An expensive inbound burger for international visitors with deep pockets.

On 18 April, Wendy’s released a limited-edition burger with a Western bent in Japan, and it became a hot topic online even before its release. Called the “Pretzel Roast Beef“, this new menu item is priced at 2,090 yen (US$13.53), and it’s only being sold at 15 branches, making it a rare burger in many senses of the word.

▼ We never let a rare burger pass us by, so we stopped by our nearest participating Wendy’s at Shinjuku South Exit to try one.

According to the chain, the Pretzel Roast Beef is “a high-quality burger made with carefully selected ingredients”, which is what you’d hope for, considering the high price point, and the promotional images for it are simply mouthwatering.

Image: Press release

When we actually received our burger and unwrapped it, it left a little to be desired in terms of appearance, but it earned full points for size, as it was overflowing with beef.

The burger packs a whole lot of meat inside the unusual pretzel bun, with a beef patty hidden beneath slices upon slices of roast beef.

A wasabi and kelp ponzu jelly adds some refreshing flavour to the mix.

The first thing that struck us when we took a big bite out of the burger was just how tasty the patty was. It created a delicious umami note that lingered in the mouth, standing strong against the flavour of the roast beef slices. The slices were extremely tender, making them very easy to eat, and the ponzu jelly had a relatively light taste to complement them.

Despite its meaty appearance, the burger was quite light, and though it was delicious, there wasn’t anything special enough to warrant the super high price point.

However, in a surprising twist, Wendy’s released the burger with the following message:

We hope that all foreign tourists visiting Japan will enjoy it as well.”

This message suggests that this is an “inbound burger“, with “inbound” being the term used for high-priced meals aimed at inbound tourists who have more money to spend than locals, especially now that the yen is so weak.

While inbound meals have appeared at tourist spots like the new Edo-themed onsen and restaurant complex near Tokyo’s fish market, this is the first time we’ve seen an inbound burger pop up at a fast food chain in Japan. It’s a strategic move by Wendy’s to create a burger aimed at the inbound market, and while we wait to see if other chains will follow suit, the burger can be purchased for a limited time at the branches listed below.

Participating Branches:

  • Shinjuku South Exit, Kinshicho
  • Hibiya Chante-mae
  • Ikebukuro North Exit
  • Ueno Asakusa
  • Roppongi
  • Aqua City Odaiba
  • Okegawa Benibana Walk
  • Takasaki
  • Tempozan Marketplace
  • Namba Ebisubashi
  • Umeda Shiba
  • Tamachi
  • Kyoto Shinkyogoku
  • Kyoto Daimarumae
  • Iwade

Whether you agree with the concept of inbound pricing for tourists  or not, there’s one thing we can all agree on — this new burger is certainly a lot more expensive than the pretzel burger Wendy’s re-released back in 2021.

Related: Wendy’s First Kitchen
Photos © SoraNews24
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[ Read in Japanese ]