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 executives and franchisees this past year sat via 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 a pretty hard day,” recalls John Koch, Burger King’s executive chef.
It wasn’t the only one. Over the past year, Burger King evaluated most of its ingredients through the bacon for the cheese slices it serves on its char-grilled burgers included in per year-long pursuit to reverse years of slumping sales of its Whoppers and fries. The 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 considering that the chain opened its doors in 1954.
Burger King’s food odyssey shows how gruelling it may be for any fast-food company to generate new menu items – a process most Americans aren’t aware of when they’re handed a bag in a drive-thru window. Burger King is the latest chain to revamp its menu within the fast-food industry’s move away from its nearly single-minded courtship of boys. After the lifeblood in the industry, the economic crisis hit those junk food fanatics particularly hard. Concurrently, Americans have been demanding healthier options.
Burger King has did not evolve even while competitors have gone after new customers with breakfast items and healthier fare. Last year, Wendy’s the first time edged out BK menu as the nation’s No. 2 burger chain behind McDonald’s. To stem the decline, Burger King executives last year made a decision to remodel its ageing system of 7,200 stores so they are more contemporary, redesign worker uniforms with aprons so they stay neat and even serve the iconic Whopper in cardboard cartons instead of paper burger wrapping the very first time in than 20 years. The food, however, is at the heart of its plan.
Consumers have longed for further food options at Burger King, however the revamp is really a gam.ble. The brand new menu might not go far enough to differentiate Burger King from its competitors.
All things considered, there are striking similarities between Burger King’s new items and also the offerings of their much-bigger rival McDonald’s. The Golden Arches already presented specialty salads in 2003, snack wraps in 2006, premium coffee drinks during 2009, and fruit smoothies during 2010.
“Being an innovator is crucial within the fast-food industry,” said Darren Tristano, an analyst for food industry researcher Technomic Inc. But recently, he explained Burger King has become much more of a follower. Burger King executives don’t deny that its new products are pretty near those on McDonald’s popular menu. But they say the new menu was created because of this mhrnhb Burger King’s own research.
“Consumers wanted more choices,” said Steve Wiborg, president of Burger King’s The United States operations. “Not just healthy choices, but choices they can get in the competition.”
the fast-food industry has undergone a shift recently. Just five-years ago, the best three fast-food companies were all burger chains. But concerns over obesity have paved the way for competitors like Subway, now the second-biggest chain, and Starbucks, which climbed in the rankings for the No. 3 spot. Smaller players including Five Guys, which sells made-to-order burgers, are gaining ground too.
McDonald’s quickly adapted. The world’s biggest burger chain reinvented itself being a hip, healthier spot to eat by giving wireless Internet and rolling out a string of hit menu items such as fruit smoothies, iced coffees and oatmeal. Burger King failed to keep up. Its share of sales among Burger King fell from 17 per cent 10 years ago to 12 % this past year, based on researcher Technomic. McDonald’s share rose from 42 per cent to 50 percent.