Burger King's Strategy To Win Back Customers Is Working

Burger king workerReutersAn employee prepares a food order for customers at Burger King.

Burger King just posted its biggest quarterly same-store sales increase in North America in two years.

Sales at stores open at least a year in the US and Canada rose 3.6% in the third quarter compared to the same period last year. Globally, same-store sales increased 2.4%.

That’s a stark contrast to rival McDonald’s, which recorded a 3.3% decline in global same-store sales over the same time period.

Burger King swung to a profit loss of $US23.5 million for the quarter, however, compared to a profit of $US68.2 million the previous year.

The loss is due in part to Burger King’s $US11 billion acquisition of Canadian coffee-and-doughnut chain Tim Hortons.

Total operating costs and expenses more than doubled to $US278 million for the quarter.

Revenue rose 1.4% to $US278.9 million. Analysts were expecting revenue of $US281.8 million.

“In the U.S. and Canada, we posted our best quarter of comparable sales growth since 2012 due to our consistent strategy of impactful new product innovation balanced by compelling value offerings,” Burger King CEO Daniel Schwartz said in a release. “Internationally, we continued expanding our brand presence through strong net restaurant growth and successful new product launches.”

The company said its sales growth was driven by the reintroduction of Chicken Fries during the quarter, as well as the continued popularity of the limited-time BBQ Bacon Whopper.

Burger King sharesYahoo FinanceBurger King shares have soared in the last year.

Schwartz has engineered a total restructuring of the burger chain over the last year.

He simplified the chain’s menu to speed up service and he made franchising easier for overseas restaurants, leading to a rapid international expansion.

He has also helped reduce Burger King’s corporate headcount to 2,425 from 38,884 by refranchising restaurants, meaning those workers now report to franchise owners.

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