Arby's Breaks Tradition With Unexpected Menu Addition for the First Time Ever

Arby's slogan carries some weight when it says the chain has "the meats." The fast-food chain added to that saying with an unexpected addition to the menu in the form of hamburgers. The sandwich chain is entering the burger business for the first time ever, Arby's said Monday. The first burger, the "Wagyu Steakhouse Burger," will only be available through July 31 for $5.99, reports CNN.

The burger is a mix of Wagyu beef and ground beef, weighing 6.4 ounces. The patties are 52% American Wagyu and 48% ground beef, cooked "sous-vide style" to create a juicy and tender beef patty. Wagyu means "Japanese cow" and refers to specific cattle breeds known for producing "rich flavor and buttery tenderness."

The sandwich will also include American cheese, shredded lettuce, tomato, pickles, red onion, a "special burger sauce" and a toasted brioche bun. Arby's claims the sandwich is 50% bigger than a McDonald's Quarter Pounder.

Arby's promises this will be the "highest-quality burger the market has seen yet." Arby's chief marketing officer Patrick Schwing added, "Instead of focusing on making billions of mediocre burgers, we're taking a stance on high-quality meat that deserves to be cooked properly."

Arby's is owned by Inspire Brands, putting it under the same corporate umbrella as Jimmy John's Dunkin', Sonic, Baskin-Robbins, and Buffalo Wild Wings. There are only about 3,400 Arby's in the U.S., which is much smaller than its bigger rivals. Arby's is best known for its roast beef sandwiches, but the new burger offering could attract new customers looking for unique burger options.

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Although Arby's has a much smaller footprint than McDonald's or Burger King, the chain can still attract plenty of attention with splashy new items. In January, the company joined the "let's make everything spicy" trend by offering the Diablo Dare brisket or crispy chicken sandwich, which included a free vanilla shake to cool customers' mouths. The sandwich is served with ghost pepper jack cheese, fiery hot seasoning, fire-roasted jalapenos, and Diablo BBQ sauce. "Habanero, Ghost Pepper, Jalapeno, and Chipotle Peppers will be sure to leave your mouth on fire with every bite," Arby's teased. 

Arby's also recently began offering fish sandwiches again and added the Spicy Fish Sandwich to the menu. The Chicken Cheddar Ranch Sandwich also returned earlier this month. The Market Fresh Lemonades varieties also joined the menu. These drinks include Market Fresh Classic Lemonade, Market Fresh Strawberry Lemonade, and Market Fresh Peach Lemonade.