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View Full Version : Burger King to open first "Whopper Bar" - selling burgers & beer.


Unspeaked
Jan 22, 2010, 02:59 PM
LINK (http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/food/2010-01-21-burger-king-beer_N.htm)

Burger King plans beer-selling Whopper Bar in South Beach

By Bruce Horovitz, USA TODAY

Gimme a Whopper, fries — and a beer.
Those words are no longer wishful thinking. Friday, Burger King will unveil plans to sell beer and burgers at a Whopper Bar — a new BK concept to compete with casual dining restaurants — in Miami Beach's tourist-heavy South Beach. The South Beach Whopper Bar is scheduled to open in mid-February.

Don't look for beer at conventional Burger Kings. That's not in the plans. But more Whopper Bars — which offer an assortment of burgers, toppings and beer — could be on tap in tourist hot spots such as New York, Los Angeles and Las Vegas, says Chuck Fallon, president of Burger King North America.

A brewski at the new Whopper Bar — served in special aluminum bottles to keep them extra cold — fetches $4.25. Or, order beer as part of a Whopper combo and your bill will be $7.99 — roughly $2 more than the same combo meal with a fountain drink.

The unusual move comes as the restaurant industry is reeling. Restaurant operators reported lower same-store sales in November, compared with a year earlier, for the 18th-consecutive month, the National Restaurant Association reports. Nearly 65% of operators reported a same-store sales decline in November. December results were unavailable.

Burger King's Whopper Bar isn't the first fast-food chain to test alcoholic beverages domestically. Last year in Seattle, Starbucks opened "15th Avenue Coffee and Tea, inspired by Starbucks." Beyond coffee and tea, it sells regional beers and wines.

By trying to wedge into the fast-casual dining arena with Whopper Bar, Burger King is chasing the 30-and-under crowd, which is the industry's future growth, says Bradford Hudson, marketing professor at Boston University. But the move is very tricky, he says, because "Burger King means fast food."

But Linda Lipsky, a restaurant consultant, says the move makes sense. "The Burger King customer is aging, so they're just trying to grow up with the customer."

The restaurant will initially sell Anheuser-Busch and MillerCoors beers. "You can have America's favorite beers with America's favorite burger," Fallon says. More will eventually be added, he says.

But Lipsky says the chain will be challenged to train staff to legally sell and serve alcohol. "You can be an easy mark if you're not used to selling alcohol," she says.

Burger Kings in Germany and Whopper Bars in Singapore and Venezuela sell beer. But this will be the first BK brand in the USA to sell beer. (A Whopper Bar in Universal City does not sell beer.) "We're in the midst of understanding how much beer will be a part of the (sales pitch)," Fallon says.

The restaurant also will offer delivery of all items — except beer.

rhett7660
Jan 22, 2010, 03:02 PM
Interesting idea, but crappy selection of beer.

flopticalcube
Jan 22, 2010, 03:02 PM
Killing Americans 1 burger at a time since 1963....

TuffLuffJimmy
Jan 22, 2010, 03:06 PM
I feel like beer and a whopper really wouldn't go well together, no matter how nice the beer. Fast food and alcohol (among other things) just don't mix.

Paul B
Jan 22, 2010, 03:11 PM
Sounds like a great idea. If they have Guinness on draft I'm there.

mkrishnan
Jan 22, 2010, 03:11 PM
Interesting idea, but crappy selection of beer.

If they're only talking about their mass brews, yeah.

Interesting, anyway. Starbucks is trying something similar with this 15th Ave Tea & Coffee place they opened in Seattle, although they seem to be trying much harder to create the right environment.

I think BK's move would make more sense if they had craft beer and more gourmet burgers, but who knows? I don't really eat at Chilli's, but I guess if I did, this might possibly be an enticing alternative.

dmr727
Jan 22, 2010, 03:14 PM
I feel like beer and a whopper really wouldn't go well together, no matter how nice the beer. Fast food and alcohol (among other things) just don't mix.

Yeah, I agree with this. However I think fast Mexican can get away with it - there's a fast food chain in Texas called Taco Cabana that serves cheap Mexican beer and margaritas, and it's pretty cool. ;)

Lord Blackadder
Jan 22, 2010, 03:16 PM
BK has discovered a way to make their food even less healthy! :D

The beer won't be anything drinkable, but it's an interesting idea.

Back when I was a Subway employee many moons ago, my boss told me that Subway once used to serve beer early on.

