Burger King Worldwide Inc. recently announced that they are releasing an application that will allow customers to pay for their meals with their smartphones. Upon first notice of this news, I became interested in just how competitive the fast food industry is. The recent strategic move by Burger King shows that they want to appeal to younger diners, and to individuals who appreciate the added convenience of being able to make purchases from their smartphones. Burger King, the second-biggest burger chain by store count in the U.S., is making this move to beat its competitors to the punch in a competitive fast food industry.
The United States has the largest fast food industry in the world, with American fast food restaurants located in over 100 countries, and approximately 4.1 million U.S. workers employed in the areas of food preparation and food servicing, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ records on food and beverage servicing and related workers. Such a large industry is causing competitors such as Burger King, McDonald’s Corp. and Dunkin’ Brands Group Inc., or Dunkin’ Donuts, to essentially build their brand awareness, and be marketable to target demographics.
Burger King aims to appeal to younger diners with the introduction of its smartphone application, which will be available next month and in all of Burger King’s more than 7,000 U.S. locations in a few months, according to an e-mailed statement received by Bloomberg Business from Burger King spokesman Bryson Thornton. The application, developed by Tillster Inc., will give customers coupons for deals, nutrition facts and the ability to utilize their phone for another convenience. Darren Tristano, executive vice president at Chicago-based Technomic Inc., said in a phone interview with Bloomberg Business that younger consumers are looking for the ability to use their phones to do everything, replacing the wallet.
Watch for other fast food chains to follow and create more user-friendly options to separate themselves from competitors.
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