Let’s focus on just one News Nugget for this Monday: The Return of the Melt.
I may have been too hasty in bum-rushing Perkins Restaurant & Bakery’s new-menu announcement to the news column last week. It seemed at first that Perkins was being just another entry on a growing list of mid-price chains saying they’ve seen the light (i.e. Five Guys, Smashburger, The Counter, etc.) and that they’re now improving their burgers. And it’s true that Perkins is doing that.
But look at its new menu and see that Perkins also is furthering another, less-publicized trend: the revival of the toast-based melt. In addition to the Sunrise Burger and Sassy Pepper Jack Burger, Perkins’ new menu includes a Bacon, Egg & Cheese Melt and a Frisco Roast Beef Melt, both on toasted sourdough.
Melts aren’t new, of course: Jack in the Box has offered its Sourdough Melt since 2004 and added the Sirloin Steak Melt (at right) in 2007. But after having been overshadowed by mini burgers for some time, melts are mounting a comeback. The Grilled Cheese Bacon Burger Carl’s Jr. is testing is a melt. So, too, is the Grilled Turkey Bacon Cheddar on “toasted artisan bread” that Jack in the Box tested with a one-day giveaway last week in Seattle.
Look who else is adding melts:
► Arby’s: the Roast Beef Patty Melt among its new $5.01 Combos
► Carrows: the new Pastrami & Swiss Melt on its $6.99 Bargain Lunch menu
► Cosi: the new Steakhouse Gorgonzola Melt
So we’re agreed? It’s a trend.