00:38 - Source: CNN
Burger King releases the "real cheeseburger"
Bangkok CNN  — 

Burger King is causing a stir in Thailand with its new offering: a burger with no meat and a jaw-dropping amount of cheese.

This week, the Thai operator of the fast food chain introduced what it calls the “real cheeseburger,” a bun filled with as many as 20 slices of American cheese.

The item launched on Thai menus Sunday, at a reduced price of 109 Thai baht ($3.1), compared with 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 no joke. This is for real,” Burger King said in a Sunday social media post.

At one 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 diners.

One customer who ordered the cheesy treat told CNN she’d 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 could only finish half of it,” she said, wiping her mouth with a tissue. “This is an insane amount of cheese added into one burger. Food is good when things are at the right combination.”

Im added that she would probably not order the gooey fare again next time: “Other burgers are already good. I think I will go back to my double cheese angus as usual.”

Another customer echoed that view, calling the cheeseburger “too intense.”

“I may not try it again. I like a few slices of cheese in my burger but not this much,” said Alisa Chuengviroj, a 26-year-old entrepreneur who sells skincare products online.

Like Im, she said she had visited the store after seeing many people post 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 zany or eye-catching menu options that they hope will spread across social media.

In the United States, Burger King has doubled down on the Whopper, a flame-grilled signature beef burger that has also taken off on platforms such as TikTok through a catchy commercial jingle that came out late last year.

Restaurants are also continuously tailoring their offerings to suit local tastes in different countries. In Thailand, cheese is especially 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 outlets for brands including Dairy Queen and Benihana, did not respond to multiple calls from CNN for comment Tuesday.