says:

      For BK? I wouldn’t be above doing something like that if the place was a little more consistent than it usually is…

    • ljay says:

      Yep, but add Princes Hot Chicken for a great chicken experience and Arnolds Country Kitchen (a James Beard winner) to round out that trip and make it worthwhile.

  5. Kevin says:

    …Burger King pulled pork…

    • Adam M. says:

      Yeah, seems like SUCH a terrible idea to me. I mean…EVERYBODY knows that no one is in the back picking apart a pork shoulder…so that means some crap that’s scooped out of a bucket with the sauce already on it. That doesn’t fly; especially not in the South!

  6. Raiders757 says:

    Pulled pork is extremely popular in my part of Virginia, so BK wil have a lot of competition both good and bad to deal with here.

    Don’t like sweet taters, so obviously I won’t be getting any sweet potato fries. Also, when you have the worst fries in all of fast food, you might want to improve on them before you go adding a new flavor to the mix.

    Can’t say I have much of an opinion on the other items, as those are the things my cheap ass usually steers clear of at most any fast food joint.

  7. Manavee says:

    Questions on test market products in general:

    Are they testing it and just seeing how well they sell, or do they actually solicit feedback from people who purchase them to see how well they liked it? Or is “test marketing” mostly just to see how well their employees can handle making the items?

    Do a majority of these products make it to prime time or do a majority of them never see the light outside of their test markets? That is, once they get to the test market stage, is it pretty much a done deal that they are going to be widely released, and that the test marketing is mostly just fine tuning?

    • Crysta says:

      In Maryland I lived in Chick-fil-A’s test market area, and I was never asked anything about the test products. At the time I didn’t know it was a test market, so when they came out with the spicy chicken sandwich down here my initial response was “That’s not new. You’ve always had that.”

    • James says:

      Most products are consumer test tasted before making it to the test market itself. From there, operational procedures are evaluated & modified and “sell-ability” is assessed. It is really the latter that determines whether or not a product will be given a national launch or not.

  8. SkippyMom says:

    Like the rest said – how about getting your regular offerings acceptable before you start adding gimmicks with bells & whistles BK? The public isn’t as distracted by shiny objects as you seem to think we are.

    And the pulled pork is just a poor, poor idea – especially in the south.

    • alexg says:

      It’s a test market right? If people in the South can stomach it, then they decide if they want to take it national.

      I don’t understand all the negative comments considering they are just “testing” there menu out.

      • Crysta says:

        Because it’s fast food “barbecue”? I think the new Whoppers sound fantastic (with the possible exception of coleslaw sauce), but my local BK’s all kind of suck. The pulled pork is likely to be the stuff I can buy in a tub at Kroger or even Dollar General… if I’m going out for barbecue, I’m going to a place that smokes their own meat! (We have several of those in town because Tennessee is apparently really big on barbecue.) Putting barbecue sauce on a burger doesn’t make it “barbecue” so if we do for some reason wander into BK again, I’m perfectly willing to try the new Whoppers. :P

    • Chefprotoss says:

      I agree with skips. If I saw a bk commercial that pushed fresher produce and more attention to detail, then sign me up. Till then… They do get points for improving their bacon, but the lackluster fries and chicken nugge… “tenders” negate that. Everything new bk comes up with seems to be a step backwards in terms of quality. Fake novelty food can be great, but it better taste awesome and be cheap.

  9. Zachary Jacob Zblewski says:

    Glancing at the BBQ poster, I thought they were going to be sandwiches featuring a pork patty. Think McRib. That would be awesome! I would rather they do that.

    BK pulled pork? What will they think of next, fire-grilled ribs?

  10. Spencer says:

    I sincerely hope their “Texas BBQ Sandwich” is not that grilled chicken thing in the picture.

    • Crysta says:

      Considering Texas barbecue is generally beef, I would hope the same. But I think they’re just using the names for the sauces. “Carolina BBQ” is mustard-based whereas Texas uses a sweet tomato-based sauce.

  11. Satyr says:

    Being from Memphis, I don’t hold out too much hope for “Pulled Pork” from BK…I am thinking more of the mechanically separated variety probably. I’ll pass

    Burger King is to BBQ as Britney Spears is to singing the blues…

  12. rk23 says:

    The ribs they had a couple of years ago were surprisingly okay, though overpriced. I’m not so sure about the bbq sandwiches, but I’d try them.

    Coca-Cola Freestyle machines, on the other hand, are disgusting. Everything comes out tasting like it’s got a bit of cherry tylenol in it, and I don’t want to have to go through two layers of menu to get my damned drink.

    • Zachary Jacob Zblewski says:

      It’s my understanding that they have the usual Coke products listed on the very first screen. If you just want a coke, your press coke and that’s it.

    • Crysta says:

      Sorry, but you’re imagining that. Each of the syrups has its own tube and its own nozzle. There’s no possibility of cross-contamination.

    • Justin ST says:

      That has not been my experience, lol.

