Burger King plans to invest $400 million over the next two years in advertising, digital platforms, technology, remodels and relocations to spur franchise growth in the United States, the company said Friday.
The Miami-based division of Toronto-based Restaurant Brands International Inc. said its “Reclaim the Flame” plan includes $150 million in advertising and digital investments over the next two years and $250 million for restaurant technology, kitchen equipment, building enhancements, remodels and relocations.
Tom Curtis, president of Burger King North America, unveiled the plan at the annual U.S. franchisee convention this week. It was developed in collaboration with Burger King Franchisees and endorsed by more than 93% of U.S. restaurants, the company said.
“Our plan is focused on a few important priorities — operational excellence, refreshed image, and enhanced marketing — that when put together, provide a superior experience for our guests,” Curtis said in a statement.
Burger King’s investment will work to enhance ongoing franchisee investments to modernize the restaurant portfolio.
Burger King franchisees representing more than 93% of all U.S. restaurants have endorsed the plan and have agreed to co-invest in increased advertising firepower over the coming years. These corporate investments are in addition to Burger King recently expanding its field team to provide increased support to franchisees.
Jose Cil, CEO of Restaurant Brands International, said: “We believe now is the time to make a significant investment to accelerate the work given the quality of the team, focus of the plan, commitment of our franchisees and the opportunity that clearly exists for our iconic brand to ‘Reclaim the Flame’ and be the first choice for a high-quality meal, an exceptional experience, and a great value."
Major parts of the plan include brand positioning. “Burger King is refreshing and modernizing its brand, adding meaning and relevance to historical brand anchors like ‘Flame Grilling’ and ‘Have it Your Way’ while also introducing new brand elements to broaden its attraction for a younger and more diverse base of guests,” the company said in a statement.
The company, in an agreement with its franchisees, will invest $120 million in its U.S. advertising fund over the next two years to grow traffic and accelerate sales growth. The Burger King advertising investment represents an annual increase of about 30% to the brand's media purchasing. Following the investment period in 2023 and 2024, participating franchisees have agreed to increase their advertising fund contributions by 50 basis points through 2028 if certain profitability thresholds are met.
Burger King said it will invest $30 million through 2024, in addition of the digital fees collected from franchisees, to support services such as payment and loyalty on the smartphone application. The brand's digital channels now generate about $900 million in annual systemwide sales in the United States.
The company also will invest $50 million over the next two years for a restaurant refresh program that is expected to affect about 3,000 of the company’s more than 7,000 domestic units. Another $200 million was designated for a remodel program that is expected to impact about 800 restaurants over the next two years.
Founded in 1954, Burger King has more than 18,700 locations in more than 100 countries and U.S. territories. Parent Restaurant Brands International also owns the Tim Hortons, Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen and Firehouse Subs brands.
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