Burger King plans on making all locations 100% digital: RBI CEO
Burger King lovers will soon be able to order, purchase and receive a Whopper without interacting with another human.
The CEO of Toronto-based Restaurant Brands International (RBI), which owns fast food chains Burger King, Tim Hortons and Popeyes, told BNN Bloomberg on Friday that all Burger King locations worldwide will eventually be “100 per cent digital.”
“It’s better for the guests, because they have a better guest experience, it’s better for our team members, because it reduces the stress that they feel in some of the interactions and allows them to focus on delivering a great product and great experience,” Josh Kobza said in the television interview.
“And it’s a win for our franchisees because it improves operational efficiency and tends to help with margins as well.”
Kobza said that there are already fully digital Burger King restaurants in places outside the U.S. and Canada that have seen success, and the company is ready to bring digital stores to U.S. and Canadian consumers.
One of the main aspects of digitization has been the introduction of kiosks, which allow customers to order and pay without interacting with an employee, though Kobza said they’ve been slow to take hold in Canada.
“While the U.S. and Canada have been a little bit slower on the uptake of kiosks, we think the time is coming, and we’re starting to see really great results,” he said.
“We’re in the process of rolling out kiosks to all of our Burger King company restaurants, and in the restaurants we’re in so far, the reception has been great.”
Kobza said that in the U.S., digital sales from Burger King and Popeyes were up 40 per cent year-over-year in the third quarter.
SALES TRAILED ESTIMATES IN Q3
RBI stock was down Friday following the release of third-quarter earnings, which saw Burger King fall short of growth estimates. Tim Hortons and Popeyes, meanwhile, beat projections in the third quarter, and same-store sales were up across the board, Kobza said.
“Stepping back, I was really happy with the quarter,” he said.
“If you look at the business overall, globally, we posted seven per cent same-store sales. That’s a great outcome in the quick-service restaurant business, and it was consistent across all of our different brands.”
In the fall of last year, Burger King announced a US$400-million investment in what it calls its “Reclaim the Flame” plan to “accelerate sales growth and drive franchisee profitability” in the U.S.
The plan comprised of $150 million in advertising and digital investments, and a $250 million investment in new restaurant technology, equipment and building enhancements.
“We’re seeing great returns on those investments. The same-store sales have gotten better each quarter, and while traffic had been weaker in prior quarters, we’ve been consistently making progress on that front,” Kobza said.
“What we shared today is that our traffic for the third quarter was actually flat, which is the best result that we’ve had in quite some time.”
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