TuffLuffJimmy
Jan 22, 2010, 03:25 PM
Yeah, I agree with this. However I think fast Mexican can get away with it - there's a fast food chain in Texas called Taco Cabana that serves cheap Mexican beer and margaritas, and it's pretty cool. ;)
That's true. Baja Fresh serves Corona and that works out pretty well.

Unspeaked
Jan 22, 2010, 04:01 PM
The beer might stink, the burgers might be awful but a combo meal of a crappy Whopper, fries and a cold beer for $7.99 will probably sell pretty well in middle America...

bobr1952
Jan 22, 2010, 04:05 PM
Yeah, I have a feeling the beer will be on par with the burger. Now for me the best place for that kind of burger bar is in Germany, can't say the burgers were any better at McDonalds there but the beer certainly was great!

Disc Golfer
Jan 22, 2010, 04:07 PM
Burger King's economic theory works like this:
http://www.mathsisfun.com/multiplying-negatives.html

Which wouldn't normally work very well when applied to desirability of food but then you have
middle America...
Which evens out the numbers.

takao
Jan 22, 2010, 04:58 PM
funny how both burgerking and mcdonalds have been selling beer for years over here (at burgerking they have miller or something like that and at mcdonalds an austrian brand

they don't advertise it but i remember that they are selling it at least since 2002

Dagless
Jan 22, 2010, 05:02 PM
They've been selling that stuff on mainland Europe for years. I think it's a good idea too, there's a pub round my way that sells fancy burgers and they get very good business.

NT1440
Jan 22, 2010, 05:08 PM
I feel like beer and a whopper really wouldn't go well together, no matter how nice the beer. Fast food and alcohol (among other things) just don't mix.
I dont know, there are an awful lot of college students that can't seem to get enough fast food, but they're already drunk:p

Antares
Jan 22, 2010, 05:15 PM
Doesn't McD's in Russia offer vodka?

Burgers, fries and beer go great together. So, I think this is a great idea for the King. Heck, when you're eating burgers you want something lighter to drink....like a pilsner. Miller and Budweiser are perfect for that. Flavorful or heavier beers are meals unto themselves.

jzuena
Jan 22, 2010, 05:20 PM
The beer might stink, the burgers might be awful but a combo meal of a crappy Whopper, fries and a cold beer for $7.99 will probably sell pretty well in middle America...

Too bad Miami Beach is on the east coast :D

I feel like beer and a whopper really wouldn't go well together, no matter how nice the beer. Fast food and alcohol (among other things) just don't mix.

If you count pizza as fast food, it goes pretty good with beer.

anjinha
Jan 22, 2010, 05:21 PM
So weird that this is such a big deal in the U.S. Here you can get beer at any fast food place.

GoCubsGo
Jan 22, 2010, 05:24 PM
Meh, too bad whoppers are kinda **** for burgers.

Kebabselector
Jan 22, 2010, 05:28 PM
Sounds like a great idea. If they have Guinness on draft I'm there.

Good idea, the speed most Burger Kings operate at might mean they have time the to pull the perfect Guinness pint :)

rdowns
Jan 22, 2010, 05:29 PM
I just threw up in my mouth.™

leomac08
Jan 22, 2010, 06:27 PM
all we need to see now is the whopper king in an advertising commercial with the slogan

"are you crunk yet?"

Abstract
Jan 23, 2010, 03:08 AM
Interesting, anyway. Starbucks is trying something similar with this 15th Ave Tea & Coffee place they opened in Seattle, although they seem to be trying much harder to create the right environment.


Interesting. I didn't know that, not like I really get Starbucks over here anyway.

I once told someone (and also may have mentioned it here) that I thought it would be a wise decision for Starbucks to start marketing to a more adult crowd and begin having more relaxing cafés that served coffee-based alcoholic drinks. With a liquor licence, they'd eliminate teenagers from swarming a Starbucks and stressing out most older patrons who only want to sit, drink a coffee, and stare at a magazine or newspaper. Also, it would be a good place for adults to have a low-key night out --- nothing too rowdy --- and yet offer something different from the typical pub (or Bingo :p).


I was told it was a bad idea, but I was never 100% convinced that it was.....



I think BK's move would make more sense if they had craft beer and more gourmet burgers, but who knows?

Again, I agree. I can't tell from the article itself, but if the burgers were a bit more upscale --- possibly a BK with your own choice of toppings (thereby making it a Harveys :o) --- it would be a bit more unique. Nicer chairs and decor are nice, but a boutique burger place that happens to serve beer would have been a better way to branch out.

RedTomato
Jan 23, 2010, 05:34 AM
I don't get this?

Pubs, cafes, and even restaurants in London have been selling burgers and beer / wine together for many, many years. There's at least 10 places within 20 mins of my home where you can get burger and beer. Same again where I work.