    • John says:

      I agree completely. Not even the regular Coke tastes right. I’ve tried at least 5 of these in my local Subway, Firehouse Subs, Willy’s Burritos, and a local chain that has them. They are all terrible.

      Plus, you get behind the people that can’t figure them out, and it takes forever just to get a refill. A regular 6 or 8 slot fountain can serve at least 2 at a time (usually) plus ice.

  13. jamesela says:

    I so hope the 8th/Wedgewood BK in Nashville is participating! I have a strange love for pre-packaged pulled pork. My hometown DQ sold it out of a tub…

  14. Natalie says:

    I am 100% sure that the bbq would be disgusting. Sweet potato fries I’d try though.

  15. If they could sell the pork sandwiches for a competitive price (the same as their whoppers/chicken sandwiches) I think they would do well. But BK will try to reach into “fast casual” territory in terms of pricing and fail.

  16. [...] a Texas BBQ Whopper? April 05, 2012 By: Ryan Category: Food NewsYesterday we brought you new of test market menu items at a Burger King in Nashville.  Amongst the test items were BBQ sandwiches.  To be more specific, other than the Pulled Pork [...]

  17. kikurage says:

    Bacon Sundae is just test operation. Many people feel a strange conbination. But I think it is not bad, a slightly good.
    Sweet sometimes solty is well. Bacon may be a accent of taste.

  18. [...] three burger chain. A tipster wrote into GrubGrade to say that one Burger King in Nashville, Tenn., recently unveiled a whole host of menu items that have never before been spotted at the chain — including a new bacon [...]

  19. [...] three burger chain. A tipster wrote into GrubGrade to say that one Burger King in Nashville, Tenn., recently unveiled a whole host of menu items that have never before been spotted at the chain — including a new bacon [...]

  20. I could really go for a pulled pork sandwich and some sweet potato fries right now.

  21. [...] in the Box’s Bacon Milkshake. Anyway, not much is known about the BK Bacon Sundae except that it’s being tested in Nashville and that it appears to contain actual bacon (unlike that Jack in the Box [...]

  22. [...] Grub Grade posted a report about Burger King testing several menu items in Nashville. The items include three BBQ sandwiches, [...]

  23. [...] Grub Grade posted a report about Burger King testing several menu items in Nashville. The items include three BBQ sandwiches, [...]

  24. [...] The sequence is contrast out a honeyed and delicious Bacon Sundae in Nashville, according to Grubgrade. [...]

  25. [...] with McDonald’s.  Beyond that, Burger King in Nashville, Tenn. (a test market location) recently unveiled a whole host of menu items that have never before been spotted at the chain.  Among them, BBQ Sandwiches, Sweet Potato [...]

  26. [...] that fast-food retailers aren’t experimenting with food combos here at home: The blog GrubGrade discovered a Burger King in Nashville, TN, where a test market for a bacon sundae is being offered [...]

  27. TB says:

    Which Nashville BK has the bacon sundae? Gotta give it a try!

    • Adam M. says:

      As far as I’ve been able to tell, it is rolled out at all of the immediate Nashville-area locations…I’ve tried to glance every time I drive by one and I haven’t seen one that HASN’T. If you see the Sweet Potato Fries or B-B-Q sandwich posters in the window, you’re in the right place.

  28. [...] Not that fast-food retailers aren’t experimenting with food combos here at home: The blog GrubGrade discovered a Burger King in Nashville, TN, where a test market for a bacon sundae is being offered [...]

  29. [...] [via GrubGrade] Filed Under: Fast Food Category: Weird News Share on facebook!Share on twitter!Send to a friend!  Like More from TheFW: [...]

  30. [...] with their Bacon Shake. Now Burger King has done one ‘better’ with the Bacon Sundae. GrubGrade.com posted a photo of the Bacon Sundae from Nashville, [...]

  31. [...] [via GrubGrade] Source: TheFW.com Filed Under: burger king Category: Food, Weird News Share on facebook!Share on twitter!Send to a friend!  Like More from 96X The Rock of East Texas [...]

  32. [...] GrubGrade showed posters at the same location for barbecue sandwiches, frozen lemonade and sweet potato fries. [...]

  33. [...] a U.S., privately Nashville, Tenn., Burger King is contrast a “Bacon Sundae,” food blog Grub Grade reported. The sundae appears to come with customary toppings such as fudge and caramel, though also [...]

  34. [...] to the RSS feed for updates on this topic.Powered by WP Greet Box WordPress PluginIt was reported by GrubGrade yesterday and has blown through the interwebs today. Burger King is testing several new menu items [...]

  35. Some Guy from BK says:

    I work at a BK store that has had the Freestyle machine for well over a year now.

    FWIW to those interested, the way the machine works is basically the same as a computer printer. Each flavor (Coke, Dr. Pepper, Sprinte, etc) has a ‘base’ flavor cartridge and all the varients (cherry, vanilla, lime, etc) also have their own varients. The carbonation and sweeteners are bagged seperately.

