In case you missed it, Google and Apple were enveloped by a teensy scandal of sorts back in 2017. Google’s cheeseburger emoji placed the cheese beneath the burger patty, while Apple’s was on top. You can laugh, but it made headlines. Google CEO Sundar Pichai even tweeted (jokingly) that he would “drop everything else we are doing and address” the emoji unease immediately.
Then, as now, the message is clear: Hamburger love is not to be trifled with, and especially not on Sept. 18, otherwise known as National Cheeseburger Day. Fast-food giants and quick-service restaurants (QSRs) are celebrating the day with deals to help Americans enjoy one of their favorite meal items without any COVID complications.
McDonald’s is using the occasion to drive downloads of its mobile order-ahead (MOA) app by offering a 50-cent double cheeseburger for customers ordering in-app today. That was the cost of a Mickey D’s cheeseburger when it first hit the menu board back in 1963.
Burger King has an in-app BOGO discount on Whoppers, and it’s always on. Other large chains like BurgerFi and Smashburger have deals all day today, and most are using the beefy celebration to drive more downloads and orders through their MOA apps.
A Burger by any Other Name
The average American eats the equivalent of 800 hamburgers annually, give or take, based on U.S. Agriculture Department data as reported by Quartz. That’s well over 200 pounds of ground beef per person, per year, to say nothing of the mountains of cheese melted over (or under) all those lovely burger patties.
If you’re into that sort of thing. If not, meatless burgers finally made their breakthrough, with meatless titan Impossible Foods raising another $200 million in August as it continues to perfect its line of soy-based meat substitutes. Burger King debuted the Impossible Burger to much fanfare in 2019.
Rival Beyond Meat began adding plant-based burgers to its popular at-home meal packs during lockdowns as the meatless trend made its way into grocery stores. Beyond Meat reported a strong second quarter on sales of its burgers through the grocery channel.
And it doesn’t stop there.“Don Lee Farms, a family-run California-based food company, has seen its bleeding veggie burgers sell out at mass-market vendors like Costco, Walmart, Whole Foods, Wegmans and Stop & Shop nationwide,” PYMNTS reported last year.
Yes, Cheeseburgers Have a Role in the Recovery
Returning to the concept of “burger love,” many believe the burger is sacrosanct and not meant for meatless variations. It calls to mind a “Parks and Recreation” episode, where the finest gourmet turkey burger is pitted against a grilled beef patty on a bun with nothing else.
Beef won hands down, in case you’re wondering. That’s undoubtedly what inspired Domino’s to create the cheeseburger pizza for National Cheeseburger Day. After all, burgers are one thing the pandemic couldn’t take from us, and that is somehow reassuring.
“In both the U.S. and Canada, interest in grilling continues unabated, and our reasons and seasons for grilling continue to grow,” said Jack Goldman, president and CEO of Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association’s (HPBA) in a recent statement.
HPBA’s study of people’s grilling habits found that “almost two-thirds (64 percent) of U.S. adults own a grill or smoker. More than seven in 10 (72 percent) Canadian adults own a grill or smoker.”
In other words, there’s a future for cheeseburgers — beef or soy — and today’s the day to taste that future, with amazing app deals for burgermeisters everywhere.