Burger King’s operational improvements are starting to pay off

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Burger King is working to improve the operations of its business in the United States. This focus is starting to pay off. / Photography: Shutterstock.

Burger King’s U.S. same-store sales rose 4% in the third quarter, parent company Restaurant Brands International said Thursday.

It was the best result for the struggling business since the second quarter of last year and it came despite a rapidly changing restaurant environment. It also continued to close the gap between Burger King and its fast food rivals.

The company said sales increased thanks to a renewed focus on its Whopper and higher prices.

Some also came from the Miami-based chain’s Royal Crispy Chicken Sandwich line, which the company launched in August.

This sandwich, Restaurant Brands International CEO Jose Cil said Thursday, is a demonstration of the method in which Burger King adds new products. The company is focused on “high-quality menu innovation” with core products that “ensure consistent operational execution with minimal disruption.”

The sandwich, he said, “strengthens a core product category and is a strong, well-tested product.”

“We are very encouraged by the results,” Cil said. “We get big volumes with lots of repeat guests.”

Burger King’s Royal Crispy Chicken Sandwich range is in many ways a microcosm of the changes the brand has made this year to focus on operations. And he replaces a sandwich that symbolized some of his challenges.

In 2021, Burger King introduced a Hand Breaded Ch’King Chicken Sandwich which was well reviewed. The sandwich was designed to compete with a lot of upgraded fast food chicken sandwiches and it performed well in testing. Yet its overall performance was poor, leading to weak sales and ultimately the burger chain’s management team overhaul.

Parent Restaurant Brands International has since announced plans to invest $400 million in marketing and renovations as part of a broad brand turnaround.

The Ch’King was more difficult from an operational standpoint, which may have played a role in its poor sales. Burger King has since hired Tom Curtis to lead North American operations, and one of his main focuses has been operations.

The new line of sandwiches was designed to be easier for franchisees to execute.

With Burger King spending at least $120 million on marketing and more than that on renovations, its focus on improving store operations is seen as key to its future. The brand has hired more field staff. The company will also focus more of its financial aid on renovations to better operators and stores where a renovation will generate the most return.

“It’s fundamental to the plan,” Cil said in an interview. “To get to where we think we need to be, revenue growth, profitability, unit growth, system sales growth, the foundation has to be engaged franchisees, with great restaurants.”

Plus, he added, operations involve a lot more these days. “The idea of ​​operations has evolved tremendously,” Cil said. “It’s not just what we were thinking about in terms of operations. Digital is becoming more and more important. There are different modes of service. All of this is really the basis of Burger King’s success. »

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