Cheap fast-food and beer is a bit different, at least in the same shop, but usually almost every burger bar or kebab bar has a 24-hour off-licence next door.

Gav2k
Jan 23, 2010, 05:41 AM
Hardly a new idea. People have been doing this for years at home it's called a BBQ or for the posh ones a pool party.

glowfly
Jan 23, 2010, 08:47 AM
Killing Americans 1 burger at a time since 1963....

hahaha crappy burger and now with crappy beer !

mkrishnan
Jan 23, 2010, 08:57 AM
I once told someone (and also may have mentioned it here) that I thought it would be a wise decision for Starbucks to start marketing to a more adult crowd and begin having more relaxing cafés that served coffee-based alcoholic drinks.

It's an interesting idea. I guess I have multiple feelings -- my favorite coffee shops are relatively active, vivacious places, where people are talking and having fun -- I guess, like a bar, but not quite so packed, and much less dirty. :p

My pet peeve for coffee shops is people who go there to spend five hours playing network video games on the WiFi or watching video on their laptop. Usually kills the internet connection for everyone else, and they're usually these grubby, unbathed people wearing parkas indoors and grandpa/grandma jeans.

That, and what I find with Starbucks too often now (I've been to some ones that aren't like this) is that they have this annoying sense of false urgency...like the person at the counter asks for my order, and the barista isn't listening, so I have to repeat it a second time (or a third, because the person at the counter, who asked, is also not listening :rolleyes: ), or else vice versa, because the barista asks me when I'm five people back in line (and then makes the wrong thing anyways).

With Burger King, I actually think the Whopper is pretty tasty, at least I did when I was eating meat. If they used better bread and thicker burgers and things, it wouldn't be hard for them to go more gourmet.

But I think, in Starbuck's case, they're targeting the avant garde coffee shops of Seattle. Burger King is targeting Chilli's and TGIF's too directly. They should be studying what really great burger bars in the US are doing (say, Kuma's Corner (http://www.kumascorner.com/)). Otherwise, they're just fighting for the same tourists and so on, and they're really not a very lucrative market in the sense of growth potential, because they have no taste. :p

velocityg4
Jan 23, 2010, 09:00 AM
Given how cheap beer is by the keg and the expectation for fast food joints to be cheap I think this is too overpriced. They should be selling the beers in all the restaurants and ruining them like sodas in the giant 64oz paper cups with straws and ice:D. Though I suppose they would have to drop the all you can drink tap in the restaurant:rolleyes:.

More seriously though I do not see why I would go for a Whopper and Bud when I could go to Chili's and get a Blue Cheese Burger and a good beer, wine or mixed drink.

rdowns
Jan 23, 2010, 09:16 AM
BK has discovered a way to make their food even less healthy! :D




A super sized beer is way healthier than the same size Coke.

Abstract
Jan 23, 2010, 10:27 PM
It's an interesting idea. I guess I have multiple feelings -- my favorite coffee shops are relatively active, vivacious places, where people are talking and having fun -- I guess, like a bar, but not quite so packed, and much less dirty. :p

I didn't mean that I thought a Starbucks with a liquor licence was a good idea because everyone wants to drink in a library. :p I like places with a lively atmosphere, but the only way to branch out would be to aim for a slightly more mature crowd. This would also mean that the type of people who goes there is there to socialize, not to use up the free WiFi for gaming. I was envisioning it as an alternative to a bar or pub, and a highschool-free atmosphere during the day.


And with regards to BK, I think some people are missing the point of it all. Yes, there are plenty of places to grab a burger and beer. Every pub and most restaurants offer both items on their menu. What BK is hoping to do is create a boutique burger place that feels more like the neighbourhood hangout rather than a walk-in fast-food place that you'd treat as a pitstop. Like mkrishnan said though, you can't really do that successfully when you call yourself 'Whopper Bar', because if all you're going to do is serve me a Whopper on a proper plate, I'd rather go somewhere more genuine.

Disc Golfer
Jan 24, 2010, 10:12 AM
"Whopper Bar" sounds like the name of a hamburger based condensed carbohydrate snack.

http://www.eatingwell.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/standard/recipes/BR6585.JPG

dankybear
Jan 24, 2010, 03:53 PM
A super sized beer is way healthier than the same size Coke.

does Coke do more damage to the liver than beer?

BittenApple
Jan 24, 2010, 08:11 PM
Novel idea in concept, disgusting once brought to life. It will sell but it is better suited for those touristy areas where drinking is allowed anyways. Drunks have to eat too...

