Burger King is shaking things up. The company has announced major changes to its menu and has planned restaurant remodels that will use warmer colors and invite people to sit and stay awhile.
What makes Burger King's new strategy so unusual is its striking similarity to what McDonald's has been doing for years. A number of its new items, including chicken strips, coffee drinks, salads and smoothies, sound like they come right off McDonald's menu board.
So what is Burger King's explanation?
"Consumers wanted more choices," Steve Wiborg, president of Burger King's North America operations, told the Associated Press. "Not just healthy choices, but choices they could get at the competition."
To draw attention to its new menu options, Burger King has launched a star-studded advertising campaign featuring David Beckham, Mary J. Blige, Jay Leno, Steven Tyler and others with the tagline: "Exciting things are happening at Burger King."
One spot, featuring Ms. Blige singing the praises of chicken strips to the tune of her own song "Don't Mind" has been pulled from the airwaves and Burger King's YouTube channel. Critics lambasted the spot as advancing stereotypes while the fast feeder said it pulled the commercial over licensing issues related to the song.
In another bit of BK news, the company announced it would go public again in the next three months. The chain was taken private in 2010 after being purchased by 3G Capital.
How likely is Burger King to succeed with its new menu and marketing strategy?