Burger King’s strategy for success? Be more like McDonald’s. And maybe toss some tropical mango into the drinks.
Among the slew of new offerings available at the fast-food chain: garden salads, snack wraps, real fruit smoothies and frappes. Sounds an awful lot like the selection served further up the quick-service food chain at the golden arches.
But Burger King will do what it takes to win the game, which at the moment is one of catch-up. The Florida chain, which isn’t close to eclipsing McDonald’s presence, had its second-place rank in the burger market snatched from it by Wendy’s last month. That’s even after the company dethroned its creepy monarch mascot.
In Burger King’s largest single unveiling in its 58 years, the company added a variety of healthier options to its menu (also a tactic recently employed by McDonald's). The chicken snap wraps are each less than 400 calories; the smoothies use low-fat yogurt.
The less slimming add-ons focus instead on the shift toward multiculturalism in the fast-food space, with crispy chicken strips served with sauces such as kung pao or roasted jalapeño barbecue.
Burger King will send out food trucks with samples starting April 18.
The McDonald’s comparisons hardly stop there. Burger King’s thousands of restaurants are undergoing deep changes, including new employee uniforms and packaging as well as digital menu boards and drive-thru upgrades. McDonald’s has experimented with self-serve touchscreen ordering kiosks as well as fast-casual stylings and family-focused interior design.
Burger King has also hired a supernova of celebrities to help plug its products. The star-spangled roster includes soccer god David Beckham, funnyman Jay Leno, singers Mary J. Blige and Steven Tyler, and, in Spanish-language ads, actresses Salma Hayek and Sofia Vergara.
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