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Burger King expands home delivery test to Houston

Burger King expands home delivery test to Houston

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Burger King rolled out home delivery testing in Houston this week, adding to its test markets in Miami and metro Washington, D.C.

The Miami-based chain has been rolling out home delivery to various U.S. markets throughout the past year. So far, the response has been positive, said Alex Macedo, vice president and general manager of U.S. franchise business for Burger King Worldwide. However, the company did not release specific sales numbers for delivery test markets.

“When you look at the QSR industry around the world, you see many markets in which delivery is widespread,” he said. “One of the questions we made when putting our plan together to grow in the United States was: Why don’t we have delivery?” So, he said, the company started testing and development.

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Houston was chosen as a test market for home delivery because of its size, as well as consumer propensity to order delivery, Macedo said.

Before testing delivery, Burger King developed special packaging to help keep burgers and fries fresh during transit, according to Macedo. Special containers with air filters were designed to keep fries and chicken nuggets crispy, and a container that separated the cool and hot components of a burger was designed to keep burgers from getting soggy.

“We didn’t want to do delivery if we couldn’t guarantee the quality of the food,” he said.

Deliveries happen with equal frequency at lunchtime and dinnertime in restaurant locations that have office parks, Macedo said. In areas that are more residential, he said, dinnertime dominates deliveries.

Burger King’s entire menu is available for delivery, with some exceptions, including ice cream products and breakfast. The minimum delivery order is $10, plus a $2 delivery fee. The radius for delivery around each store varies, he said, but on average it’s not more than a 10-minute drive from the store.

Currently, customers in test markets can order Burger King online on or by calling 1-855-orderbk.

Burger King likely won’t roll out delivery nationwide because not all markets are suited for delivery, Macedo said. Markets with high population densities will be the most likely targets, he said, but he declined to specify which markets might be coming next.

Burger King has offered delivery in Mexico, Peru, Brazil and Colombia, since 2006, Macedo said.

Burger King Worldwide operates or franchises more than 12,600 restaurants in the United States and more than 80 international markets.

Contact Erin Dostal at [email protected]
Follow her on Twitter: @ErinDostal

Burger King

Burger King (BK) is an American multinational chain of hamburger fast food restaurants. Headquartered in Miami-Dade County, Florida, the company was founded in 1953 as Insta-Burger King, a Jacksonville, Florida–based restaurant chain. After Insta-Burger King ran into financial difficulties in 1954, its two Miami-based franchisees David Edgerton and James McLamore purchased the company and renamed it "Burger King". Over the next half-century, the company changed hands four times, with its third set of owners, a partnership of TPG Capital, Bain Capital, and Goldman Sachs Capital Partners, taking it public in 2002. In late-2010, 3G Capital of Brazil acquired a majority stake in the company, in a deal valued at US$3.26 billion. The new owners promptly initiated a restructuring of the company to reverse its fortunes. 3G, along with partner Berkshire Hathaway, eventually merged the company with the Canadian-based doughnut chain Tim Hortons, under the auspices of a new Canadian-based parent company named Restaurant Brands International.

  • Alexandre Behring (Chairman RBI) [1] : 123
  • Daniel S. Schwartz (CEO) [1] : 123
  • José E. Cil (President) [1] : 123
  • Joshua Kobza (CFO) [1] : 123

The 1970s were the "Golden Age" of the company's advertising, but beginning in the early-1980s Burger King advertising began losing focus. A series of less successful advertising campaigns created by a procession of advertising agencies continued for the next two decades. In 2003, Burger King hired the Miami-based advertising agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky (CP+B), which completely reorganized its advertising with a series of new campaigns centered on a redesigned Burger King character nicknamed "The King", accompanied by a new online presence. While highly successful, some of CP+B's commercials were derided for perceived sexism or cultural insensitivity. Burger King's new owner, 3G Capital, later terminated the relationship with CP+B in 2011 and moved its advertising to McGarryBowen, to begin a new product-oriented campaign with expanded demographic targeting.

