Burger King

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Buy, Sell or Hold: The Remodel of Burger King

It seems that at just about every intersection in America you will find a quick-service restaurant competing for your fast food dollar.

The competition is vicious as the saturation point for these types of restaurants has nearly reached its peak. There are a whole slew of restaurants in this category ranging from burger joints to vegetarian fare and from budget eateries to pricier higher-quality dining.

Each restaurateur tries to find a niche that he can exploit where he can make diners and shareholders happy. The burger niche is where all competitors were spawned and is still the one that garners the most attention.

The players in this arena are household names not only in America but worldwide – McDonald's (NYSE: MCD), Wendy's (NYSE: WEN) and Burger King (NYSE: BKE).

I'm going to focus on Burger King, its business strategy and how it hopes to differentiate itself from its competitors.

Burger King is the number two burger chain in the world with 13,000 restaurants in 86 countries. This is far behind dominant McDonald's and its 34,000 global locations. However, in the U.S., Burger King's situation is disconcerting as it has lost its second place slot to Wendy's with its 6,500 restaurants.

In 2010, Burger King was acquired by Brazilian private equity firm – 3G Capital. After a hiatus from the public markets, 3G Capital took Burger King public again in June of 2012.

When Burger King was first acquired it had a number of issues on its plate that included declining sales, lack of expansion and the same-old menu items. Basically, the company had no vision or dexterity to solve these problems.
Since 3G Capital's acquisition, Burger King has shown signs of new life and seems to have a plan to 'right the ship'. However, is it enough?

The plan can be summarized in one word – "Remodel". Burger King is remodeling its menu items, its stores and the way it does business.