    When you choose a flavor, the machine basically goes ‘ok, I need to mix the water with the Coke with the Cherry with the artificial sweetener since this is diet’ and does its thing. Everything is run by a computer which is in turn connected (or can be connected) to the local Coke distribution center.

    When a flavor runs out, you literally go in, pull out the cartridge, toss it, and slap a new one inside.

    If it tastes ‘funny’ its eitehr because the local water supply is out of whack or people are just so used to the not-very-precise method the standard old fountains use.

    Also, if your BK has freestyle in the lobby, it has it in drive thru. :) The machines were installed in pairs and they replaced the old-school fountains, so there is no ‘old’ system still in the store anymore.

    The other fun thing about the machines is that you can still mix-and-match like you can do with the old systems – I personally like drinking a half-and-half mix of Raspberry Fanta and Dr. Pepper.

    I’m kind of eyeballing this bacon sundae stuff warily. My store is a test store as well (many states away from Tennessee), and this is the first I heard of it.

    • Richard says:

      yes larry. thanks for your expertise. but after all that, there is still one solo spout that emits any and all of the flavoring. so, it is possible to taste cherry in a drink you didnt choose cherry in.

  36. [...] a U.S., privately Nashville, Tenn., Burger King is contrast a “Bacon Sundae,” food blog Grub Grade reported. The sundae appears to come with customary toppings such as fudge and caramel, though also [...]

  37. [...] [via GrubGrade] Source: TheFW.com Category: Weird News Share on facebook!Share on twitter!Send to a friend!  Like More from KOOL FM [...]

  38. [...] Pork from Burger King April 12, 2012 By: Ryan Category: Food NewsWe brought you news of the test market items in Nashville last week and here’s another look at the Pulled Pork.  Well here it is courtesy of Adam M.  Turns out [...]

  39. [...] acordo com o site GrubGrade, parece que o Burger King está testando novos sabores de lanches e sorvetes nos Estados Unidos, [...]

  40. [...] right, folks…there’s a freakin’ Bacon Sundae that is currently being test-marketed in Nashville, Tennessee (aka: my new top vacation destination) along with pulled pork sammitches [...]

  41. [...] cities where jobs are booming. San Francisco prepares for small-business week. Burger King tests a bacon sundae in Nashville. A Florida town bans nightclubs, dance halls and skating rinks. The British Department [...]

  42. [...] available nationwide, the bacon-topped treat was spotted at a Nashville restaurant, according to GrubGrade.com. Other items under a test-run at the Southern location include sweet-potato fries, a pulled-pork [...]

  43. [...] gross (or tasty according to your taste buds) is perhaps an ice cream sundae with bacon. Food blog Grub Grade reported that on this side of the Atlantic, specifically in Nashville, Tennessee, Burger King is [...]

  44. [...] and there’s even a photo of the sign promoting the bacon sundae at GrubGrade (http://www.grubgrade.com/2012/04/04/test-market-nashville-burger-king…). You can find a picture and a “food review” of the bacon sundae at: [...]

  45. [...] and there’s even a photo of the sign promoting the bacon sundae at GrubGrade (http://www.grubgrade.com/2012/04/04/test-market-nashville-burger-king…). You can find a picture and a “food review” of the bacon sundae [...]

  46. [...] and there’s even a photo of the sign promoting the bacon sundae at GrubGrade (http://www.grubgrade.com/2012/04/04/test-market-nashville-burger-king…). You can find a picture and a “food review” of the bacon sundae at: [...]

  47. [...] Nashville, Tennessee, for example, Burger King is contrast a “Bacon Sundae,” food blog Grub Grade reported, similar to a “Maple Bacon Sundae” sole during [...]

  48. [...] and there’s even a photo of the sign promoting the bacon sundae at GrubGrade (http://www.grubgrade.com/2012/04/04/test-market-nashville-burger-king…). You can find a picture and a “food review” of the bacon sundae at: [...]

  49. [...] will come with soft-serve ice cream, fudge, caramel and a piece of bacon. Back in April, a tipster wrote to GrubGrade reporting that the item — Beverage? Dessert? Indulgence? — was being tested in [...]

  50. [...] Potato Fries, BBQ Pulled Pork sandwich and BBQ burgers and chicken sandwiches. These items wereoriginally tested in Nashville, TN, earlier this [...]

  51. [...] and there’s even a photo of the sign promoting the bacon sundae at GrubGrade (http://www.grubgrade.com/2012/04/04/test-market-nashville-burger-king…). You can find a picture and a “food review” of the bacon sundae [...]

  52. […] Also new to the BK menu for a limited time is the Orange Freeze which features a “refreshing blend of oranges to create a sweet and tasty frozen treat.”  The Orange Freeze joins the Frozen Lemonade drink that was offered in previous years. […]

  53. […] U.S., specifically Nashville, Tenn., Burger King is testing a “Bacon Sundae,” food blog Grub Grade reported. The sundae appears to come with standard toppings such as fudge and caramel, but also […]

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