Steal This Idea: Strategy to Speed Up Service Includes Reducing Menu Items

Burger King also plans to combat sales drop with improvements to menu design, process, more
Burger King sign
Photograph: Shutterstock

CHICAGO Burger King has pinpointed its drop in drive-thru service as the reason why it has been falling behind the competition in recent quarters.

In response, the Miami-based quick-service restaurant (QSR) chain is reducing menu items and simplifying processes so employees can make sandwiches faster. It’s also improving its menu design so customers can order quicker, and it’s relying more on technology to improve the accuracy of orders.

“We got too slow,” said Jose Cil, CEO of parent company Restaurant Brands International, at the recent Morgan Stanley Global Consumer and Retail Conference. “And we need to address that to have higher throughput in the business.”

In the past eight quarters, average sales have been up 6.96% at McDonald’s, 5.54% at Wendy’s and 7.46% at Jack in the Box. Burger King, however, has averaged a 0.5% decline.

Burger King is spending more to boost field operations and training specialists, Cil said, and communicating with operators so “everyone knows where we stand in terms of overall performance and we can drive important improvements in terms of guest experience in the restaurants.”

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