Burger King Reveals Its Big Makeover Efforts With New Menu

Burger King is trying to change its image — no more dudes cramming fries and Whoppers in their mouths. It’s time to cater for moms, families and older people snacking and drinking smoothies. The company is going to shell out lots of cash over the next year to complete this magical makeover, with changes to the stores, marketing campaign and of course, the menu.

Don’t worry, the Whopper is staying, says USA Today, although soon it’ll come in a cardboard box again and with thicker cheese. About $750 million will be spent by Burger King and its franchisees to make all the changes to update its 7,024 stores in the U.S., including 10 new items on the menu. A lot of the changes will be for more healthy options and snackable items.

“This is the biggest change in scope in the history of the brand,” says Steve Wiborg, executive vice president and president of North American operations. “It’s the chain’s largest investment in a one-year time frame.”

USA Today had a peek inside the new store, and outlines the new items like chicken strips with 100% white meat, new salads, smoothies, frappes and snack wraps. Oh and the stores will have digital menus and chairs that aren’t bolted to the ground!

Burger King reinvents itself with new food, new look [USA Today]

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  1. Bativac says:

    These guys… If I want healthy food, I’m not going to Burger King.

    Why don’t they embrace their brand and concentrate on providing burgers and fries that are cheap and taste pretty good? And maybe clean restaurants with pleasant, attentive employees?

    I am a casual fast food customer. I eat it a couple times a month. The only Burger King nearby is dirty and the employees suck, so I don’t go there, and smoothies aren’t going to get me in the door. McDonalds and Taco Bell are much cleaner and the employees are far more pleasant (locally anyway) so that’s where I go.

    Maybe if they considered introducing Doritos Tacos to Burger King, fortunes would improve.

    • Gardius says:

      I totally agree. I go to Tim Hortons and McDonalds a combined 6 times a month. I go there to get my breakfast sandwich and burger fix, respectively. I have never, and will never, order a salad from McDonalds or any other fast food burger restaurant; it simply is not why I am there. I am there for something cheap, unhealthy and delicious because I am a terrible person.

    • Nic715 says:

      I’m not going to take a trip out of my way to go to Burger King…I can honestly say it’s been at LEAST 6 years since I ate there last….but there’s been times my boyfriend has stopped and I haven’t ordered anything in favor of going across the street to Subway or Bruegger’s for a “healthier” (ie: not fried) meal. I’m thinking this move may be more to turn people like me into customers. (Although, speaking only for myself, I’m not sure it will work.) Another scenario I can see happening quite often is mothers whose children want to stop for a kids meal or whatever…a lot of times they order for their kids but not for themselves…I’m thinking BK may be trying to lure them in so to speak. Here’s a smoothie for mom or a more “healthy” grab and go item for you while you get the kids to and from practice, etc.

      Like I said…it wouldn’t work for me…I’m not now and have never really been a fan of BK, but it may work for other people who never really viewed it as an option before.

    • cromartie says:

      I believe the niche of embracing the unhealthy belongs to Hardee’s/Carl’s Jr, no?

    • EBounding says:

      The biggest problem I have with BK is the service. It usually takes me at least 5 minutes after placing my order to get my food. At McDonalds, I’m usually out of there in 1 minute (unless I ask for saltless fries). The local McD’s operation is very impressive to me.

  2. mauispiderweb says:

    How about bringing that lamb flatbread burger to the US, in addition to the UK. I’d definitely try that!

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/26/burger-king-lamb-flatbread_n_1380881.html

  3. nbs2 says:

    As long as the Whopper doesn’t shrink, I can get behind this. The paper traps too much steam, leading to soggy bread. The cheese is irrelevant to me – thick crap cheese isn’t an improvement.

    Now, if we could start getting things like the Windows 7 Whopper, I’d be a little happier.

    • BlueHighlighterNextToACoozie says:

      Ahh but its actually one “thicker” slice replacing the old two slices. I cannot recall if Whopper has cheese on top and bottom or just two slices on top that melted together. If they are removing a bottom slice of cheese this could be an issue to some.

