Should Burger Chains (and Others) Sell Beer?

For decades, most hamburger and other fast-food chains have focused on a family appeal and avoided selling any alcoholic beverages. But with the shaky economy, some of these chains have been testing out the addition of beer to the menu.
According to Maureen Morrison and E.J. Schultz, writing in Advertising Age: “Fast feeders such as Burger King, White Castle, and Sonic are dabbling in booze in test markets. Starbucks has started selling wine and beer in five Seattle locations and at one in Portland, Ore. It plans to offer wine and beer in seven locations in Chicago and will expand the offerings to Southern California and Atlanta to boost evening sales. The moves can bring higher check prices, but also regulatory headaches. And for big fast-food chains, selling booze on a large scale won’t deliver huge margins — at least at first — since it’s also likely to add upfront costs for franchisees who would need to install new equipment such as coolers and booze lockers.”
Recently, Burger King’s plans to open Whopper Bars in Miami and New York City were put on hold. See the photo mockup below; and click the photo for the full story.
Burger King's plans to open Whopper Bars in Miami and New York City have been put on hold.Photo by Ad Age.
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