Burger King

Top 3 Trends from Biggest Q3 Calls

Quick-serve companies wrapped up their quarter earnings calls and investor meetings earlier this month, paving the way for the final fiscal term of 2011 (or, in Starbucks’ case, the beginning of fiscal 2012).

Here are a few things to learn about the industry from the results.

1. Premium menu items are the name of the game. Though customers have clamored for value-driven items throughout the recession, quick-serve companies are turning to higher-quality fare to appeal to frugal-fatigued consumers.

United Capital Refinances Multi-Unit Subway Operator

United Capital Business Lending, a subsidiary of BankUnited, announced today that it is providing $1,350,000 in financing to Subwayowner, CCreations LLC. United Capital refinanced eight existing stores for the Indiana-based franchisee, and will also provide funding to relocate and remodel some newly acquired locations. CCreations LLC operates more than 30 Subway restaurants in Indiana and Kentucky.

With the King Out of the Way, BK Offers New Crown to Kids

Burger King announced today a revamp of its kids’ meal option, launching the BK Crown Program for kids that updates its packaging and signature cardboard crown and makes the kids’ meal a more family friendly experience.

The updated Kids Meal now comes in a square cardboard box, attached to which is the new, slimmer crown, which has bolder colors and more jewels.

The rest of the box includes interactive games, puzzles, and activities for kids to play with their families. The box also directs customers to BKCrown.com, where there are more activities.

Are You Sure About That?

Wendy’s tries to become a kids’ place. Pizza Hut adds salad and pasta. Everybody changes their look, and now Burger King hangs up the High King.

Why do we make these kind of sweeping changes in our brands?

Well, sure, we do it to increase our market share by causing more visits from existing customers, new visits from noncustomers, and increased buying from everyone. But there are other reasons as well.

Let’s start with new products. Probably the most famous, risky, and huge change is a quick serve open for lunch and dinner adding breakfast. Just think about it.

BK Beefs Up Menu With Chef’s Choice Burger

Burger King unwrapped the new BK Chef’s Choice burger, its new premium, flame-grilled beef sandwich, appearing on menus nationwide. Superior from every angle, this 5.5 ounce flame-grilled burger is made with 100 percent ground chuck and is topped with thick-cut bacon, American cheese, crisp red onions, sliced tomatoes, Romaine leaf lettuce, and savory Griller sauce, all on an artisan-style bun that will surprise and delight taste buds.

Technomic Aims to Help Operators Get Into BRIC

In an industry where domestic growth has been elusive, U.S.-based restaurant chains are attempting to evolve into truly global brands, reaching emerging markets where less industry saturation and competition exists. As chains seek to establish footholds in these untapped markets, they are challenged to strike a balance between maintaining their brand identities while tailoring menu items and service formats to local preferences.

How to Name a Winning Menu Item

Enter a Souplantation in New Mexico and you might be enticed to try a bowl of Posole Soup, a Southwestern concoction made with pork, chilies, and tomatoes. “It’s one of my absolute favorites, I always get it,” says Souplantation CEO Michael Mack.

However, despite being one of the CEO’s preferred dishes, you won’t find Posole Soup at any of the company’s 120 other locations around the U.S. because the word posole doesn’t market well outside of the Southwest.

QSR Drive-Thru Performance Study

How does your brand stack up to the seven best drive-thru chains in the nation?

It’s true that different brands excel at different things, be it in the area of nutritional offerings, customer service, or speed.

It’s true, too, with drive-thru service; some brands perform better than the rest. And this year the QSR Drive-Thru Performance Study focuses on seven brands as a benchmark group that have consistently, year after year, risen to the top of the heap in drive-thru performance.

Drive-thru performance was first studied in 1998 to gauge the speed and accuracy of fast feeders and encourage the industry to improve its service. And improve it did:

May Be End of Summer, But BK Banks on New Soft Serve

Burger King Corp. celebrates the end of the summer season with the launch of a new, premium soft serve dessert menu to satisfy every sweet tooth across the country. From now through October 9, guests who purchase a BK Value Meal at participating Burger King restaurants nationwide can top off their meal with a free soft serve cone or cup.

Fast Food Still Gets the Love on Social Media

Despite the negative headlines that the fast food industry tends to generate, a new report shows that the vast majority of opinions about the industry on social media are positive.

A new study by New York City–based research firm Amplicate, “Public Opinion on Fast Food Chains in the U.S. on Social Media,” shows that 70 percent of all opinions posted about the industry on social media in the last year were positive.

Juan Alvarez, CEO of Amplicate, says his firm used a complex system to gather information across Twitter and Facebook about consumer sentiment.

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