  4. Marlin says:

    “chairs that aren’t bolted to the ground”

    for the supersized customer.

    • DJ Charlie says:

      That’s a bonus for those of us who have wheels. I hate going to a restaurant where my chair can’t reach the table.

  5. HomerSimpson says:

    Oh, and they’re adding Coke Freestyle machines as well for those into that.

    • CoachTabe says:

      Ugh. I’ve tried a couple of these – I almost always will get just regular Coke out of them – and there’s ALWAYS a frigging aftertaste from previous flavors. I asked for REGULAR Coke not Coke with the flavor of whatever the heck the guy before me had!

  6. Rootbeer says:

    Unless they magically improve their food to be better than Wendy’s, big deal. Wendy’s is probably the best fast food burger and Five Guys is the best chain place (around here anyway). I’ve never been to or even seen an In and Out, so I can’t comment to their food quality.

  7. DrLumen says:

    Same here. The one near me is almost always empty, it is dirty, the times I have tried to get anything there it took too long (certainly wasn’t “fast” food) and then the order was wrong and was crap to boot. The people working there couldn’t care less.

    What surprised me as well was the HUGE difference between the menu pictures and what I actually got. I know those are exaggerated some but the picture of fairly decent looking burger came out looking like a slider with 2 paper thin piece of meat.

    No more for me. I don’t care if they remodel as it won’t change the service and product I got.

    • missy070203 says:

      anytime I have visited Burger King in the past year…. it was horrible…..slow inside and drive through…… not to mention the shrink ray they put on everything ohhh and those new drinks …haha their large iced coffee is like 10 oz and they don’t fill the cup all the way…. the stores are usually not very clean and the staff act like children- I avoid BK at all costs

      • dru_zod says:

        Dang, based on all the comments here (not just the two above me), I must live in the only area where Burger King has good service. The two BKs closest to me are always super-clean, the staff are actually WAY friendlier than McDonald’s staff, and I hardly ever have to wait very long for food. The food is always good too. That said, I have been in at least one nearby BK that was not great in the service or cleanliness department. It was the only fast food place in the town that had a “B” rating from the health department. But the BK that I go to the most has always had a 99 or 100 rating.

  8. There's room to move as a fry cook says:

    Going to Burger King for healthy food is like going to a whore for a hug.

  9. CPC says:

    Smoothies, frappes, and snack wraps? Copying McDonald’s again..

    Our local BKs already have all this. Whoppers in boxes, digital menu boards, Coke Freestyle machines. It’s nice.

  10. Dr.Wang says:

    I pray they leave the Whopper alone. Everything else can change.

  11. Tim says:

    I think I saw some of these changes this weekend on a road trip. I recall digital screens, smoothies and snack wraps, and possibly some of the other changes. But the menu seemed more limited than I’m used to. Like, I couldn’t find the sandwiches, just the value meals.

    • amuro98 says:

      I tried going to the BK near me and the menu was…weird. It seems like half their items were missing. Like they had the BK Topper…but only the mushroom swiss one. They didn’t have the stackers, they didn’t have double cheesburgers, they didn’t have the crispy chicken sandwich, they didn’t have the value menu! The menu was on 4 video screens – 1 of which was looping footage of food. Their old menu was much larger, so I don’t know what was going on.

      They also took 5 minutes to take 1 order from someone in front of me, so obviously the employees are also confused.

      I turned around, left, and went to the Wendy’s down the street, where the menu is easier to understand.

  12. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    My fiance ansd I tried the mocha and caramel frapps this weekend, in fact, not realizing this was very brand new.

    The caramel was good, possibly better than McDonalds caramel Frappe. The mocha, however, was atrocious, being even worse than McDonalds mocha Frappe. McDonalds uses chocolate syrup, which I don’t like but is tolerable. BK use god knws what, I couldn’t even describe to you the horrendous flavor of “chocolate” that was.

    Starbucks still beats both.

