Burger King to invest $400 million in US restaurants | The Financial Express

Burger King to invest $400 million in US restaurants

The burger chain said on Friday the investment includes USD 250 million to revamp stores and update technology and kitchen equipment and USD 120 million for heavier advertising

Burger King to invest $400 million in US restaurants
Burger King's US sales plunged during the pandemic, then recovered in 2021, rising 5 per cent.

Burger King plans to invest USD 400 million in its US restaurants over the next two years to update its stores and boost flagging sales.

The burger chain said on Friday the investment includes USD 250 million to revamp stores and update technology and kitchen equipment and USD 120 million for heavier advertising.

Burger King also plans to spend USD 30 million upgrading its app to offer smoother ordering and personalized deals.

The moves come after several years of disappointing sales at Burger King’s 7,058 US stores.

In 2019, Burger King’s same-store sales — or sales at stores open at least a year — rose less than 2 per cent. By comparison, market leader McDonald’s US same-store sales were up 5 per cent.

Burger King’s US sales plunged during the pandemic, then recovered in 2021, rising 5 per cent. But that was still slower growth than McDonald’s, which saw US same-store sales jump 14 per cent in 2021.

Wendy’s overtook Burger King as the No. 2 US fast food chain by sales in 2020 and retained that spot in 2021, according to Technomic, a consulting company.

Restaurant Brands International, the Toronto-based company that owns Burger King, Tim Hortons and Popeyes, tapped Tom Curtis to lead the turnaround effort last summer.

Curtis, a longtime franchisee and operations executive at Domino’s, joined Restaurant Brands in 2021 and now serves as Burger King’s North America president.

Curtis said he spent the last year visiting many of the chain’s 400 franchisees in the US and Canada and asking them what they wanted the revamp to look like.

Curtis said updates will depend on each store’s needs, from upgraded digital ordering or menu boards to better kitchen equipment. Around 800 stores will see more significant remodels; some might be moved to accommodate two lanes of drive-thru, for example, while others might need refreshed interiors.

“Every restaurant is a snowflake,” Curtis said. “We will look at which projects will generate the best return and prioritize them first.” Widespread restaurant closures aren’t planned as part of the revamp.

Burger King will also renew focus on its Whopper burger, with new flavours building off that platform.

Curtis said the company will also continue to add to its chicken menu and is working on developing more breakfast and plant-based items.

Also Read: Queen Elizabeth II: How brands paid a tribute

Follow us on TwitterInstagramLinkedIn, Facebook

Get live Share Market updates and latest India News and business news on Financial Express. Download Financial Express App for latest business news.