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Whopper (with cheese?)

Yesterday I was feeling lazy and in need of a fast food fix. I went to BK and while at the drive thru I ordered my Whopper. The voice behind the machine said "with cheese?' I politely said no, but then started to think about it. When did they start asking if you want cheese. To me the think about the Whopper has always been that it is basically a traditional hamburger, where as the Big Mac is a double decker hybrind in som esauce I don't really want to know about and a cold slice of cheese on it. Obviously, I'm over it, but when did cheese become part of the Whopper experience?

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  1. "Have it your way....have it your way" I guess that answers the question.

    1. They sometimes also ask you if you want bacon on it.

      1. I think the asking "with cheese?" thing is just about everywhere these days. Current fast-food culture dictates that cheese be on just about everything, so when someone asks if you want cheese, it's almost like they are saying "this item doesn't come with cheese and if you are expecting it to, then I'm doing you the favor of asking if you would like it with cheese." Also, at some places adding cheese is "upselling" and adds to the final cost and ultimately the bottom line of the fast food establishment. I don't think this is the case at BK...or is it?

        9 Replies
        1. re: ttoommyy

          It is upselling. Cheese is extra. Has been for a while. Whooper Jr, as well, can come with or without cheese.

          1. re: Fibber McGee

            I haven't been to BK in years so I did not know it was extra. OK, then...that's the answer to the OP's question: he was offered cheese because they want the extra $$.

            1. re: Fibber McGee

              Correct. Or in McDonald's parlance, "selling up."

              Whatever you order, they ask you to upgrade.

              I'd like one hamburger please.
              Would you like something to drink with that?

              I'd like a burger and Coke please.
              Would you like fries with that?

              I'd like a burger, Coke and fries please.
              Would you like an apple pie with that?

              I'd like a burger, large Coke, large fries and an apple pie please.
              Would you like to super-size that?

              I want a burger, Coke, fries and and apple pie - super-sized please.
              Would you like an ice cream sundae with that?

              1. re: scoopG

                I want a burger, Coke, fries and and apple pie - super-sized please and an ice cream sundae
                Would you like a defibrillator with that?

                  1. re: scoopG

                    I don't know if it's the case anymore but it used to be one of the six steps of serving at McD's (different fast food place, I know; BK expected it at the time but didn't have it officially as a step) and as servers, you'd get marked down if you didn't do it. It's more of a pain for the counter person than the customer when you have to do it w/ every order.

                1. re: ttoommyy

                  Those were the two things I was thinking about, too. Customers can get surprisingly irate if they don't get their cheese because they just assume it comes with it. It doesn't matter that it doesn't, they expect you to read their minds. So, it's easier to pre-emptively ask. And, it's also an easier upsell because customers usually think it's just getting additional information, not that they're being asked to buy an apple pie (people get irate about that, too). People get annoyed about everything--ask if they want cheese if they don't, don't ask when they do, etc., etc. There's no winning.

                  1. re: chowser

                    "People get annoyed about everything--ask if they want cheese if they don't, don't ask when they do, etc., etc. There's no winning."

                    Amen to that! Dealing with the public can be so aggravating at times.

                2. Cheese has been available since at least 1970

                  12 Replies
                  1. re: jfood

                    From an historical perpective, "available" is the key. It's been years (decades?) since I had a Whopper, but the "Whopper with cheese" was always a separate menu item. Unlike the Big Mac, which always had two slices of plastic as standard accoutrements.

                    1. re: alanbarnes

                      "Whopper with cheese" was definitely in my lexicon but, again, like you, not in decades. There's also "Junior Whopper with cheese." Yesterday on our 400 mile road trip we had the $1 double cheeseburgers. Whoppers are too messy to eat while driving.

                      ETA: oops, it's Whopper Junior not Junior Whopper :)

                      1. re: c oliver

                        Since I was a young Tyke, I always got my Whopper cut in half. I still do. They repeat the order back and use the terminology "separated".

                        They wrap it, cut it then wrap it again. No mess...

                        1. re: Cathy

                          I alwways got the chicken sandwich cut in half.

                          1. re: c oliver

                            Is that the new chicken sandwich they're pushing now with the "buy one-get one free" deal? I had one the other day and it tasted horrible.

                            1. re: monku

                              I don't think it's new at all but I think it's a BOGO yes. It's one of those tastes that just goes way, way back with me so I like it. But I haven't had one in a few years so who knows?

                              1. re: c oliver

                                Yes, I think it's their original chicken sandwich they're trying to promote interest in again. Buy one you get one for free. All I know was I was starving the other day and thought anything would be great, but it was far from it.

                              2. re: monku

                                I have not had one but I chuckle at the commercial. It looks to be a large sandwich, and I question how many customers have use for the second free one.

