I was admiring the new Carl’s Jr. commercial promoting their fresh-baked hamburger buns, not for the sexy girls and the pun on the word “buns” but for the subtle shift in product positioning that seems to finally be happening. I refer, of course, to the transition of the chain’s large format burgers from the old Carl’s “Six Dollar” moniker to the adoption of the Hardee’s “Thickburger” label.
It has been four years since we wrote an article on this subject. Back then, the discussion was how the term Six Dollars has moved from a gimmick to an uncomfortable reality: the burgers are no longer the equivalent of what you paid big money (six dollars) for at a sit down chain (read, Chili’s) but sadly, are rapidly approaching the $6 mark themselves. Inflation does that to you. Which is why McDonald’s recently had to revamp their approach to their “Dollar Menu” and Del Taco did the same with their “Buck and Under” menu this past spring.
So what is Carl’s Jr. actually doing? Ever-so-subtly phasing in the “Thickburger” name. Note in the commercial and in the web ad the use of the term “Six Dollar Thickburger.” It’s probably no longer much of a prediction but I will make it anyway: Carl’s Jr. will drop the term “Six Dollar” from their menu in 2014. There is your first New Year’s prediction.