For most of its history, Burger King has lagged well behind McDonald’s in the fast-food burger wars. This is a major reason why the company has had 21 chief executive in the 60 years since Burger King’s founding.
Now, the firm has decided to turn its management over to a younger generation of senior executives to try to turn things around — again.
As recently reported by Devin Leonard for Bloomberg Businessweek:
“Last summer, a trim guy with wavy brown hair, high cheekbones, and a broad smile could be found making Whoppers, working the drive-through window, and scrubbing bathrooms at a Burger King in Miami. His name was Daniel Schwartz. He learned to make a Whopper in less than 35 seconds and blended in well with his fellow employees, except for the fact that Schwartz had a guy with a video camera trailing him. ‘I cleaned about 15 toilets in the past two days,’ he boasted at one point, as if he’d just completed a marathon. Schwartz was justifiably pumped. That June he’d been named Burger King’s chief executive officer, with a $700,000 annual salary and a potential bonus of twice that. There was another reason for him to be exuberant: He was only 32 and on his way to becoming a star in the fast-food industry.”
“Making sure the fixtures in Burger King’s restrooms gleam is only one of Schwartz’s challenges. The chain has had six owners and suffered from years of neglect and strategic incoherence. Unlike his predecessors, Schwartz isn’t just competing with McDonald’s and Wendy’s. He has to keep customers from straying to trendy newcomers such as Chipotle Mexican Grill and Panera Bread. Their sales in the U.S. last year grew 17 percent and 12 percent, respectively, according to Technomic, a food industry consultant. Sales were essentially flat for Burger King and its two primary rivals.”
Click the image to read Schwartz’s plans.
Illustration by Kyle Platts