  13. YouDidWhatNow? says:

    BK needs to utterly give up on “reinventing itself” – enough with the stupid pizza-burgers, the burger-bastard tacos, etc.

    Make burgers and fries. Do it well. Profit.

    All this other BS you’ve pulled throughout the years is just a sign of a desperate company thrashing around having a perpetual temper tantrum.

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      But what if people are tiring of burgers and fries? We are starting to hit a health stride, and burgers are not considered a great daily choice.

      Reinvent they must, I say, but they keep doing it in the wrong way.

      • YouDidWhatNow? says:

        …take a look around at all the burger & fry places. Tiring of it? Hardly. Biggest business in food service.

      • Posthaus says:

        Well I don’t think a place called BURGER King isn’t gonna stray to far from that wheelhouse.

        I don’t think they are gunning for Saladworks or Panera Bread with this mild menu revamp. Based on the commercials (especially with the glimpses of what I suppose is the template for their restaurant remodel) they are clearly gunning for cloning McDonalds, but market it as something big.

    • StatusfriedCrustomer says:

      Why not add hot dogs to the menu? No other fast food chain has them, and I can’t understand why. BK could be unique in that respect.

      • tbax929 says:

        Wienerschnitzel would like to have a word with you.

        BTW, their hot dogs are delish, especially the 1/4 pound all beef hot dog. I can’t eat there regularly, but it’s a nice place for a treat. They also have really good chili cheese fries.

        • YouDidWhatNow? says:

          Haven’t seen one of those in forever…there was one close to us when I was a kid, back when the sign still said “der Wienerschnitzel.”

          We didn’t go there a lot…when we did I always got a corn dog. Seems to me that it was always pretty empty, looking back ~35 years into the distance…and it was gone by the time I was in Jr. High. Not sure I ever saw one again, to be honest…

          More power to ‘em if they’re still around though.

      • YouDidWhatNow? says:

        Sonic has hot dogs. So does Dairy Queen, and A&W…granted those aren’t the size of BK.

        …but hot dogs are honestly just not that mass-market from a fast food service standpoint. Chicago is the only area I know of where it works…Portillo’s et al.

        And at any rate, that would just be more thrashing on BK’s part. The core business of burgers & fries is a strong one – McD’s, Wendy’s, Sonic, In-n-Out, Steak ‘n Shake, Whataburger, Five Guys, Smashburger, yadda yadda yadda. They just have to stop flailing about and focus on doing burgers & fries right. Maybe clean up and modernize their restaurants…not sure about that, as obviously there is wide variation from one franchisee to another. The BK near me is fine in that regard.

      • working class Zer0 says:

        When I worked at BK, about 33 years ago, they had hotdogs. They rarely sold any.

    • There's room to move as a fry cook says:

      Agreed. In’n Out and Five Guys focus and succeed on the basics – great burgers and fries.

      • YouDidWhatNow? says:

        Have to disagree there. Five Guys does nothing notable at all with their product…it’s utterly indistinguishable from what you make yourself at home. Well…other than the fact that it’s really not even that good anyway. And they charge a huge price for it. Five Guys makes no sense at all.

        • Princess Beech loves a warm cup of treason every morning says:

          Don’t know about your Five Guys in your area, but our Five Guys back here makes good burgers, and the fries are huge and flavorful, you get to choose a certain amount of topping, and you get a good meal at almost the same price as McDonalds, only better in flavor.

          I was never a fan of burgers, but Five Guys is probably my favorite cheap burger spot.

          • YouDidWhatNow? says:

            Cheap? It’s $20 for 2 people to eat…one burger, fries, and a drink each.

            …and about as bland as you can get.

            • halo969 says:

              Agreed. I didn’t care for Five Guys enough to want to return. Plus the fries were horrible, much like the joke they call fries at Burger King. Why they changed them back in the 90′s is beyond me but I’ve hated them ever since.

  14. Sarek says:

    I don’t go there too often anymore, especially since they closed the one right near me. I will travel there when they mail me coupons once or twice a year.

