The flames have been stoked and rivalries renewed in the burger business.
A revitalized Burger King Worldwide (NYSE: BKW) joins The Wendy's Company (NASDAQ: WEN) in once again challenging the supremacy of McDonald's (NYSE: MCD) golden arches around the world.
Newly re-listed on the New York Stock Exchange, Burger King has launched a massive advertising campaign emphasizing that “exciting things are happening at Burger King” and featuring soccer star David Beckham and Aerosmith front man Stephen Tyler.
The ads are meant to drive home the point that it has completely overhauled its menu in order to appeal to the widest possible audience.
Its menu is now more similar to McDonald's and features items such as smoothies, ice cream, salads, wraps and more chicken choices.
The shift in strategy is to focus more on quality and less on deep discounting.
The company is also remodeling its restaurants into modern “20/20 image” restaurants.
Similarly, number two Wendy's earlier this year said it would expand the burger wars to new fronts by challenging McDonald's on breakfast, coffee, salads and late-night dining among other items.
Wendy's ads, featuring red heads of course, have been pushing the point to consumers.
The company also is remodeling its restaurants, ala McDonald's, with modern designs and flatscreen televisions.
Wendy's major change emphasis seems to be on breakfast, which makes sense.
In 2010, breakfast accounted for roughly a quarter of McDonald's sales while at Wendy's breakfast represented just 2.2 percent of sales.
So obviously there is a lot a room for growth there.
There is one key difference in the approach taken by Burger King and Wendy's in their challenge to number one McDonald's.
That difference is that Burger King has decided to challenge McDonald's in overseas markets too. Right now about 40 percent of the company's 12,500 restaurants are overseas and its goal is to double its presence in foreign markets over time.
Burger King looks to make some bold moves into three of the BRIC countries – Brazil, Russia and China...
Source: Argentine Beef Packers S.A.
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