However, Burger King lapped several impactful offerings in the period, such as the Double Quarter Pound King and Spicy Crispy Chicken Sandwich, and was unable to generate similar performance. The Grilled Chicken Sandwich “did not preform to our expectations,” and "didn't have the connection to the guest as we were expecting," Cil said. Couple that with the lagging breakfast sales and Burger King put together a slower product run than typical.
On top of the BK Café launch, Cil said the reintroduction of Burger King’s Angry Whopper and innovations around its King’s Collection platform should reignite transactions. And then there’s the impending arrival of the plant-based Impossible Whopper.
Burger King unveiled the product on April Fool’s Day with a social media campaign based on fooling customers into thinking it was the original deal. It generated more than 6 million media impressions, Cil said.
The 59-restaurant test in and around St. Louis sparked significant interest beyond social media. Cil said Burger King plans to expand to a few more select test markets over the summer as it prepares for a national launch later in the year.
A key result, he added, was that customers didn’t swap the Impossible option for original Whoppers. Orders have been incremental. In other terms, those guests picking it are new users. So it’s opening Burger King to a different customer segment, Cil said.
“We think it's very much in line with our brand position,” he said. “Burger King is all about delivering flame-grilling excellence to our guests and this product fits that right in the sweet spot.