For a long time, Burger King was Pepsi to McDonald’s Coke.
At some point, however, that changed and Wendy’s managed to work its way into the conversation, first making it a fast-food burger big three, and then actually becoming the number two brand in the space.
That’s an embarrassing predicament for the Restaurant Brands International (QSR) – Get Free Report chain. Burger King has responded by trying to be a menu innovator. It has been daring (albeit with mixed success) trying bold ideas like Chicken Fries and Mac N’ Cheetos as well as seemingly endless burger innovation including committing to plant-based options.
The chain has also been willing to leverage its best-known product, the Whopper, to get media attention and bring people into its stores. Burger King has rolled out multiple versions of The Whopper — some serious, some novelties — in a way that has brought attention to the brand.
Menu gimmicks, however, are not the only levers the company can pull for growth and the chain’s parent company has just made a huge move that should help the company grow its sales and maybe even catch up to Wendy’s.
Burger King’s Parent Makes a Huge Hire
Few people think about who leads a company when they’re deciding where to eat. In reality, though, decisions made in the executive suite do actually impact your decision in ways you’re not considering.
As CEO of Domino’s Pizza (DPZ) – Get Free Report Patrick Doyle focused on execution over food. Yes, he was the leader who admitted that the chain needed to improve its pizza — and made that a huge ad campaign — but few people think “boy, Domino’s has great pizza.”:
What people do think about Domino’s is that the company offers great value and it’s really convenient. Doyle focused on execution. He made sure the company had a decent product that people were happy to eat, and then he became laser-focused on making sure it was convenient and easy to order.
You may not think of Domino’s as a technology company, but under Doyle, it became a digital leader that pushed orders to its app, as a way to be more convenient and lower labor costs. Now, Doyle is bringing his talents to Restaurant Brands International (RBI), where he will become executive chairman.
McDonald’s and Wendy’s Have Reasons to Worry
McDonald’s has invested heavily in digital, focusing on both its app and adding ordering kiosks in its stores. Wendy’s has not been as aggressive in this area, but it has pushed customers to its app using deals and special offers.
Now, with Doyle onboard, Burger King, as well as the other RBI brands have a leader who can leverage his experience to unlock growth. The company specifically said that its new executive chairman “will be an important contributor to unlocking growth in the company based on his proven track record doing the same at Domino’s Pizza,” in a press release about the appointment.
As the former CEO of Domino’s Pizza from 2010 to 2018, Doyle led one of the restaurant industry’s most successful transformations by focusing on putting the guest experience first and being the best at digital ordering and food quality. During his tenure, he delivered 29 consecutive quarters of same-store sale increases, system-wide sales growth of $5.6B to $13B, an over 2x increase in home market franchisee profitability while creating approximately $11B of shareholder value and increasing the share price over 23x from nearly $12 in March 2010 to $271 in June 2018.
Doyle was a transformational leader that was steps ahead of the current digital evolution. He pushed Domino’s to invest in areas that other fast-food chains (really everyone except Starbucks) were ignoring and that built a powerful platform for the company which helped it through the pandemic.
“I love the restaurant industry. These are four exceptional brands with real opportunities for accelerated growth. Working closely with each of the brands’ franchisees, with Jose, the whole RBI team, and the Board of Directors, I am confident we can create one of the most compelling growth stories in the industry,” said Doyle.
The new executive chairman will purchase 500,000 RBI shares for a value of approximately $30M and has agreed to maintain his investment for five years,.