Burger King Plans For Success

Miami-based Burger King's string of 10 consecutive quarters of same-store sales growth marks the chain's most successful period in a decade. And executives say a medley of maneuvers, ranging from extending store hours to building smaller, more efficient restaurants, will extend the burger chain's winning streak.

For the first quarter of 2007, ended Sept. 30, Burger King stores in the United States and Canada posted a 2.6% same-store-sales increase, up from 1.1% the year prior. Worldwide same-store sales rose 2.4%, marking eleven straight quarters of increases.

Average store sales were $300,000 for the quarter, up from $287,000 the year prior. The average store sales figure of $1.14 million is on track to meet the company's goal of $1.3 million in annual sales for U.S. locations, said Burger King CEO John Chidsey.

During a conference call Wednesday morning, Chidsey credited the BK Stacker, a layered burger rolled out in July, the BK Value menu, and sponsorships with NASCAR and the NFL with boosting traffic and same-store sales.



The next traffic-builder: The Nov. 18 launch of Burger King's Xbox promotion, which offers one of three Burger King Xbox or Xbox 360 games for $3.99 with the purchase of a Value menu item. The promotion "is the first of its kind in the retail sector," Chidsey said.

Future initiatives including expanding the number of "rock" buildings, which take up a half-acre instead of an entire acre and cut building and utility costs. Twenty of the new stores are currently open, and all but one are franchised locations.

Burger King is also experimenting with longer hours of operation, both early morning and late night, until 2 a.m. Currently, Burger King is open 18 or 19 fewer hours per week than competitors: "It's a big opportunity we need to go after," Chidsey said.

Burger King's plans call for 400 new restaurants to open in fiscal 2007.

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