If you’re like me, you’ve noticed a huge decline in the traffic at Burger King. This can be due to a number of reasons. One of which is because you have so many new options for food these days. And whenever you have new market entrants, there can be an erosion of sales for bigger brands because of the increase in competition. So recently, I decided to visit Burger King to see if they are still the king or if there was room for improvement.
I hadn’t been in a while, so this was like a first impressions experience, but evaluating the restaurant, this time, through a business lens. That said, there were a few things I would consider changing, such as the orientation of the kitchen, but such changes would be too costly. So, I’m only going to focus on strategies that Burger King can implement right now; and for little to no cost.
Before we look at the first strategy, I want to bring to your attention my 90-Day Online Launch Guide, which contains a list of actionable steps you can take to launch an online business. In the guide, I cover what to sell if you have limited time and financial resources, ideas for how to make money online, how to build an audience when you're new, and recommended software and services to run your business. By the way, everything is free and you can access the guide right now.
Alright let’s look at the first strategy:
Strategy Number 1: Shrink your menu
Dear Burger King, your menu was too big. I suggest minimizing it: a lot. This is important for a few reasons. The first is because that’s the way the trend is going. Many of the top performers in this space are dominating with significantly smaller menus. Sometimes when your menu is too big, it diminishes the quality of your core product and even the overall experience… because if a customer tries something they don’t like, it often affects the quality of the entire brand. And with most people, you only get one shot to make a positive impact. A smaller menu also improves customer efficiency. Too many menu choices creates ambiguity and decreases efficiency; or more specifically, the speed at which customers are ushered through the lines. The last thing you want is for the customer to take forever trying to decide what they want.
Here is another change I would make: Remove any desserts from the in-store menu and only offer two sides: fries and onion rings. Reducing the number of menu items will also cut costs. If you don’t want to get rid of certain items, make them available exclusively via mobile ordering. In this case, it makes sense because statistically, we know that people are willing to pay a premium or a higher ticket for mobile orders.
Strategy Number 2: Eliminate "limited" menu items
Again, another suggestion related to the menu. When you introduce a new product, run the promotion only for a limited time. But do not make it a permanent menu item (i.e. Rodeo burger). It's okay to bring it back on occasion to create scarcity and make it more desirable. But the focus should always be on the main menu items, which are your best-selling burgers are maybe chicken products.
Strategy Number 3: Refocus on what made you unique
Many don’t necessarily know what originally made Burger King unique. It was the flame grilled or charbroiled burger. If possible, you want to deliver that messaging in a more prominent way. Without some level of differentiation, consumers might lump your signature products with other substandard or non-exciting burgers. It’s just too competitive now. You can’t just rely on, "Oh, we got the Whopper!" Nobody cares. You have to say, "Our Whopper is made with our signature charbroiled all-beef patties, which gives it its unique flavor."
Strategy Number 4: Establish a custom beverage
Have Coca-Cola create an exclusive flavor for Burger King. This strategy will initially create curiosity; people will want to try it. But if it’s good, it will also boost sales long term.
Strategy Number 5: Utilize neon "Open" sign
When I drove by at night, I couldn’t tell if your store was opened or closed. There were no other cars in the drive through. At night, you only have a split second to determine if a restaurant is opened or closed. For many stores, the lobbies might close at 9 or 10. But the drive through is often open longer. As a consumer, I want to see some sort of clear indicator that the store is open. So I suggest utilizing a neon "Open" sign or "Drive Through Open" sign. Make it obvious without me having to pull over and research your store hours on my phone.
These are the 5 business survival strategies that I believe can revitalize and potentially save Burger King. If you found the information helpful, please share it with a friend.
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