5 burger chains try to rediscover themselves (2023)

No matter how successful or unsuccessful, ahamburgersis that maintaining a position in the market and maintaining profitability in today's market requires constant work and innovation. That's why you see different directionsburger chainsfrom struggling brands like Steak 'n Shake to popular brands like McDonald's and Burger King reinventing themselves this year.

Some of these reinvention efforts are as simple as testing new menu items and revamping the restaurant. Other changes are currently underwaybig burger chainsare much more drastic and include corporate restructuring and a complete change in the traditional way of doing business.

While none of these burger chains reinvent themselves in exactly the same way, the goal is the same: to please their guests. They want to deliver better food, better service, and a better overall experience to encourage diners to keep spending at their restaurants in a market with near-endless options and fierce competition.

Here are five of the major burger chains that will reinvent themselves in 2023 to become even more successful or regain popularity after falling out of favor with customers.

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Red robin

5 burger chains try to rediscover themselves (1)

Red Robin suffered a double blow of declining guest satisfaction and revenue around 2016 and 2017, problems CEO GJ Hart attributed to factors such as lower food quality and staff cutbacks, according toCountry restaurant news.

That's why the burger chain is aiming for a big comeback under its new "North Star" five-point plan, which includes:revealedin January 2023. This plan aims to help Red Robin improve the guest experience with a refreshed menu, better food quality, and new flat grills to replace the conveyor belts previously used to make burgers.

Other principles of this far-reaching plan include lowering overheads, increasing guest engagement, rewarding restaurant operators for good performance, and increasing revenue.

The burger chain has been promising this re-invention plan for months. Red robinreportedan 8.6% increase in same-store sales, an improvement in guest satisfaction, and a small but still noticeable increase in same-store traffic of 0.6% in the first quarter of 2023. Hart also said duringmerger incomeRed Robin broke more than 700 sales records for the quarter this week, including restaurant hourly, daily and weekly records.

"We are committed to diligently executing our strategic plan, and I am more than ever confident in the return of this iconic brand," Hart said in a statement.

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Stek 'n Shake

5 burger chains try to rediscover themselves (3)

Steak 'n Shake has had something of an identity crisis for a long time. The regional burger chain - mainly focused on the Midwest - served customers via drive-thrus, but also offered full table service for guests at its restaurants.

Unfortunately, Steak 'n Shake was unable to satisfy customers in either format.Guests complainedlong waiting times, poor service and poor food quality. This decrease in the number of visitors coincides with the yearssignificant closures of Steak 'n Shake restaurantsand a dangerous brush against bankruptcy in 2021.

Thankfully, things are starting to change for Steak 'n Shake with a $50 million reinvention of the business model that has begun shifting restaurants from full table service to a counter service model where customers place their orders through kiosks. Sardar Biglari, CEO of Biglari Holdings, the parent company of Steak 'n Shake, wrote in February 2023:Mapshareholders that this transformation has already increased restaurant productivity and more than doubled annual revenue per employee.

In the long run, Steak 'n Shake is set to become "the most productive hospitality restaurant in the industry," wrote Biglari.


Burger King

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5 burger chains try to rediscover themselves (4)

Alreadyit struggled with years of poor salesCompared to its competitors, Burger King was willing to invest a lot - $400 million to be exact - to reinvent itself. Last year, the burger chain introduced a strategy called"Reclaim the Flame"after which Burger King planned to modernize its image, advertise more, and update the restaurants with better technology and equipment.

The strategy also outlined some improvements and innovations to the menu itself. These include investing in "premium branding" for the Whopper and developing new flavor extensions for the signature burger, as well as creating a "destination-worthy" chicken sandwich offering.

Although Burger King's work is by no means finished, thorough changes are already underwayseems to pay off. The burger chain saw an increase in guest satisfaction and an 8.4% increase in same-store sales in the fourth quarter of 2022, and an even stronger 12.3% increase in same-store sales in the US.The first quarterfrom this year.

Unfortunately, Burger King's massive efforts to improve its image and restaurant also mean major closures on the horizon. Josh Kobza, CEO of Burger King's parent company, Restaurant Brands International (RBI), revealed earlier this month that they expect to closeabout 300 to 400 seats this year, most of which will be underperforming units.


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5 burger chains try to rediscover themselves (5)

Based onMcDonald's Amazing First Quarter 2023, which led to a double-digit increase in global sales in the same stores, the fast-food giant is certainly not suffering from popularity problems at the moment. Having said that, thereIsseveral aspects of the business that have become a bit dated, prompting the burger chain to take action to remove any obstacles to continued success.

