New York (CNN Business) – The past few years have been tough for Burger King.
Missteps during the pandemic have left the series behind the competition. In recent quarters, Burger King has been trying to catch up, and the company now hopes that massive investment in restaurants and advertising will help drive growth and put it ahead of its peers.
Over the next two years, Burger King, which is owned by Restaurant Brands International (QSR), plans to invest $400 million to boost the brand: $250 million will go toward technology and kitchen upgrades and restaurant remodels, and $150 million in advertising and digital products. Franchisees will also invest in improving the brand.
An essential part of that plan? Remind customers of what Burger King is all about: The Whopper.
“What we really want to do in the short term is remodel America’s love affair with Whopper,” Tom Curtis, President of Burger King North America, told CNN Business. The plan is to ensure that workers are well trained to deliver the best possible weft, and that kitchens support consistency and ease of preparation.
The fast food giant will also lean towards advertising its flagship burger.
“I don’t think we talked about it enough,” Curtis said. “I don’t think we celebrated it enough.” “And I’m looking forward to getting it back in its rightful place as our main business.” Through the advertisement, Burger King wants to remind customers that whoppers are grilled and customizable. But Curtis said some other tweaks could also happen in-store.
He said the brand was “evaluating whether there were changes to Whopper that could make it a better product.” But the team also does not want to risk playing with its most famous show. “[Estamos] A little bit in the field if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” Curtis said.
During the pandemic, restaurants have had to quickly adjust their business models to deal with disrupted supply chains, closed dining rooms, and increased demand for delivery. Burger King did not cope well.
“Over the past few years during the pandemic and out of the pandemic… [Burger King Estados Unidos] He hasn’t done a great job at adjusting our business to the environment,” RBI CEO Jose Seal told CNN Business. “We don’t simplify.”
In the midst of this pandemic, many restaurants quickly scaled back their menus to streamline kitchen operations when delivery orders suddenly spiked. Workers who struggle to fulfill orders online can at least avoid complicated preparations.
But Burger King did the opposite.
“We actually complicated things, added menu items … that were more difficult and not necessarily intuitive and typical to present,” Sell said.
Specifically, Cil talks about Ch’King, a hand-breaded chicken sandwich the chain introduced last year. Sell said the product “created a lot of bottlenecks operationally”.
Problems pushed Burger King back as competitors advanced. In the second quarter of this year, sales at US Burger King restaurants open for at least 13 months increased only 0.4%. Sales at McDonald’s US restaurants open at least 13 months increased 3.7% in that period.
Burger King recently retired from Ch’King, replacing it with the Royal Crispy Chicken Sandwich.
Curtis said Ch’King “was a great product that was either difficult or difficult for teams to implement.” “The best thing for dinner is the great flavor and consistency. That’s why Royal Crispy Chicken, which we just launched, serves both.”
Curtis added that while Burger King continues to work on other menu innovations, it will have to balance ease of implementation with elements that get customers excited.
Remodels and rewards for upgrades
To help increase restaurant sales and traffic, Burger King is making other improvements, including making restaurants look more modern.
The chain plans to redesign about 800 restaurants in the next two years.
The idea, Curtis said, is to have a consistent branding, but with custom designs that make sense for the environment. Burger King in town may be smaller, with a greater focus on digital demand. In a rural town, you may have more seats.
Burger King has already started updating its image. The brand modified its logo last year and changed the packaging, uniforms, and signage to the new look. A few years ago, he shared what the remodeled restaurants would look like: three lanes of cars, mini cabinets of burgers, and dining tables.
The company also wants to make it easier for customers to use the chain’s mobile app, renew its rewards program by offering personalized digital offers, and make express delivery and pickup more convenient.