Burger King's Swank New Look Will Make You Crave Whoppers

In its latest effort to take the burger experience to a higher level — and win back consumers who’ve migrated to “fast casual” restaurants — Burger King is remodeling more of its eateries to include what His Highness describes as a “contemporary industrial palette of metallic and black accents, complemented by finishes that resemble brick and concrete.” But will the fancy new look, which was relaunched this week in Amsterdam, get customers to eat more Whoppers? And how does a creepy guy in a plastic mask sell what the company calls an “intimate and engaging dining” experience?

Inside: Poll – Will the new look get you to eat at BK more often?

The concept, dubbed “20/20,” is already in place at about 60 BK outlets, but the chain now plans to take it global. According to CEO John Chidsey:

As we continue to grow and strengthen the brand worldwide, this new restaurant design exemplifies our vision for the brand’s future and reinforces our goal of delivering superior products and positive guest experiences. … [T]he 20/20 design takes this distinction a step further by creating an exceptional and memorable dining environment that builds on our signature assets.

The new look comes as consumers have begun trading up from traditional fast food outlets to “fast casual” chains like Panera. Sales at fast casual restaurants were up 63% least year, according to industry estimates.

Renovations will cost franchisees as much as $600,000 per restaurant, with no guarantee that the metallic accents and faux concrete will bring in new customers. “I don’t think they’ll change their perception,” Morningstar analyst R.J. Hottovy told the AP. “They’re pretty entrenched in their reality.”

Burger King Corp.’s Bold New Global Restaurant Design Takes Flight at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport [Business Wire]
Burger King revamp aims at higher-priced kin [AP]
Fast casual restaurants sizzle with combo of speed, price and freshnesss [Dallas Morning News]

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