Burger King's menu has expanded from a basic offering of burgers, French fries, sodas, and milkshakes to a larger and more diverse set of products. In 1957, the "Whopper" became the first major addition to the menu, and it has become Burger King's signature product since. Conversely, Burger King has introduced many products which failed to catch hold in the marketplace. Some of these failures in the United States have seen success in foreign markets, where Burger King has also tailored its menu for regional tastes. From 2002 to 2010, Burger King aggressively targeted the 18–34 male demographic with larger products that often carried correspondingly large amounts of unhealthy fats and trans-fats. This tactic would eventually damage the company's financial underpinnings, and cast a negative pall on its earnings. Beginning in 2011, the company began to move away from its previous male-oriented menu and introduce new menu items, product reformulations and packaging, as part of its current owner 3G Capital's restructuring plans of the company. [4]

As of December 31, 2018, Burger King reported it had 17,796 outlets in 100 countries. [5] [6] Of these, nearly half are located in the United States, and 99.7% are privately owned and operated, [6] with its new owners moving to an almost entirely franchised model in 2013. Burger King has historically used several variations of franchising to expand its operations. The manner in which the company licenses its franchisees varies depending on the region, with some regional franchises, known as master franchises, responsible for selling franchise sub-licenses on the company's behalf. Burger King's relationship with its franchises has not always been harmonious. Occasional spats between the two have caused numerous issues, and in several instances, the company's and its licensees' relations have degenerated into precedent-setting court cases. Burger King's Australian franchise Hungry Jack's is the only franchise to operate under a different name, due to a trademark dispute and a series of legal cases between the two.

Plant-Based Chicken Is Here, Courtesy Of KFC And Beyond Meat

While some chicken chains have been busy arguing on Twitter about who has the best sandwich, KFC has been working behind the scenes to meet the staggering plant-based protein demand.

KFC announced today it will debut its plant-based chicken–Beyond Fried Chicken–Aug. 27 at a single Atlanta restaurant. The product, developed in partnership with Beyond Meat, will be available as nuggets and boneless wings.

With this test, KFC becomes the first quick-service restaurant to jump into the plant-based space on the chicken side, after a year of tremendous growth in the plant-based beef category. Less than three months ago, KFC U.S. President Kevin Hochman told CNBC the chain was “exploring” such an alternative but there were no plans in place for a test. Those plans have quickly changed, and for good reason.

In July, the Plant Based Foods Association reported that U.S. retail sales of plant-based foods have grown 11% in the past year (compared to 2% for the total retail food market), bringing the category’s market value to $4.5 billion. Plant-based food sales have jumped by 31% in the past two years.

A confluence of factors is pushing these numbers. Consumers are more conscious about the effects mass meat production has on the environment. Others are simply trying to eat healthier, while others are interested in animal welfare. Of course, it helps that there are more alternatives now, perhaps empowering the two-thirds of Americans who say they are eating less meat.

All of this is exactly why KFC wanted to strike while the iron was hot.

“We move fast when we know there’s excitement there. Obviously, this is a huge and growing trend,” Hochman said during a phone interview last week. “A big part of how we want to evolve is by taking trends that are hard to come by, either because they’re not distributed everywhere or because they’re very expensive, and democratizing them for everyone. For us to be on the forefront of this trend, we’re very proud of that. It’s meaningful. Everybody deserves an opportunity to try a plant-based protein.”

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This “democratization” means KFC is approaching its Beyond Fried Chicken with a price point that’s as close as it can get to its core offerings with a product that’s not quite scaled yet. The product is priced at $6.49 for a six-nugget combo meal (with a side and medium drink) and $8.49 for a 12-piece combo meal, or a four-piece a la carte item for $1.99. Boneless wings are $6 for six or $12 for 12.

KFC has taken this approach before, adding Nashville Hot Chicken to the menu for under six bucks, for example. Comparatively, a hot chicken sandwich at Nashville’s Hattie B’s is about $9.

“It’s very much in our wheelhouse to take an emerging food trend and make it accessible. Customers that have been enjoying plant-based proteins are typically higher income customers. But this a trend that everybody is interested in and we can make this more accessible to more people. The way to do that is to make it as close to price parity as our conventional, animal-based protein,” Hochman said.

