Advertising Age:

Soon, the troubled casual-dining industry won’t just be worrying about its nearest competitor — Burger King could be closing in as well with a new slate of premium items, including ribs and thicker burgers.

“These up-market products are going to meet with great reception, great value for the money perceptions, and they cook out beautifully on the new equipment,” CEO John Chidsey said on a recent earnings call with investors. “We have license as Burger King to be in the business of thicker burgers, products like ribs, and I won’t go any further because there are still some that are under wraps.”

A Burger King franchisee who is not participating in the tests said that options are still being tested, and it’s too early to say what the specific offerings will be.

But it’s not just about ribs. Russ Klein, BK’s president-global strategy, said the products are about expanding the chain’s “barbell” menu strategy with a variety of both low- and higher-price items. “Value for the money also comes with premium products that are on par with casual dining that are available for a fraction of the price,” he said. “So, we work the value for the money equation on both ends of our menu.”