For starters in 2020, McDonald's launched a sweeping growth strategy called "Accelerating the Arches".new restaurant openings, reach customers through culturally appropriate marketing campaigns, enhance classic menus, deliver more personalized digital orders, and streamline operations to support innovation.

In 2023, McDonald's has already made significant progress in implementing some of these policies. It takes its basic menu to the next levelsome major improvementsfor its signature burgers, building on the success of its 2021 Crispy Chicken Sandwich launchrenameas McCrispy and the premiere of his latest celebrity meal togethermarried rappers Cardi B and Offset in February.

To streamline and streamline business operations, McDonald's is also undergoing a processthorough restructuringand reportedly laid off hundreds of the company's employees in April after deciding the system had become so divisive it was hindering innovation.

The final aspect of McDonald's current journey to new inventions is its franchisees. In early 2023, the burger chain launched a new PACE assessment program that added stricter standards of excellence for franchisees and more restaurant inspections to ensure operators meet those standards. Although McDonald's says the program has already led to greater customer satisfaction in other markets outside the US, it has been a source of significant tension between the company and US restaurant operators.Restaurant business magazine reported.


Jack in the box

5 burger chains try to rediscover themselves (6)

While Jack in the Box restaurants have traditionally had diners, this regional burger chain has a very different vision for the future.

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Sidste october Jack in the Boxintroducedthe first restaurant prototype to do away with in-store dining altogether to focus on drive-thru and digital ordering. The new restaurant in Tulsa, Oklahoma, is just 1,350 square feet and features an ordering window, dual-purpose kitchens, drive-throughs and a dedicated pick-up window for mobile and third-party orders.

The company said the goal of these new restaurant models is to reduce the cost of building new locations by around 20%, as well as giving it more flexibility to set up new locations. Jack in the Box announced the prototype, saying it would be a "huge boost" to its efforts to grow in the US, benefit customers from a more efficient restaurant operation, and present a very attractive opportunity to potential franchisees.

Now that the Tulsa location has been operational for some time, Jack in the Box is already reporting promising signs of testing success. Network executives said during an earnings call earlier this month that the Tulsa prototype exceeded sales expectations, according toCountry restaurant news.


Which fast food restaurant refers to itself as the last great hamburger stand 15? ›

Fatburger. But in 1952, they split. Ever persistent, she dropped “Mr.” from the namesake, and Fatburger became her own. She worked 18-hour days and made Fatburger into an icon; with celebrities frequenting The Last Great Hamburger Stand, we started our journey to becoming a household name.

Why has Burger King gone downhill? ›

Burger King

Restaurant owners blamed the loss of sales during the pandemic and the slow recovery post-pandemic.

What was the name of the first chain of quick service hamburger restaurants group of answer choices? ›

The American company White Castle, founded by Billy Ingram and Walter Anderson in Wichita, Kansas in 1921, is generally credited with opening the first fast food outlet and first hamburger chain, selling hamburgers for five cents each.

What was the name of the first fast food hamburger chain that opened its doors in 1921? ›

White Castle is an American regional hamburger restaurant chain with 345 locations across 13 states, with its greatest presence in the Midwest and New York metropolitan area. Founded on September 13, 1921, in Wichita, Kansas, it has been generally credited as the world's first fast-food hamburger chain.

What is the oldest fast food restaurant still around? ›

What Is the Oldest Fast Food Restaurant? Many scholars agree that the American chain White Castle, which started in 1916 as a collection of food stands in Wichita, Kansas, and was formally established in 1921, was the first fast food restaurant.

What is the oldest hamburger stand in America? ›

Louis' Lunch is a hamburger restaurant in New Haven, Connecticut, which claims to be the first restaurant to serve hamburgers and the oldest hamburger restaurant in the United States. It was opened as a small lunch wagon in 1895 and was one of the first places in the U.S. to serve steak sandwiches.

Why is Burger King discontinuing the Whopper? ›

"The Whopper is our flagship and it's our core product that's been around since 1957," Cil said in an interview with Yahoo Finance. "We're moving it out of core discount and elevating it to its proper status. This is a key part of our plan for the BK U.S. business."

Why are Burger King employees quitting? ›

A Burger King sign has gone viral after employees at a Lincoln, Nebraska location used it to announce they were "all" quitting. One of the former employees from the location told TODAY Food that the sign came after months of short staffing, managerial turnover and "hectic" work conditions.

