Burger King Launching Rebranding Campaign

  • Burger King is launching a major advertising and renovation plan.
  • The chain will invest $400 million in rebranding its reputation as a premium fast food chain over the next two years.
  • Burger King has lagged behind other burger chains with sluggish sales.

Burger King is launching a campaign to invest $400 million over the next two years to focus on US growth and rebranding as a premium fast-food restaurant.

The “Reclaim the Flame” campaign consists of two pieces: $150 million in advertising and digital investments, and $250 million for upgrading restaurant equipment, remodeling older locations, and relocating underperforming stores. It was first announced by Burger King North America president Tom Curtis at the chain’s annual convention in early September.

Part of the campaign will focus on “premium branding,” by attempting to elevate the perception of the signature Whopper and creating a “destination worthy chicken sandwich portfolio,” Burger King said in a statement.

Burger King has been in the midst of a major rebrand for several years now. In 2021, the chain overhauled logos and branding for the first time in 20 years, returning to a classic look that emphasized the Whopper and natural colors. 

The chain spent much of 2022 paring down menus to simplify operations and give customers a better ordering experience, alongside the addition of digital menu boards at most drive-thrus. The changes were part of a plan to cut drive-thru times, which made up 80% of sales as of 2021. 

Burger King has plenty of ground to cover to compete in the fast-food world. It had the seventh highest US fast food sales in 2021, according to QSR’s annual Top 50 Report. Burger King lagged behind McDonald’s, Chick-fil-A, Taco Bell, Wendy’s, and other big names in terms of US sales in 2021, despite having more US locations than Chick-fil-A and Wendy’s.

Burger King’s changes so far haven’t shown a material improvement in sales. US sales shrunk slightly in the most recent quarter that ended in June, down 0.3% over the previous year. Other burger competitors were up in the same period, McDonald’s at 3.7% and Wendy’s at 3.5%.

The rebrand could be what Burger King needs to inject life back into the brand. US franchisees have endorsed the rebrand and committed to added investment in advertising, according to a statement. 

“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,” Jose Cil, CEO of Burger King parent company Restaurant Brands International, said in a statement. 

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