With 650 restaurants in Spain, Burger King generates around 18,000 jobs in the catering sector
Burger King has been in Spain for 40 years. Why did the company opt for our country?
Burger King was set up in Miami on December 4, 1954. Its creators, James McLamore and David Egerton, consolidated the chain as "The House of the Whopper", an attractive concept that became popular very quickly. Spain was the location of the company's first European restaurant, which opened in Plaza de los Cubos in Madrid just over 40 years ago. Since then the evolution has been constant; we now have over 650 stores in Spain, as a result of the support that our domestic consumers have always given us. The great success we had was decisive in opening new stores in the rest of Europe. Burger King is now the second-largest restaurant chain in the world.
Why was Madrid chosen as the first location in Europe?
Spain was one of the markets with higher expectations and in addition, in 1975, the country was immersed in a time of change in which the consumer embraced innovative concepts. The public was open to discovering eye-catching proposals and that openness led to the arrival and subsequent success of the brand in our country.
How is the company's presence in Spain measured in figures?
Today, we are market leaders with more than 650 restaurants in Spain, which has positioned the brand as a top employer in the catering sector, generating about 18,000 jobs.
How has the company evolved since it was set up in Spain?
Establishing yourself as the hamburger chain with the largest number of restaurants in Spain is not an easy task. There have been many years of hard work and effort. In the very beginning there was a limited number of deals, while today we continually change products to give the consumer the opportunity to try new recipes in more than 650 restaurants. We have opened in locations that we would never have imagined before, such as airports or shopping malls. In addition, we have extended our menu with a wide variety of burgers, children's menus, snacks, salads, desserts, ice cream and smoothies. Innovation has accompanied us throughout all these years and has made us grow and be pioneers in many aspects, such as the launch of the Free Refill of soft drinks or the delivery service, which has been a resounding success. Today more than 250 restaurants bring our culinary offerings to Spanish homes.
What have you done to celebrate this anniversary?
To mark the 40th anniversary, Burger King created an exclusive edition of wine: Whopper Wine. It was designed specifically to accompany the brand's flagship burger so that, when put together, new flavor notes could be discovered. The most significant aspect was the peculiar way in which it was made, as it was aged in barrels made with wood that had been flame grilled. Whopper Wine was never marketed, but shared with the chain's franchisees and suppliers. In addition, with the same pretext, 40 bottles were also raffled among the most loyal followers of Burger King on Facebook. In terms of the new designs of restaurants, their implementation has not been associated with the 40th anniversary. These are two new creative concepts that have been inherited from the company's global strategy with the aim of improving the user experience.
How quickly will the restaurants adapt to this new design?
The new aesthetics will be gradually implemented in the new restaurants in which they are planned in Spain and in some establishments wishing to renovate their facilities. These are two distinct concepts developed in order to evoke a nostalgic feeling and reflect the combination of the reputation of the brand for its great tasting and flame-grilled products. One of the designs incorporates natural wood tables, a collage of different materials like bamboo on the walls, open ceilings and half-height metal lamps and vertical gardens to create a cozy and special atmosphere. The other model combines bright and bold colors with materials such as metal and bricks to shape an innovative space. Furthermore, in keeping with this style, it also incorporates a very useful sauce station for customers.
Projects for Spain now and in the future. Recent major investments, job creation, future openings...
Burger King is undergoing a period of innovation not only with regard to the product itself, but also the type of services offered by the restaurants, the app and the home delivery service. This translates, for example, into launching new systems that allow us to have a direct conversation with the consumer and adapt to their needs, so the company will continue to innovate in different services, sending updates to the app and renewing social channels. In addition to opening new restaurants that have the latest industry developments. Along with this, the design of new products that allow consumers to discover new combinations will be a priority for the company. It's about offering groundbreaking proposals such as the limited edition Halloween Whopper hamburger. This was an adaptation of our flagship hamburger and the most striking part of which was the fact that the bun was black.
Assessment of the food industry in Spain and fast food chains (El Pais published an article yesterday stating that the Spanish are among the Europeans who spend less on fast food)
The Quick Service Restaurant market has undergone profound changes over recent times. At first the brands had the surprise factor, the concepts were innovative and triumphed on the market. However, today consumers are accustomed to this type of offer, it is now part of their customs and therefore it is increasingly necessary to make the menu more professional and innovate to offer differentiated products that surprise the user.
Indeed, this is the greatest challenge facing the brand in Spain: to keep innovating to provide truly differentiated proposals for all budgets. We therefore have an R&D team devoted exclusively to studying industry trends and finding out what our target audience needs. Something that is reflected in all our platforms through launches as powerful as the delivery service and the adjustments to the saving formats like EuroKing and King Ahorro.