                                1. re: Veggo

                                  Bob and I would. But 99% of our fast food is due to being on the road. Doing drive-thru (Gypsy loves the fries) and eating out of our laps. Ixnay on the McRib, Jimboy Tacos, etc. due to drip factor.

                            2. re: Cathy

                              I wonder whether they would cut the Whopper into four pieces if you requested it ... could be an interesting experiment ... and if they do, take it from there ... sixteen pieces ... "I would like my Whopper cut into 128 pieces each of which is exactly identical to the next" ... have it your way indeed.

                        2. re: jfood

                          I was born in 1970 and of all the fast food burger joints, BK has always been my favorite. When I dine out at real burger joints, I always get a cheese burger (usually a bleu burger with bacon) but in all my years of going to burger king, I have never once ordered a whopper w/ Cheese. No clue why. Next time!

                          1. re: jhopp217

                            If I am lucky enough to get the whopper somewhat hot, the cheese will melt a bit and keep the burger warmer if I can't eat it immediately. I love the lettuce, raw onions and sometimes even the tomatoes on a whopper but they do keep their veggies ice cold so whoppers don't stay warm for long in my experience.

                        3. As long as I've been getting Whopper's, they never came automatically with cheese. Cheese was always extra. So yes, it's an upsell.

                          1. Been buying whoppers off and on since the chain first came to the suburbs of philly and I always had to ask for it with cheese and it was always quite a bit extra, even when they had whopper wednesdays. I used to ask for a cheese whopper but after my order got messed up a few times in the drive thru I learned to say with cheese to be sure I got my dang cheese.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: givemecarbs

                              Clearly a cheese whopper and a whopper with cheese is completely different, haha!

                              1. re: givemecarbs

                                On the occasion of our last road trip I had a Whopper Jr. with cheese, until then my standard order at BK (which I don't really frequent, unless on aforementioned road trips). It sucked so bad, I swore to never go back. The salad was yellow and mushy, and the whole thing tasted like salty baby food. Gross.

                                That said, I never eat hamburgers. A burger, to me, needs cheese.

                              2. One thing I always found odd was when I ordered the veggie burger and they almost always asked me if I wanted it with mayo, and I think I've encountered this with other burger joints and their veggie burgers. I guess some people are ordering these for diets and not as meat substitutes.

                                I always had mine with mayo. Damn I miss those things. No more soy for me :(

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: im_nomad

                                  But only a vegan would have a problem with the mayo, right? I still get confused about these things :)

                                  1. re: c oliver

                                    I get the impression it's more of a fat thing. I hear that many veggie burgers are not vegan anyway, and many people wouldn't eat something cooked in the same kitchen and potentially on the same grill. I could be wrong though.

                                    1. re: im_nomad

                                      Yes, vegetarian foods and vegan foods are worlds apart.

                                2. Whopper w/ Cheese has been around for as long as I can remember, but IMO the cheese ruins the whopper, it fights with the LTO....

                                  1. In my experience, Burger King has usually been asking "with cheese?" for every Whopper order since at least the late 1990s.

                                    Like what a lot of other people are saying, it's simple upselling. I prefer my Whopper without cheese so I almost always decline.

                                    To me, the Whopper is about a goodly amount of crisp veggies combined with the smoky flavor of the patty and the ketchup/mayo combo. Classic.

                                    1. Also...there may be people who order a Whopper that do not know/realize the default burger is served sans cheese (and bacon). Maybe they get it and complain..expecting cheese. Or complain when they receive it that they have been charged extra. It might be the King's way of saying..." This doesn't come with cheese (or bacon)..."
                                      It;s like a pizza joint asking you if you want toppings when you place an order for a cheese pizza special. The deal might be 2 pizzas for 13 dollars. The fine print says toppings extra.

                                      1. I only get to bk once or twice a year, but my order is always a whopper or a jr whopper, and I always specify, "with cheese." Before I started ordering it with cheese I think they've always asked me if I wanted cheese going back a couple decades.

                                        I've always been a bit of a fan of the bk breakfasts, too, but that's off topic, I guess.

                                        1. I always, and by "always" I mean the three times a year we eat BK, ask for my Whopper with cheese. My guess is that A LOT of people do ask for it with cheese, so they asked you if you wanted it with cheese to preemptively keep you from coming back saying ,"I wanted it with cheese,can I have a different one", which is something that probably has happened thousands of times at every BK in the world....because people probably forget that it doesn't have cheese (like the Big Mac) and forget to request it.

                                          Obviously you weren't over it when you created this post. But, don't take it as an affront to your "Whopper experience"'. My guess is that "the voice behind the machine" was just trying to be efficient.

                                          For the record, I don't like Big Macs. But my reason is that I just don't *get* the extra piece of bread in the middle. Plus, BK makes a far better burger.

                                          1. Is about money. Added cheese and / or bacon are big profit items.

                                            Many managers require their help at time of order to try and upsell. Your local BK is trying to make more money.