Game-Changing Happy Hour News Regarding McCormick & Schmick's $1.95 Half-Pound Cheeseburger"/>
It's no longer $1.95. The price has changed to $2.95. I got the news last month and it's taken me some time to let it all soak in. That, and I can't get the suits at McCormick's to give me the time of day. This isn't just sad news for happy hour rats in our city. I called McCormick locations as far away as Birmingham, Alabama, and they've suffered the same fate in what one employee called a corporate-wide change. First Avenue's manager Kristen Erickson says the changed happened "recently," but insisted that it had nothing to do with the recession. "We've had a tiered menu for about a year. We've just had different pricing and decided to move the cheeseburger up to $2.95."
When asked how long McCormick's had been serving up the $1.95 burgers, Erickson directed me to he corporate office where an operator transferred me to the advertising department, apparently unaware that all of McCormick's advertising is now being outsourced, per the voice message. No matter. As far as I'm concerned the burgers were always $1.95, because it's been that way since I've been of legal happy hour age.
Look, $2.95 for an 8-oz patty w/cheese and fries is still a good deal. But, we no longer have a clear winner in the battle for the best happy hour downtown. HOWEVER, the burgers and onion rings at The Met are looking pretty strong right now.
Update: "To be honest with you, here has not been any kind of $1.95 burger backlash at all," McCormick & Schmick's spokesperson Jenny Storer told me this afternoon.
Storer went on to say that she couldn't remember how long the chain has been offering the happy hour -- at least 15 years -- but that the $1.95 half-pound cheeseburger had been on the menu since day one. Until this spring. And she insisted that price change had nothing to do with making up for costs or lost revenue thanks to the recession, and everything to do with a new tiered happy hour strategy. "We're still very proud to be able to offer the same burger," she said, mentioning the company didn't want to go the ice cream and cereal route of reducing the size of the product.
But, new tiered strategy? Seems to me that there have been tiers on the happy hour menu for quite some time. Nothing, of course, like the tears flowing today.