First, let me start off and say that I am Kosher and have never had a big Whopper. Nevertheless, Burger King has announced plans for a Whopper Bar that sounds marvelous!
The Wall Street Journal, 29-30 March 2008, reports that “Burger King Holdings Inc. plans to start building a new version of its restaurants this year called the Whopper Bar that will sell a wider variety of its signature hamburger in a hipper setting.”
The menu “could include as many as 10 types of Whoppers…one menu sketch has a section called ‘pimp your Whopper,’ where patrons can chose from additional toppings.” Beer may be on the menu as well, especially in overseas markets where it already sells alcohol.
The Whopper Bar “is akin to McDonald’s Corp.’s creation of McCafe coffee bars, except that it is built around the chains signature sandwich.”
“Workers will place toppings on burgers in front of the customers ‘to put a little more theatre into it.’”
“Early design plans call for the bars to have chrome, wood, and exposed brick and plasma screen televisions with images of fire playing on them to evoke Burger King’s flame-broiled motto.”
The bars are planned “for places like casinos, airports, and other venues with limited space.”
The Whopper Bar tastes right from the start from a User-centric enterprise architecture perspective. Why?
Well traditional fast-food joints tend to be somewhat dirty and unsightly “restaurants” (and I use this term generously here). It is not unusual to find filthy bathrooms and the restaurants being used as shelter, especially in the inner city—how do I know, I’ve stopped to use the restroom on occasion.
From what I’ve seen, even if I was not Kosher, there is very little appeal in eating the food in these establishments. Moreover, the unhealthy stigma of the extremely greasy food is a Whopper of a turn-off.
This is exactly why the Whopper Bar is such a genius idea. It borrows from the success of Starbucks and their magic formula for creating a high scale ambience from a simple cup of joe. It also, elevates the unhealthy food by them making it in front of you—taking away the stigma of what goes on “in the back.” The result is more upscale and not-so-bad for you at least in perception.
The target architecture here is exactly what many customers want. A fast, cheap meal, but in a feel good environment. In fact, my advice to Burger King would be to roll out the Whopper Bar much more broadly, and replace their traditional eatery concept altogether.
In this case perception is everything!