The deal includes Bacon Cheeseburgers, Chicken Jr. sandwiches, fries, and soft drinks.

Savvy shoppers know the best deals often don’t come until after Christmas, and the same can be said for fast food. New value menus are often unveiled in January, when customers are recovering from holiday splurges. (For instance, McDonald’s most recent Dollar Menu was launched on January 4, 2018.) But with the pandemic forcing many Americans to limit spending at all times of year, Burger King is firing the opening shot in what may be a new round of value menu wars early. Today, the chain announced plans to launch their new dollar menu before the end of the year: December 28.

BK’s new $1 Your Way menu will feature just four items, all for exactly one buck at participating locations nationwide: a Bacon Cheeseburger, a Chicken Jr. sandwich, Value Fries, or a Value Soft Drink. “We know that value is extremely important to our guests, especially now,” Ellie Doty, chief marketing officer for Burger King North America, said in the announcement, acknowledge the bleak economic situation facing many Americans.

Burger King exterior
Credit: Shutterstock / makesushi1

“When we think about what might resonate with our guests at any given time of year, setting aside the macroeconomic times, we heavily consider how they're thinking and feeling—what's going on in our guests' lives that we might be able to be a solution,” she told Business Insider. “When we promote a value menu or launch $1 Your Way menu, being sensitive to when that might be most useful to our guests is definitely top of mind.”

However, given the impact of COVID-19, setting aside “macroeconomics” is virtually impossible, and speculation seems to be that the pandemic’s economic fallout will leave fast-food chains competing for business with value items. As mentioned, McDonald’s current $1 $2 $3 Dollar Menu is about to complete its second year—meaning it could be ready for an overhaul. And though Doty didn’t explicitly mention McDonald's, she did seem to hint at the complexity of their competitor’s menu.

“It's important for us to be offering everyday value that's consistent and easy for the guests to understand and that doesn't require them to jump through a lot of hoops to access it,” Doty was quoted as saying. Assuming Burger King has been eyeing up the competition, these kinds of streamlined value menus could be 2021’s new trend.

In the short term, however, Burger King’s new value menu launch also comes with another odd little promotion. To help publicize the deal, the chain says they’ll be surprising select customers by depositing $1 into their Venmo accounts from now until the Your Way menu launches. Don’t ask how BK got your info ... a dollar is a dollar?