Why are people boycotting Burger King? ›

In March of 2021, Burger King was widely criticized for sexism after highlighting its scholarship program for female chefs, with Burger King U.K. tweeting "Women belong in the kitchen." The tweet, which was posted on International Women's Day, sparked an uproar on social media, leading to the chain later removing the ...

What makes fast food unhealthy? ›

Fast food is typically loaded with calories, sodium, and unhealthy fat—often enough in one meal for an entire day. It also tends to be low in nutrients and almost totally lacking in fruit, vegetables, and fiber.

What is the oldest burger chain? ›

Most historians agree that the American company White Castle was the first fast-food outlet, starting in Wichita, Kansas in 1916 with food stands and founding in 1921, selling hamburgers for five cents apiece from its inception and spawning numerous competitors and emulators.

What is in fast food that makes it unhealthy? ›

Fast food tends to be high in salt, sugar, saturated fats, trans fats, calories, and processed preservatives and ingredients. A wealth of well-conducted research has proven the negative health effects of consuming too much of these food components.

How much did a McDonald's hamburger cost in 1948? ›

In 1948, you could get a McDonald's burger for just 15 cents. At the original McDonald's locations, before Ray Kroc revolutionized the company and founded what we know as McDonald's today in 1955, a burger cost just 15 cents.

How much was a McDonald's hamburger in 1970? ›

In 1970, your burger cost an average of $0.18.

Who first ate hamburgers in the United States? ›

1885: Seymour Fair, Wisconsin

Nagreen, affectionately known as "Hamburger Charlie," apparently squashed a beef meatball between slices of bread so his customers could walk around eating — a concoction he claimed was the first hamburger.

What is the largest fast food chain in the US? ›


What is the most popular fast food chain? ›

Most popular fast food companies

McDonald's is by far the most popular fast food chain in the United States. It has about 13,500 locations in the U.S., 40,000 worldwide, and it operates in 118 countries. McDonald's serves 69 million people every day, more than the population of Thailand and the United Kingdom.

What is the most popular fast food item? ›

America's Favorite Fast Food
RankFood CategoryCategory Cumulative Sales
#1Burger$92.2 billion
#2Snack$42.5 billion
#3Chicken$36.7 billion
#4Global$27.0 billion
2 more rows
Aug 31, 2022

Who ate the first hamburger? ›

One popular story goes that in 1900 a customer walked into Louis' Lunch in New Haven, Conn., and asked for something he could eat on the go. Owner Louis Lassen improvised by giving him a patty of the restaurant's steak trimmings between two pieces of toast.

Where is the birthplace of the hamburger in the USA? ›

Est. 1895 in New Haven, CT

Recognized by the Liberty of Congress as the Birthplace of the Hamburger Sandwich, Louis' Lunch has been featured in many print and television spots, including: The Travel Channel, The Food Network, Zagat, Food and Wine Magazine, among many others.

What is the birthplace of the hamburger sandwich? ›

Considerable evidence suggests that either the United States or Germany (the city of Hamburg) was the first country where two slices of bread and a ground beef patty were combined into a "hamburger sandwich" and sold, it really boils down to who was able to prove it and not hearsay.

What is the burger that could not be? ›

A burger that does not exist, but is sold in a symbolic box which anyone could purchase through a donation at digital kiosk to help affected farmers and restore the land.

Why is the Whopper better than the Big Mac? ›

Then there is the taste. Burger King has long advertised their flame-grilled process for cooking their burgers and for good reason. It makes for a much better tasting sandwich. The patty is juicer, it tastes amazing and the sandwich is actually hot when you take a bite, not kinda-warm-but-not-really like a Big Mac.

What is Burger King getting rid of? ›

Reuters reported that the chain would stop selling sundaes, whipped toppings, and chocolate milk. As well as removing some items, Burger King also lifted price caps on other items in late 2021, Curtis said at the call.

What is a Burger King employee called? ›

Team Member- Food Service

The Burger King Team Member is responsible for providing exceptional guest service while working closely with the Restaurant Managers and other Team Members to maintain operational standards and…

Who didn t miss work for 27 years at Burger King? ›

Kevin Ford received a "goodie bag" for working 27 years at Burger King, never missing a day of work. But his daughter didn't think that was enough. LOS ANGELES - Kevin Ford, 54, of Las Vegas, Nevada is a man of grace and humility.

What is the average age of Burger King employees? ›

What is the average age of employees at Burger King? The most common age range of Burger King employees is 20-30 years. 39% of Burger King employees are between the ages of 20-30 years. The least common age range of Burger King employees is 40+ years.

