Burger King Invests $400 Million in Plan to Recover U.S. Sales

The QSR aims to revamp its sites and technology and invest in advertising and digital.

September 13, 2022

MIAMI—Burger King has announced its “Reclaim the Flame” plan, which aims to improve sales and profits.

The fast-food chain will spend $400 million over the next two years on the initiative, spending $150 million on advertising and digital investments and $250 million on a "Royal Reset" involving restaurant technology, kitchen equipment, building enhancements and high-quality remodels and relocations. The company has more than 7,000 Burger King locations in the U.S.

"We are relentlessly pursuing a better experience for our guests. This is the driving force behind all the initiatives that we are executing collaboratively with our franchisees. 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," said Tom Curtis, president of Burger King North America.

Part of the plan includes new brand positioning. The restaurant chain is refreshing and modernizing its brand, according to the company, adding meaning and relevance to its historical brand anchors like “Flame Grilling” and “Have it Your Way,” and also bringing in new brand elements to attract a younger and more diverse customer.

Burger King is also revamping its menu. It plans to develop new Whopper flavors and is building a “destination worthy chicken sandwich portfolio.” The company is working on developing innovative burgers, breakfast, beverages, snacking and plant-based products, and the new menu will also include an everyday value offering.

The advertising part of the plan includes a new media agency to accelerate sales growth and amplify the changes Burger King is making. Participating franchisees have agreed to increase their advertising fund contributions through 2028 if certain profitability thresholds are met. Over 93% of Burger King franchisees have agreed to the Reclaim the Flame plan.

In addition, Burger King will invest $30 million through 2024, in excess of the digital fees collected from franchisees, to improve ordering on the Burger King app, including integrated payment processing, enhancing the company’s Royal Perks loyalty program, adding digital personalized offers and improving the overall convenience of delivery and pickup options.

The Royal Reset portion of the plan is two components. The first involves the company investing $50 million of capital over the next two years, plus a comparable co-investment from franchisees, to remodel about 3,000 restaurants, with upgrades including restaurant technology, kitchen equipment and building enhancements.

“These investments are designed to ensure our restaurants are ready to deliver an exceptional Guest experience as we work to drive traffic back to the system aided by our menu enhancements and Fuel the Flame advertising investment,” said Burger King in a statement.

Also, Burger King is launching a Royal Reset remodel program for franchisees that provides access to $200 million in funding for around 800 restaurant remodel projects over the next two years. The program will offer greater financial support to better operators, adding further incentive for franchisees to improve operations across the system.

Burger King reported flat sales growth for same-store sales in the second quarter, reports CNBC, coming in behind McDonald’s and Wendy’s. Over the last year, the fast-food chain has reported lackluster sales.

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