The Burger King mascot is being dethroned as the world’s second-largest burger chain takes on sweeping changes to attract new clientele.
Declining sales over the past few years have led Burger King’s parent company, 3G Capital, to initiate a complete makeover including advertising, the menu and the restaurants themselves, according to CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald. Several franchisees have already undergone the changes; however, the nation-wide change will happen gradually.
While the Whopper will continue to be the restaurants mainstay more than a dozen new products will be introduced, including a new premium home style burger on a brioche bun with thick-cut bacon, romaine lettuce and a new spicy pepper grill sauce.
Are burgers passé? Opt for a chicken-and-apple salad with blue cheese or an Asian Chicken salad with baby edamame, red cabbage and sesame lime vinaigrette. The new menu will also feature a chicken BLT wrap with bacon and country Dijon mustard.
Other items being tested include a low-fat vanilla yogurt parfait with granola, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries; Oatmeal with dried fruit and maple sugar; vanilla soft-served ice cream sundaes; and mango and mixed-berry smoothies made with 100 percent all natural fruit purees.
“As we develop new products we’re focusing on best in class and quality,”3G vice president Jonathan Muhtar told the paper. “In the past there were compromises made with our food for ease of operation and to take costs out of the product. Food quality and taste has to come first. Consumers come to Burger King because we’ve traditionally stood out for having great tasting food.’’
In addition to a healthier menu Burger King will also lose their circa 1970s earth-tone decor in exchange for a contemporary red-and-black color scheme. The new design aims to make the restaurants more hip and contemporary, with a sleek new look inside and out.
Seating options will be more varied with movable tables for large parties.
One final distinctive change is the removal of Burger King’s mascot, The King, instead new advertising will focus on the food.
Of those who have agreed to the change is franchisee Tom McDonald, who opened a new restaurant in Las Vegas last year featuring the updated image, who has watched sales rise nearly 15 percent compared to the restaurant he shut down just around the corner.
“Part of the reason for our sales decline was that we had an outdated image,” McDonald told the paper. “We’re playing catch up to our competitors. The reaction has been extremely positive from virtually everyone that sees it.”
The goal is to convert 1,000 restaurants over the next 18 months.