How About a Beer and a Burger? Sure! Beer and a Burger King? Really?!

OK this is a real whopper. I mean a real whopper with a capital W.

Unless you haven’t heard, Burger King is opening places they call the Whopper Bar: a place where you can get a beer and a burger. Looks like McDonalds has driven them to drink.

You heard me right. Evidently, “Have It Your Way” is back big time. I guess the folks at Burger King feel this radical differentiation strategy will position them to be the true purveyor’s of Happy Meals.

Whopper Bars will be open around the clock. They are slated for destination metros like South Beach where hipsters and touristas alike will be secure in the knowledge that they won’t go hungry.

Bud and Miller are both bellying up to the Whopper Bar. Seems like an exclusive co-branding strategy with Anheuser-Busch would have yielded a crisper concept: a Bud and a burger before bedtime!

Legal, operational and training issues aside, going from “Do you want fries with that?” to “Can I getcha a beer?” is risky business.

No matter how you slice it, BK is exposing their brand in a business that practically lives or dies on families and fries.

Sure, segments like “drivers ed” and “co-eds “may think it’s cool, but is this really worth it. Does any fast food company really want to involve their franchise (pun intended) in the heated discussion over alcohol and young adults?

Besides who are they really going after and what is the long term plan?

BTW: BK has had a Whopper Bar in California at Universal City, but there is no beer there. Huh? Nor is there any “on tap” for the foreseeable future. Really?!

Which also raises a key issue: how does this concept work after last call? A Whopper Bar with no bar.

Many course changes mark the history of positioning Burger King. Different management teams have labored under the yoke of their main competitor, a consistently superior fast food master.

Burger King almost seems to relish playing Avis’s “We Try Harder” to McDonalds, who plays the golden Hertz. Now that I think about, it’s the red team against the yellow team in both industry contests. (Sounds like a separate post to me. But I digress.)

So, we will wait and see if this can be well done or if it will be just a little too raw for the partners and their brands.


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