    I wonder if they’ll bring back the high hats of the 1970s?

    Or if they’ll offer a “special” drive-thru menu like the BK in a nearby town did, (until they were shut down)?
    “Hold the cocaine, hold the weed,
    We got all the drugs you need,
    All we ask is that you try to
    get high your way.”

    • YouDidWhatNow? says:

      The Wendy’s we had in town got shut down because someone was selling drugs via the drive-through.

      …not exactly an “urban” area either. Like…the kind of town you’re surprised *anyone* is selling drugs in. Let alone from a drive-through.

  15. Grogey says:

    The BK in my area has already done this, well I don’t think the menu stuff but they have large digital menus and the unbolted seats.

  16. There's room to move as a fry cook says:

    Please re-invent your fries… again.

  17. nato0519 says:

    The food has never been a problem at my BK. I know what I’m getting. It’s the service that’s terrible and the new menu has rolled out to two stores by me already and both still have made me either drive around front or reverse in the drive thru lane just to stop their drive thru timers. Maybe they should take a look at their service instead of their menu.

  18. JKulp42757 says:

    We had a Burger King, and right next to it a Braum’s.

    Braum’s parking lot always has lots of cars, and lots of cars in the drive thru too.

    Burger King looked like a ghost town…never saw a car in the drive thru, and just 2-3 cars in the parking lot, which must have the employees.

    And, as I suspected, Burger King went out, while Braum’s continues to thrive.
    Why is that?

    Because Braum’s beat it hands down in terms of food quality…especially the burgers. Braum’s is absolutely the best fast food burger there is. And Braum’s doesn’t have anything on the menu (that I can think of anyway) that could even remotely be considered “healthy”.

    Good food, at a good price, a clean restaurant and pleasant employees.
    Is it that hard folks? Apparently if your name is “Burger King”, it is.

  19. tbax929 says:

    BK’s grilled chicken salad is one of the best fast food salads I’ve had. There is a BK around the corner from my office, and that’s the only thing BK offers that I like. I hope it stays on the menu.

  20. u1itn0w2day says:

    I like the food at BK but the service sucks for the most part. I’ve only seen 1 BK that could get it right. When you have a good BK or Mickey Ds etc it’s the manager which means they were trained well and/or they simply get business & customer service. The bad BKs represent POOR management but they were promoted by somebody inside the company or store.

    I was in a BK where management from HQ or district was there training local management and she did nothing to help with problems and including customer problems. She worried about basic training which apparently didn’t include customer service. When a higher ups don’t care about customer service how is the local employee going to.

    • HomerSimpson says:

      The biggest problem is that many of them are woefully understaffed. Sometimes there’s only one or two people working there during lunch.

  21. dolemite says:

    I’ve gotten a few “family meal” coupons in the mail. It’s where you basically get a whopper, whopper jr, chicken strips, 3 fries , 3 drinks and 3 (maybe 2) pies for like $10. Both times I’ve gotten it, I’ve said “despite being a good deal, I honestly don’t think this terrible, bland, cold food was worth $10.” And I’m not a fast food snob. I pretty much like food from any place.

  22. James says:

    Assuming you’re eating in – what is the point of putting the wrapped hamburger inside a cardboard box. You’ll remove it 30 seconds later when you find a table. Incredibly wasteful.

    • Gertie says:

      Some people get it to go. The paper wrappers make the buns/bread soggy. Perhaps if it’s to be eaten there, paper can be used and if it’s to go, a box?

  23. sirwired says:

    Well, the current salads were a complete and total joke. They were sad-looking factory-sealed salad tray-things, that just screamed: “These are just PR fodder. We don’t expect you to actually ORDER this thing!”

    That said, the Whopper ain’t bad, but their fries are STILL an artificial-tasting joke, even after the recent recipe change.

