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Burger King SWOT

STRENGTHS

1. Geographic Diversification

Burger King has over 11,500 fast food restaurants located in over 70 countries.
7,207 of its restaurants are located in the United States (62%) and another 4,358 are
established in international locations (389%) such as Asia, the Middle East, Africa
and Canada.

WEAKNESSES

1. Vulnerability to Labor and Regulatory Influences

Although the company operates in many international venues, the majority of


restaurants are in the United States. This concentration of operations in one
geographic area increases company’s exposure to local factors such as labor strikes
and the influence of regulatory changes.

2. Reliance on so-called “Super Customers”

There is some indication that Burger King may have been slow to transition to leaner
and healthier restaurant fare in favor of pleasing its long term customers who are
fans of the big larger portion sandwiches.
OPPORTUNITIES

1. New Breakfast Food Initiative

Burger King is seeking to overhaul its breakfast menu and will add Starbucks Corp.’s
Seattle’s Best Coffee to all its U.S. restaurants. It has introduced earlier restaurant
opening times in its United Kingdom locations.

2. New Healthier Menu Items

Burger King sponsoring its biggest new product launch in years by introducing the
Tendercrisp, Premium Chicken Burger and accompanying the launch with a
marketing campaign called “cheat on beef”.

3. National Urban Community Marketing Initiative

Burger King is seeking to strengthen its standing in the African American Community
through its new “next best move” promotion which includes a well publicized tour of
41 urban communities across the country.

4. Brand Licensing Project

Burger King has entered into a licensing arrangement (brokered by Broad Street
Licensing Group) to further increase the company’s’ brand awareness and broaden
the presence of the iconic “King” character, various licensees of Burger King Corp.
will soon launch a line of branded T-shirts, and also an exclusive collection of
sleepware and lounge ware.
THREATS

1. Unrest among Franchisees

Burger Kings’ new dollar cheese burger initiative and loss leader strategy has upset
some of its franchise owners who feel the pricing violates the franchise agreement.
The dispute spurred the National Franchisee Association to file a lawsuit against the
company. In 2009 Franchisees voted twice against the new promotions. The
company reportedly has dropped the $1 burger promotion, but there may be bad
feelings lingering for a while.

2. The Slow Recovering Economy

The challenging global economy continues to hamper the company’s financial


strength (ranked 238th among its peers). Burger King posted weaker-than-expected
quarterly results in the last half of 2009, and missed stock analysts’ expectations.
The decline was driven in part by continued adverse macroeconomic conditions,
including record levels of unemployed.

3. Changing Consumer Eating Habits

Burger King’s same-store sales in the U.S. and Canada declined 4.6% in the three
months ended Sept. 30, 2009. People 18 to 34 cut their consumption of fast-food
meals from November 2006 to November 2009 according to the market-research
firm NPD Group. The combination of the economy and better health information has
influenced people to eat at home and to opt for leaner lower calorie foods. More . . .

4. Established Market Share

Among Fast Food restaurant chains, Burger King is second only to McDonalds and
holds a 15% share of the United States market. The company’s profitability has also
increased in recent years. In the period 2006-08, its operating profit has increased
from $170 million in FY2006 to $354 million in FY2008.
5. Globally Recognized Brand

Burger King is able to boast a brand that is widely recognized thanks to its flagship
slogan “have it your way”, the whopper sandwich and most recently enhanced by its
mascot known as “the King”. The company was recently ranked 7th in brand
awareness.

6. Superior Growth Plan

Approximately 90% of Burger King Restaurants are owned and operated by


independent franchisees, many of them family-owned units that have been in
business for decades. The company is able to grow while minimizing large capital
expenditure, meanwhile it collects fees and royalties from each franchise added.