Burger King is causing a stir in Thailand with its new offering: a burger without meat and an astonishing amount of cheese.
This week, the Thai fast-food chain operator introduced what it calls “the real cheeseburger,” a bun filled with as many as 20 slices of American cheese.
The item was launched on Thai menus on Sunday, at a reduced price of 109 Thai baht ($3.1), compared to the usual price of 380 baht ($10.9). It quickly went viral on social media in Thailand, with many users on TikTok posting videos of them trying the new sandwich.
“This is not a joke. This is real,” Burger King said in a social media post on Sunday.
At a Burger King branch in Bangkok on Tuesday, a shift manager was overheard saying the outlet had to stop taking delivery orders so they could have enough stock left for walk-in dinners.
A customer who ordered the treat told CNN she had tried it for the first time after seeing it on social media.
Im Jeepetch, a 25-year-old IT engineer, said she loved cheese, but “this was a bit too much.”
“I only managed to finish half of it,” she said, wiping her mouth with a napkin. “This is an insane amount of cheese added to a burger. Food is good when things are in the right combination.”
I added that she probably wouldn’t order the sticky fare again next time: “Other burgers are already good. I think I’ll go back to my double chicken nagus as usual.”
Another customer echoed this view, calling the cheeseburger “too intense.”
“I might not try again. I like a few slices of cheese in my burger, but not that much, said Alisa Chuengviroj, a 26-year-old entrepreneur who sells skin care products online.
Like Im, she said she had visited the shop after seeing many people posting about the burger online.
The menu addition is an example of how fast-food franchises around the world are seeking to gain traction by rolling out crazy or eye-catching menu options that they hope will spread across social media.
In the US, Burger King has doubled down on the Whopper, a flame-grilled signature beef burger that has also taken off on platforms like TikTok through a catchy commercial jingle released late last year.
Restaurants also continuously tailor their offerings to suit local tastes in different countries. In Thailand, cheese is particularly popular among young customers, and it is common for the dairy product to be sprinkled on all kinds of dishes.
Burger King’s menu in the country also includes salmon katsu burgers, an apparent nod to consumers’ preference for a healthy alternative to beef.
The chain is owned in Thailand by Minor International, a local hospitality group that is one of Asia’s largest restaurant owners. The company, which also operates retail locations for brands including Dairy Queen and Benihana, did not respond to multiple calls from CNN for comment Tuesday.