The largest franchisor in the U.S. is implementing a reduced nuggs policy at over 1,000 restaurants nationwide.
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Burger King's chicken nuggets and french fries
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If you count your chicken nuggets on your next trip to Burger King and seem to come up short, it's not a mistake: they're deliberately putting fewer nuggs in each order. According to a recent earnings call, Carrols Restaurant Group has made the decision to reduce the number of chicken nuggets from 10 to eight, and it has also pulled the Whopper from the discount menu and dropped the burger from its Two for $6 and Two for $5 promotions.

"As you may have recently read, the Burger King brand has about a dozen menu and promotional initiatives, some of which have already been implemented and some that will be implemented over the course of this year," Marketwatch quoted Carrols chief executive Daniel Accordino as stating during the call. "Recent actions in this regard from our franchisor[s] include lifting price caps on value menu items and reducing the number of nuggets [in] meals from 10 pieces to eight."

Accordino suggested that these changes are a result of price hikes throughout the supply chain and its own increased labor costs. "Domestic food, paper producers and distributors supplying most of our commodities are dealing with labor constraints, along with higher fuel costs and are passing the increases on to us," he said. "As a result, commodity inflation overall was approximately 16 [percent] this past quarter compared to the prior year period."

Carrols is the largest Burger King franchisor in the United States, operating 1,028 Burger King restaurants in 23 states. It's worth noting that — at least for now — its restaurants are the only ones that are pulling two nuggets out of each order. But the whole "The Whopper's No Longer on the Value Menu" thing affects all Burger Kings.

The fast food chain's parent company made that announcement earlier in the month. In an interview with Reuters, Restaurant Brands International CEO Jose Cil said that the "iconic" sandwich had "been on this core discount platform for too long." Restaurant Brands International also suggested that the prices of other menu items could be increased this year, but did not elaborate as to which offerings could be impacted, or when.

Burger King is not the only chain that has made changes to its value menu, or reduced its serving sizes, or both this year. Little Caesars has upped the price of its Hot-N-Ready pizzas for the first time ever, and Domino's has dropped two chicken wings from its $7.99 carryout deal in an attempt to keep the price point the same.

Enjoy your favorite Value, Discount, and Dollar menu items while you can, because it seems inevitable that additional changes will be coming.