What’s a burger without fries? Burger King finds creative solution to potato shortage


A side of fries with a burger is a staple. But countries like Japan depend on American growers for most of the frozen potatoes processed into fries and sold in big chains — and dwindling potato supplies have left fast-food chains in distress.

Burger King, which operates over 150 restaurants in Japan, has found a way around the shortage. Until new supplies finally arrive, customers are being asked to trade fries for something Japan has no shortage of: ramen noodles.

Customers in Japan can have crunchy ramen with their burgers instead of fries

CBS News

Burger King calls it the “Fast Potato Set,” which includes a burger and a side of crunchy ramen noodles. The noodles are nice and salty but not the same.

Customers in Japan told CBS News’ Lucy Craft that the ramen might not be a permanent solution.

“I’d be sad without fries,” said one person. “I always get fries with my burger.”

“If Burger King only had crunchy ramen, maybe I’d just go to McDonald’s,” said another.

Burger King said its unusual offerings have earned it loyal fans, adding that many have given up fries as a show of loyalty. The chain also considered replacing fries with options like fried squid, apple pie, and even cooked ramen.

Burger King isn’t the only fast-food chain struggling with spud shortages. Last winter, rival McDonald’s had to ration fries and potato nuggets for nearly a month.

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