  24. jeduardocafe says:

    I don’t have issues with their food. The service at BK’s around here (Springfield, MA) is disastrous, surly, rude, and obnoxious. Wendy’s beats ‘em hands down. McDonald’s has perfected the drive through and 5 Guys wins on food quality. Good luck to BK and hope they can pull it off better than KFC, Friendly’s, Hardees, HoJo’s, Arby’s, Arthur Treachers, and all of the other fast food joints that couldn’t find their way.

  25. Nobby says:

    Guess I’ll have to make all my burgers at home now.

  26. CalicoGal says:

    I work on a military base, and BK is one of the few lunch options. When I go, I always get the same things, plain grilled chicken or plain fish sandwich and a $1 side salad.

    I’m looking forward to some additional “healthy” options!

  27. kidstechno says:

    When I was coming back from a trip I stopped at BK because I was hungry and it was close. I had the “Gourmet Chef Burger” that was about $7.

    Let me tell you, there was nothing Gourmet about it. Tasted like complete ass and pretty sure it made me almost sick later that day.

  28. idx says:

    And Chick-Fil-A continues to not change. Still makes more money. Still tastes better.

  29. BlueHighlighterNextToACoozie says:

    Bring back the French Chicken Sandwich and the original non, all but stale hard rolls.

  30. mbz32190 says:

    I can only stomach Burger King once in a great while, and is usually if nothing else is close by and need a quick meal. While I have noticed the restaurants are a bit cleaner, they still feel “dirty” and unappealing. The local McDonald’s have all remodeled and are kept spotless. Wendy’s is looking a bit shabby, but is again, clean, and halfway decent food. Burger King has a lot of work to do if they want to improve. I don’t know if more “healthier” options is really going to make a difference. Fast food places have tried this over and over again, but the healthy things don’t really sell as expected. A 400 calorie snack wrap is different, but it isn’t what I would call “healthy”. They need to make their burgers better, period. Whenever I get a Whopper, it looks like a soggy mess. Use thicker buns or less mayo or something, I don’t know.

  31. iesika says:

    The last time I went to Burger King was a few years ago. I was driving home from a night shift out of town and it was the only thing open on the way. I ordered a breakfast sandwich. When I bit into said sandwich, the center of the egg was frozen.

    Frozen.

    And that is why the last time I went to Burger King was a few years ago.

  32. Jemaine says:

    As long as they keep the chicken nuggets I’ll be okay. They have gotten rid of the BK Broiler/Chicken Whopper, unless they changed the name. I’ll never buy specialty drinks from bk or McDonalds, they should specialize in burgers not Starbucks or Smoothie King. They both should go back to the 90s when things were simpler.

  33. Draw2much says:

    I was talking to a BK supervisor once while ordering breakfast at his store. He said the primary reason they’re doing this shift is so they can put higher priced items on the menu and turn a larger profit. He was actually complaining about the coming change. (The logic seemed to be, “We know our burgers and fries aren’t good enough to justify the price hike that we have to do soon. Our typical customers will go to places that are near the same price but have better food. So we need to put new items on our menu that will have a higher profit margin AND bring in a different customer base.”)

    Interestingly, the only decent BKs I’ve been to in the last 8 years have been on military bases. All the “civilian” BKs have been awful… the employees look like their spirits have been broken, the insides are normally dirty and disorganized, and the food is always sub-par. Where I live currently only has ONE off base BK and it’s no wonder…. all the other fast-food (mostly McDonalds in this area) places have fresher better tasting food, are cleaner, and the employees seem happier.

  34. Jillia says:

    Haven’t been to BK in years. The one by me sucks. Slow, shotty service, and anything I order is a slapped together mess drowning in condiments. Why don’t you work on that BK? I’d rather go to McDonald’s or Five Guys.

  35. Outrun1986 says:

    BK is known as the dirty tourist restaurant here, I personally wouldn’t go to one when we have Subway and a million other restaurants that are actually clean. They are dirty, and the buildings are antiquated. McD’s has free wifi in all locations and their restaurants are upgraded and are pretty clean. The decor is modern and inviting, not dirty and dingy like an old Kmart store. If I had to eat at one of them I would choose McD’s though my stomach cannot take most of the food at either and I get sick immediately from it.

