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Burger King Revamp Aims at Higher-Priced Kin

Burger King Revamp Aims at Higher-Priced Kin

(photo by Creative Commons user Editor B)

Ashley M Heher | Associated Press

Chidsey said he thinks most franchise owners, who typically own both their restaurant’s building and the land, won’t have trouble obtaining finanacing and will be swayed once they see how sales can climb.

Morningstar analyst R.J. Hottovy said the reformulated restaurant could keep diners at the table longer but may not draw in enough extra diners to justify the cost.

“I don’t think they’ll change their perception,” he said. “They’re pretty entrenched in their reality.”

Fast-food restaurants typically get almost two-thirds of their business from drive-through or carryout orders. More appealing interiors could help the company compete with its sit-down counterparts that many customers think offer better food and better ambiance.

They might also help Burger King, the No. 2 burger food chain the U.S., stand out from larger rival McDonald’s Corp. and other competitors, including regional chains, who’ve begun to add bigger and better burgers as they clamor for a share of the growing burger market that’s worth $100 billion in the U.S.

“It’s a competitive necessity to square up against the competition,” Chidsey said.

Ron Paul, president of the food consultant company Technomic Inc., said he thinks the redesign shows just how determined Burger King is to compete with “fast casual” restaurant chains such as Chipotle, Starbucks and Panera, which customers think of as a cut above typical fast food.

“People in the fast-food category are recognizing they’ve been losing customers to the fast-casual player,” he said. “What this sounds like is an attempt to get that dining-in business back by making it an attractive environment.”

While the most noticeable changes will be inside restaurants, Burger King executives also plan to tweak exteriors, too, adding more signs proclaiming “Home of the Whopper.”

At the same time as the company is beefing up its value menu, temporarily adding a $1 double cheeseburger to U.S. menus. And it’s also in the final stages of installing new broiler ovens that cut energy use and will let the company roll out new menu items in the future.

On deck is Steakhouse XT burger, which has a thick patty topped with mayonnaise, fried onions, lettuce, steak sauce, cheese and tomatoes. It’s slated to join menus in February.

A service of YellowBrix, Inc.

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