When Burger King set about to fix its ailing empire, the fast food giant started by sizing up everything on the menu – even mayonnaise.A group of Burger King management and franchisees last year sat through a lengthy presentation complete with charts and graphs on how oils and eggs affect the quality of the spread. A blind taste test of 30 varieties followed. The verdict: They liked the one Burger King was already using.
“That was actually quite a hard day,” recalls John Koch, Burger King’s executive chef.
It wasn’t the only one. Within the last year, Burger King evaluated most of its ingredients from the bacon to the cheese slices it serves on its char-grilled burgers as part of a year-long mission to reverse years of slumping sales of their Whoppers and fries. The end result: On Monday, it plans to launch a lineup of smoothies, frappe coffees, chicken strips and snack wraps. The 10 new items mark Burger King’s biggest menu expansion because the chain opened its doors in 1954.
Burger King’s food odyssey shows how gruelling it could be for a fast-food company to create new menu items – a procedure most Americans aren’t aware of when they’re handed a bag with a drive-thru window. Burger King will be the latest chain to revamp its menu within the fast-food industry’s depart from its nearly single-minded courtship of boys. When the lifeblood in the industry, the downturn in the economy hit those junk food fanatics particularly hard. Concurrently, Americans have been demanding healthier options.
Burger King has failed to evolve even while competitors have gone after new customers with breakfast items and healthier fare. This past year, Wendy’s the very first time edged out Burger King as the nation’s No. 2 burger chain behind McDonald’s. To stem the decline, Burger King executives this past year made a decision to remodel its ageing system of 7,200 stores so they are more contemporary, redesign worker uniforms with aprons so that they stay clean and even serve the iconic Whopper in cardboard cartons instead of paper burger wrapping the first time in additional than two decades. The food, however, is at the heart of the plan.
Consumers have longed for more food options at Burger King, nevertheless the revamp is actually a gam.ble. The newest menu might not go far enough to differentiate Burger King looking at the competitors.
In the end, there are striking similarities between Burger King’s new items as well as the offerings of its much-bigger rival McDonald’s. The Golden Arches already presented specialty salads in 2003, snack wraps in 2006, premium coffee drinks in 2009, and fruit smoothies during 2010.
“Being an innovator is essential in the fast-food industry,” said Darren Tristano, an analyst for food industry researcher Technomic Inc. But in recent years, he said Burger King continues to be much more of a follower. Burger King executives don’t deny that its new items are pretty near those on McDonald’s popular menu. But they repeat the new menu was developed as a result mhrnhb Burger King’s own research.
“Consumers wanted more choices,” said Steve Wiborg, president of Burger King’s North America operations. “Not just healthy choices, but choices they could get in the competition.”
the fast-food industry has undergone a shift lately. Just five-years ago, the top three fast-food companies were all burger chains. But concerns over obesity have paved just how for competitors like Subway, the second-biggest chain, and Starbucks, which climbed up the rankings towards the No. 3 spot. Smaller players such as Five Guys, which sells made-to-order burgers, are gaining ground too.
McDonald’s quickly adapted. The world’s biggest burger chain reinvented itself as being a hip, healthier location to eat by offering wireless Internet and rolling out a string of hit menu items including fruit smoothies, iced coffees and oatmeal. Burger King failed to keep up. Its share of sales among Burgerking menu fell from 17 percent 10 years ago to 12 % this past year, according to researcher Technomic. McDonald’s share rose from 42 % to 50 per cent.