Habit Burger Grill cooks up a kids’ meal—for adults

Marketing Bites: The fast-casual burger chain repositions value; restaurants gear up for March Madness.
Habit Burger Grill Grown-Up Meal
The Habit Burger Grill is introducing a value-priced Grown-Up Meal for a limited time. | Photo courtesy: The Habit Burger Grill
Marketing Bites

Are you a grown-up who has ordered a kids’ meal from a fast-food place?

It’s OK. This is a judgment-free zone. Sometimes the prospect of a plastic superhero with your burger and fries can be pretty compelling.

Well, The Habit Burger Grill is on to you. And it’s got a new Grown-Up Meal limited-time offer to prove it.

The Irvine, Calif.-based chain sponsored a survey of 2,000 adults that found that three-quarters of them support grown-ups ordering from the kids’ menu but most are too embarrassed to do so themselves. Just 20% said they’d actually ordered a kiddie meal for themselves, the survey found.

The Grown-Up Meal was born: A full-sized Charburger, small fries and regular drink complete with a plastic-wrapped mini gummy burger treat.

At $6, it’s actually a bit cheaper than Habit’s kids’ meal, depending on the location.

At the Glendale, Calif., Habit Burger, for example a Charburger is $5.59, small fries are $3.49 and a fountain drink is $2.99, for a total of $12.07, making the Grown-Up Meal quite a deal.

“We’ve spotted a trend: Savvy adults covertly ordering off the kids’ menu to manage expenses,” CMO Jack Hinchliffe said in a statement. “But why the hush-hush? We say, own it! That’s why we’re flipping the script by allowing grownups to experience kids’ meals, offering the savings of a kid’s meal without compromising on portion size.”

With brands around the country looking to lure lower-income consumers, a $6 Grown-Up Meal seems like a pretty solid idea—so long as it balances the demands of the bottom line with the low-cost dreams of inflation-pressed adults.

March Madness is nearly upon us

At Restaurant Business, I’m occasionally referred to as the “sports editor.” It’s a running joke because, while I often wind up writing about the intersection of sports and restaurants, I know about as much football, baseball and basketball as a basket of chicken strips.

Which brings us to March Madness. (Google tells me it starts Tuesday and runs through April 8.) Don’t ask me about my bracket, unless we’re making one for restaurant deals. In which case, I have many from which to choose:

  • Red Robin is offering a select gourmet burger for $12 each week during March Madness. The casual-dining chain is also offering a feed-a-crowd selection of five pounds of chicken wings, a sauce bar and carrot sticks for $49.99
  • BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse partnered with Hav A Sole to donate sneakers to children in need. Diners who donate $1 or more on their restaurant bill will get a coupon for a free Pizookie dessert for their next visit.
  • Pretzel purveyor Auntie Anne’s will again sell its Basketball Buckets, filled with Original, Cinnamon Sugar, Pepperoni Nuggets or Mini Dogs.
  • Twin Peaks’ customers have the chance to compete for a $2 million grand prize by predicting the winners of all 63 March Madness games in the men’s tournament. The best overall bracket will win a $5,000 Twin Peaks e-gift card. On Sunday, guests will receive free fried pickles with a $20 purchase.
  • Competing sports bar chain Hooters is also serving up a March Madness bracket challenge. Those who complete a bracket at HootersHoops.com will receive a coupon for a free appetizer with a beverage purchase to be used during the tournament’s first round.
  • Wendy’s is selling $1 Dave’s Singles and $2 Dave’s Doubles, declaring itself the Official Hamburger of March Madness.


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