Published On: Sat, Aug 9th, 2014

Daniel Schwartz’s Burger King Believes in Small Changes

Daniel Schwartz

Burger King (BKW) Chief Executive Officer Daniel Schwartz said on a Friday earnings call that Burger King is not trying to reinvent the fast-food wheel, but instead uses a modest approach to change, which seems to be working, Bloomberg Businessweek reported.

And the proof is in the cheeseburger: comparable-store sales increased 0.4 percent in the U.S. and Canada last quarter, the third consecutive quarter of growth. “This was driven by our strategy of launching fewer, more impactful products and by the continued popularity of our core offerings, ” Schwartz boasted.

Last summer, at age 32, Schwartz was named Burger King’s CEO, with a $700, 000 annual salary and a potential cash bonus of double that. A year later, he seems to be well on his way to becoming a star in the fast-food industry.

In 2010, Burger King was purchased for $4 billion in a leveraged buyout by 3G Capital, a Brazilian private equity firm that also owns H.J. Heinz and controlling shares of Anheuser-Busch InBev (BUD). Bill Ackman’s hedge fund Pershing Square Capital Management, is Burger King’s largest investor after 3G.

According to Bloomberg Businessweek, Burger King’s former innovation strategy included seasonal dish launches that brought in the customers, but ended up with a heavy burden and confusion in the kitchens. By comparison, all of Burger King’s new dishes this season are nothing more than slightly tweaked versions of familiar burgers:

The BBQ Bacon Whopper is a Whopper with bacon; the Chicken Big King is a chicken burger; the Bacon Cheeseburger Deluxe is a Cheeseburger.

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