The Burger King brand seems to exist in a fever dream that, honestly, has kept us quietly entertained for more than a decade. So, it’s no surprise that in the year 2016, the company is flirting with jumping the shark by not only entering an entirely new product market with its new Grilled Dogs, but by getting its employees on board with the change by hiring rapper-entrepreneur Snoop Dogg and all-around entertainer Charo as “training ambassadors.”
Both pairings seem fairly obvious: Burger King is known for broiling its burgers, a cooking method that also happens to be the best way to cook a quality hot dog, while the brand’s quirky-meets-creepy identity was sure to attract the appropriate talent.
“In quick service, you can’t take yourself too seriously,” says Alex Macedo, president of Burger King’s North American operation. “We have 250,000 team members in the United States alone [and] we want to tell them that this isn’t just a normal product, so we want to make a really big deal in the restaurants. We got these celebrities because we wanted our team members to understand, ‘Wow, this isn’t just any product launch.’”
The fast food giant turned to deli meat company Oscar Mayer to make the new menu item in hopes of capitalizing on the growing popularity of high-quality hot dogs like those available at Shake Shack and your local baseball stadium. If the Grilled Dog proves successful, Burger King may find itself serving up a respectable fraction of the 20 billion hot dogs Americans chow down on each year.
“It’s such an obvious idea that it’s surprising that we hadn’t pursued it at Burger King before,” says Macedo. “Everything that we do that’s a little bit unique goes really well and that’s where we saw the magic for hot dogs.”
Grilled Dogs will be available in participating Burger Kings nationwide starting February 23. Until then, let Snoop Dogg guide you through the finer points of making a hot dog.