Unspeaked
Jan 25, 2010, 10:09 AM
More seriously though I do not see why I would go for a Whopper and Bud when I could go to Chili's and get a Blue Cheese Burger and a good beer, wine or mixed drink.

I'd rather eat a Burger King burger and watery domestic beer than anything from Chili's...

Gasu E.
Jan 25, 2010, 10:20 AM
Interesting idea, but crappy selection of beer.

The crappy selection of beer is well matched to their crappy selection of hamburgers.

iOrlando
Jan 25, 2010, 12:11 PM
just beer? please

shots of vodka or rum would fit in better.

no kids here as it is.

IntheNet
Jan 25, 2010, 06:56 PM
LINK (http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/food/2010-01-21-burger-king-beer_N.htm)
Burger King plans beer-selling Whopper Bar in South Beach

This is great news IMHO; I have often wondered why the refreshment menu of fast food restaurants is geared for youth (soda, etc.) with no beer offered for adults; Burger King, McDonalds, Wendy's, Taco Bell, etc. all lacking beer or wine or spirits. While acquiring a liquor license might be a long pole in the tent of such a fast food operation, the payoff would be better community relations and adult patronage; perhaps a whole new customer demographic to investigate and expand... Most of the fast food principle is geared to quick service with little thought of customer needs or wants in terms of beer or wine; adding said beer or wine might be something that turns profitable for Burger King...I hope the idea catches on...

Disc Golfer
Jan 26, 2010, 10:16 AM
I have often wondered why the refreshment menu of fast food restaurants is geared for youth (soda, etc.) with no beer offered for adults; Burger King, McDonalds, Wendy's, Taco Bell, etc. all lacking beer or wine or spirits.
The drinks are geared towards children because fast food is junk food for children. The convenience of the drive thru is to draw the hurried parent. Adults who choose to eat that way are simply making immature and lazy decisions about their nutrition.

themoonisdown09
Jan 26, 2010, 10:27 AM
does Coke do more damage to the liver than beer?

It looks like it does:


Cocaine and crack can damage the liver's ability to detoxify blood, while reducing the production of critical enzymes needed for normal body functions.


link (http://www.shesinrecovery.com/addiction/cocaineeffects.html)

leekohler
Jan 26, 2010, 11:07 AM
I love it! I wanna go, and I even hate beer!

anjinha
Jan 26, 2010, 11:07 AM
A super sized beer is way healthier than the same size Coke.

And has a lot less calories too.

Elixer
Jan 28, 2010, 01:20 PM
BK with beer sounds good to me. I just hope they expand on their beer selection. Of course it might be a while until one is close enough for it to even matter.

I'd rather eat a Burger King burger and watery domestic beer than anything from Chili's...

I hear you there, I went to Chili's one time and ordered the chicken tacos they brought them out ice cold. The cheese wasn't melted or anything, I swear they didn't even cook it. Never going back.

themoonisdown09
Jan 29, 2010, 06:59 AM
I'd rather eat a Burger King burger and watery domestic beer than anything from Chili's...

Blasphemy! I love to eat at Chili's!

Unspeaked
Jan 29, 2010, 02:44 PM
Blasphemy! I love to eat at Chili's!

This:

I went to Chili's one time and ordered the chicken tacos they brought them out ice cold. The cheese wasn't melted or anything, I swear they didn't even cook it. Never going back.

yayitsezekiel
Feb 15, 2010, 03:14 AM
wheres mah bk lounge???

omegaphil6
Feb 15, 2010, 04:18 AM
Burger king already has a, "Whopper Bar" at Universal Studios Orlando.

iWoz
Feb 15, 2010, 05:09 AM
A bit cheesy if you ask me!!

nick9191
Feb 15, 2010, 11:11 AM
Or my local pub, a million different beers, a real hamburger, real chips, £3.99 ($6).

carlgo
Feb 16, 2010, 10:42 AM
Will they offer drive-up service? Will the beer containers fit into a standard cup holder?

carlgo
Feb 16, 2010, 10:50 AM
...My pet peeve for coffee shops is people who go there to spend five hours playing network video games on the WiFi or watching video on their laptop. ......and they're usually these grubby, unbathed people wearing parkas indoors and grandpa/grandma jeans.

That, and ...like the person at the counter asks for my order, and the barista isn't listening... :p

I have always wondered how they could drink 10 cups of coffee and just be inert for hours.

When is the crack-head hoodie and hide your weapon saggy pants thing going to be over? It has been years now.

They aren't listening because they are just too cool and like laid back and just chillin to actually work.