Friday, December 23, 2011

Wine With That White Castle Burger?

Wine With That White Castle Burger?

Beer and fries please: White Castle burger chain to introduce alcohol

A 90-year-old hamburger chain is considering selling alcohol for the first time alongside its fast food.

White Castle, known for its square 'slider' burgers, is offering a glass of wine for $4.50 and beer from $3 at its restaurant in Lafayette, Indiana, as it bids to expand its market.

The fast food chain, famously featured in the 2004 film 'Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle', introduced the sale of alcohol after opening its Blaze Modern BBQ side-chains attached to some of its regular restaurants.

Jamie Richardson, a spokesman for the Columbus, Ohio-based White Castle System Inc, said: 'This was something that customers had been suggesting.

'They thought that beer and wine might go nicely with the barbecue that was available at Blaze.

'We're certain that we might have some customers who might enjoy some sliders and a beer or wine as well.'

The move has received a 'very positive' reaction in Indiana, and could be extended to all White Castle restaurants, as well as the co-branded Blaze Modern BBQ, Asian food brand Laughing Noodle and sandwich outlet Deckers.

David Henkes, vice president of the Chicago-based food research firm Technomic, said: 'Alcohol is one of those things that is extremely profitable to the operator.

'You get into some inventory issues. You get into whether distributors are willing to deliver to you because you're generally not doing a whole lot of volume in these categories.

'Typically, a lot of the employees in fast food are under 21, so you get into some service issues.'

Jim Kreml of Elk River, Minnesota, is a lifelong fan of White Castle food who eats at the restaurants 'a couple of times a week'.

He said: 'I know my wife would love that because she is a wine drinker.

'If they're of age and they drink that already, I think they'd be happy with that.'

White Castle is the latest franchise to consider selling alcohol. Earlier this year, Burger King opened the Whopper Bar South Beach in Miami which offers beer.

Starbucks has also been trialling beer and wine at a few sites across the U.S and chains like Chipotle and Shake Shack already serve alcohol.

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