  36. Ask about my easy lay away plan says:

    I had one of their mango smoothies yesterday. It was delicious!
    Plus it made a perfect “tide me over until dinner” treat.

    Even better, it gave me a chance to break my $20 bill so I’d have a $10 bill to tip the guy who does my pedicure.

  37. orion70 says:

    One thing I wish more FF places would do if they are intent on putting ten different kinds of salads on their menu: stop making them all with chicken ! Wendy’s for a while had a spring mix salad, but then they ditched it. If you want a meatless salad you’re usually stuck with something off the dollar menu that’s basically some iceberg and a huge wedge of tomato. Not a meal.

    Back when I could still eat it (no more soy for me), BK had a pretty good veggie burger, better than many I’d tried, and certainly better than McDonald’s attempt at a veggie burger a few years back (but at least they tried).

  38. clydesplace says:

    In our little town we have one each of Burger King, McDonald’s, Carl’s Jr., Jack in the Box and Taco Bell.

    Service wise, the BK is the absolute pits. When you go through the drive-thru they always tell you to pull around to the front and parkt. Fine, possibly, if there is a line of cars all the way out to the parking lot but there never is. They do this even if you are the only car in the drive-thru. Then it takes an eternity for them to bring you your food. That’s just wrong, and it makes it appear they are getting cars through faster than they actually are. One day when I was at the window I could see a hand made sign, probably put there by the manager, that there should never be more than two cars in the drive-thru at any one time.

    When they had the double-cheeseburgers for a buck we would go there, and we went there occasionally when they switched them to Buck Doubles, which were actually better than McDonald’s McDoubles. But since they did away with those as well, the only time I’ve been there was last month when they had buy one chicken sandwich get one free. And this sale was a rarity as compared to the other Burger places in town. We don’t even get a coupon flyer from them except on rare occasions.

    But they still have the best fish sandwiches of any of them but like I said, the terrible service keeps me away.

  39. El_Red says:

    And I though their “chicken” sandwich, that tastes like recycled cardboard and leftover fish had something to do with their waning popularity… I think they win the prize of worst tasting fast-food chicken sandwich at our city.

  40. Coalpepper says:

    Maybe they can do something about their pricing, since it always seems like my money doesn’t go as far there. Sure, the food is good, but i always feel like i’m being ripped off, so i generally avoid them.

  41. Rick Sphinx says:

    Had a hot fudge sundae today, it was good. McDonalds is a little better I think, better fudge.

  42. baquwards says:

    Anyone else disturbed by what fast food restaurants call “snacks”? A wrap that is around 400 calories, isn’t a snack, it’s lunch! BK isn’t the only one guilty of this, most are. What they call a “snack” is more akin to what most should eat for a lunch, calorie wise.

  43. Cantras says:

    Dear Burger King,
    The McChicken, and your “original chicken sandwich”. Both are cheap mechanically separated chicken (Your website claims fillet but that is not what I have experienced or how wikipedia defines it). Both are served with mayonnaise and shredded lettuce. Yours has a larger surface area but I think the McChicken is a bit thicker. Probably roughly the same volume over all. The same breed of sandwich, essentially.
    The McChicken is a dollar. One dollar, in most if not all markets in the continental US.
    Here in the cheap midwest, the OCS sometimes goes on sale for 2/$4 . This is twice as much as regular price of the McChicken, which also actually has seasoning.
    Some googling has led me to understand that you have a dollar-menu chicken sandwich of even more resemblance to the McChicken, but I don’t think that excuses the OCS. Why do you even carry them both? So people who don’t know of the Chick’n Crisp sandwich can buy the OCS and be incredibly disappointed in what they paid $3-4 for?
    Why?

    I kindof wish Corporate BK had a suggestion box for their redesign. bleh.

  44. Chrisnif says:

    Bring back the dinner baskets!

  45. Lisa W says:

    Burger King’s problem is its french fries…period.