For a long time, Burger King was Pepsi to McDonald’s Coke.
At some point, however, that changed and Wendy’s managed to make its way into the conversation, first making a fast food burger big three and then becoming the number two brand in the space.
That is an embarrassing situation for Restaurant Brands International (QSR) – Get a free report chain. Burger King has responded by trying to be a menu innovator. It was daring (albeit with mixed success) to try bold ideas like Chicken Fries and Mac N’ Cheetos, as well as seemingly endless burger innovation, including going for plant-based options.
The chain has also been willing to use its best-known product, the Whopper, to gain media attention and drive people to its stores. Burger King has rolled out multiple versions of The Whopper – some serious, some novelties – in a way that has drawn attention to the brand.
However, menu gimmicks aren’t the only levers the company can use for growth, and the chain’s parent company just took a huge step that should help the company grow its sales and maybe even overtake Wendy’s.
Burger King’s parent is making a huge hire
Few people think about who runs a business when deciding where to eat. However, in reality, decisions made in the executive suite actually affect your decision in ways you don’t consider.
As CEO of Domino’s Pizza (DPZ) – Get a free report Patrick Doyle focused on execution over food. Yes, he was the leader who admitted the chain needed to improve its pizza – and turned it into a huge ad campaign – but few people think “boy, Domino’s has great pizza.”:
What people do think of Domino’s is that the company is great value for money and it is very convenient. Doyle focused on execution. He made sure the company had a decent product that people liked to eat, and then he laser-focused on making sure it was easy and convenient to order.
You might not think of Domino’s as a technology company, but under Doyle it became a digital leader pushing orders to its app as a way to be more convenient and reduce labor costs. Now Doyle brings his talents to Restaurant Brands International (RBI), where he becomes executive chairman.
McDonald’s and Wendy’s have reasons to be concerned
McDonald’s has invested heavily in digital, focusing on both the app and adding kiosks in its stores. Wendy’s hasn’t been as aggressive in this area, but has pushed customers to its app with promotions and special offers.
With Doyle on board, both Burger King and the other RBI brands have a leader who can use his experience to drive growth. The company specifically said its new executive chairman will “be instrumental in unlocking growth in the company based on his proven track record by doing the same at Domino’s Pizza,” in a press release announcing the appointment.
As the former CEO of Domino’s Pizza from 2010 to 2018, Doyle led one of the most successful transformations in the restaurant industry by focusing on putting the guest experience at the heart of the business and being the best in digital ordering and food quality. During his tenure, he delivered 29 consecutive quarters of same-store sales increases, system-wide revenue growth from $5.6 billion to $13 billion, more than 2x home franchisee profitability, while creating approximately $11 billion in shareholder value and the share price increased more than 23x from nearly $12 in March 2010 to $271 in June 2018.
Doyle was a transformational leader who was one step ahead of today’s digital evolution. He urged Domino’s to invest in areas that other fast food chains (basically everyone but Starbucks) ignored, building a powerful platform for the company that helped it through the pandemic.
“I love the restaurant industry. These are four exceptional brands with real opportunities for accelerated growth. By working closely with the franchisees of each of the brands, with Jose, the entire RBI team and the Board of Directors, I am convinced that we can create one of the most exciting growth stories in the industry,” said Doyle.
The new executive chairman will purchase 500,000 RBI shares worth approximately $30 million and has agreed to hold onto his investment for five years.