Who is Burger King's biggest rival? ›

Burger King's top competitors include McDonald's. McDonald's (NYSE: MCD) is a chain of fast food restaurants. The company primarily sells hamburgers, cheeseburgers, chicken, french fries, breakfast items, soft drinks, …

Who is Burger King's biggest competitor? ›

Burger King main competitors are Prandium, Inc., Fiesta Restaurant Group, and Quality Dining. Competitor Summary. See how Burger King compares to its main competitors: KFC has the most employees (820,000).

What was Burger King sued for? ›

A trademark dispute involving the owners of the identically named Burger King in Mattoon, Illinois led to a federal lawsuit; the case's outcome helped define the scope of the Lanham act and trademark law in the United States.

What is the healthiest fast food restaurants? ›

10 Fast-Food Restaurants That Serve Healthy Foods
  1. Chipotle. Chipotle Mexican Grill is a restaurant chain that specializes in foods like tacos and burritos. ...
  2. Chick-fil-A. Chick-fil-A is a fast-food restaurant that specializes in chicken sandwiches. ...
  3. Wendy's. ...
  4. McDonald's. ...
  5. Ruby Tuesday. ...
  6. The Cheesecake Factory. ...
  7. KFC. ...
  8. Subway.
Feb 14, 2023

Why fast food is addictive? ›

Eating junk food causes a release of dopamine in the brain. This reward encourages susceptible individuals to eat more unhealthy foods.

Why is a hamburger called a hamburger? ›

The term 'hamburger' comes from Hamburg in Germany, where a minced beef style dish was first created. All of our burgers are made from whole cuts of 100% British and Irish beef, with nothing added except a pinch of salt and pepper after cooking.

Is burger or grilled cheese older? ›

What was invented first, the hamburger or grilled cheese? While the earliest known grilled cheese was invented in 1902, the hamburger came earlier, making it's first appearance in the late 1800's.

What food is Atlanta known for? ›

Black-eyed peas, cornbread, collard greens, mac and cheese, sweet potato pie, fried chicken, banana pudding — these are just some of the mouth wateringly good soul food dishes that are abundant in Atlanta.

Who has the unhealthiest fast food? ›

And the unhealthiest fast-food chain is . . .

According to Goodson, it's Burger King. After looking at the burger slinger's current menu, Goodson pointed out that Burger King has higher overall calorie counts than even their closest competitor McDonald's.

What happens when you stop eating fast food? ›

Cutting back on junk food means you'll be receiving less amounts of fat, sugar and calories, which will naturally lead to weight loss. You'll feel more energetic. Receiving more calories from junk food doesn't mean you're obtaining enough nutritional substance.

Which fast food restaurant was voted the cleanest? ›

First Place. Chick-fil-A won a blue ribbon for being the cleanest fast-food restaurant in America. While the chain came neck-in-neck with the second-place restaurant for interior cleanness (at 68.6%), it jumped ahead thanks to higher marks for food prep and kitchen sparkle (66.5%).

How much did a Big Mac cost in 1969? ›

You could buy it for about $0.49. The first TV ad for the Big Mac appeared in 1969 and featured the memorable Ballad of the Big Mac: “Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions — on a sesame seed bun!” The McDonald's Hot Apple Pie was also introduced in 1968. Back then it was deep-fried.

How much did a burger and fries cost in 1950? ›

At the first McDonald's location, every item cost less than 25 cents and hamburgers were only 15 cents.

Did Taco Bell start as a burger stand? ›

Our History

It was founded by Glen Bell, and he opened the first Taco Bell restaurant back in 1962 in Downey, California. Before Taco Bell, he originally owned and operated a hamburger stand called Bell's Hamburgers in California, built in 1948 on the border of San Bernardino and the city of Colton.

What was the name of the other restaurant in Good Burger? ›

Mondo Burger is the fictional rival fast food resturaunt featured in the 1997 Nickelodeon comedy movie Good Burger.

What is Wendy's last name fast food? ›

Melinda Lou "Wendy" Thomas-Morse (born September 14, 1961) is a daughter of American businessman Dave Thomas, the founder of the fast food brand Wendy's. Morse is the namesake and mascot of the brand. She uses the name Wendy Thomas in her role as a spokesperson for Wendy's.

What was the name of the opposing restaurant from Good Burger? ›

Mondo Burger is the fast-food rival restaurant to the eponymous restaurant in the film Good Burger.


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