Although the Beyond Fried Chicken is available at just one restaurant, Hochman anticipates the test will expand. The chain is targeting two consumer sets with this product–people who used to dine at KFC but stopped eating meat, and flexitarians, or those who still eat meat but are adding more alternatives into their diet.

“Our primary driver is more traffic, to attract some new customers, as well as get more existing customers to come in more often,” Hochman said. “We think this will get people to come in more often.”

If the chain’s UK market serves as any indication, KFC should also generate quite a bit of buzz that translates to sales. KFC UK launched its vegan chicken in June, and the product sold out in just four days. Sales of the product were initially 500% higher than that of a normal burger at the chain. This success isn’t lost on Hochman, who noted that one of KFC’s advantages is being able to leverage its global system for learnings on menu items.

Another gauge of how this could go for KFC is by taking a look at the plant-based beef category in QSR. For example, the St. Louis restaurants that initially tested Burger King’s Impossible Whopper in April experienced 18.5% higher traffic that month compared to the national average.

Further, White Castle locations that tested its Impossible Slider initially saw a 250% jump in sales. And, Del Taco’s Beyond Meat tacos have become one of the best-selling new products in the chain's history.

Beyond Meat gets the nod

This foray into the chicken category is a big deal, particularly at a national chain with about 4,000 restaurants. In fact, Beyond CEO Ethan Brown calls this launch a “tipping point” for the category.

“This is becoming a movement in a way I think is interesting. The consumer is enveloped in this movement. It’s less about the protein type than it is the forward-looking possibility that we can eat things we’ve always enjoyed, like KFC,” he said. “The consumer is doing something very special here. And, for KFC to take the position that this is something worth doing, that takes real leadership.”

KFC met with several plant-based protein players to learn the market, but chose Beyond Meat because the company best replicated the taste and quality of KFC chicken, Hochman said. Because of this replication, there aren’t any operational changes back of house, either–a big deal for operators keeping an eye on things like speed of service.

KFC’s launch gives Beyond Meat a major win in a heated two-player competition with Impossible Foods. With giants like Tyson and Perdue jumping in, as well as British company The Meatless Farm launching in the U.S., this space is about to get even more intense.

To get an idea of how competitive it’s been so far, consider that White Castle was the first chain to pull the trigger, adding Impossible Sliders to the menu nationwide not quite a year ago.

Then, the floodgates opened–Burger King, Carl’s Jr., Red Robin, Umami Burger, Hard Rock Cafe, Applebee's, Cheesecake Factory and TGI Friday’s added alternative burgers, Tim Horton’s, Dunkin’ and A&W unveiled plant-based sausage, Qdoba and Del Taco went with the plant-based tacos, Little Caesar’s added an Impossible Supreme pizza and Subway started testing the Beyond Meatball Marinara sub.

Don’t expect the waters to recede anytime soon. While some chains, like Arby’s, have been adamant about “never” adding such an alternative, they are outliers. Wendy’s, McDonald’s and Chick-fil-A have all acknowledged they’re keeping an eye on the trend, with Wendy’s CEO Todd Penegor declaring that it is here to stay.

For Beyond specifically, there are a number of important milestones in the company’s 10-year history–its IPO earlier this year, its rollout into grocery stores, its partnerships with giants like Subway, Dunkin’ and Carl’s Jr, etc. This KFC partnership ranks right up there.

“I grew up with KFC. To see the consumer have the opportunity to come into this iconic brand and be part of the expanded choice set, and to do so with a plant-based meat, is nothing short of spectacular," Brown said. "For me as a consumer, this is a really important moment and it points to a brighter future.”

Critics question ethics behind Impossible Burger's rapid fast-food expansion

1 of 3 RICHMOND HEIGHTS, MO - APRIL 01: In this photo illustration, an 'Impossible Whopper' sits on a table at a Burger King restaurant on April 1, 2019 in Richmond Heights, Missouri. Burger King announced on Monday that it is testing out Impossible Whoppers, made with plant-based patties from Impossible Foods, in 59 locations in and around St. Louis area. (Photo Illustration by Michael Thomas/Getty Images) Michael Thomas / Getty Images 2019 Show More Show Less

2 of 3 Non-meat patties by Impossible Foods, are packaged and prepared to ship out to restaurants, in Redwood City, California, on Thursday, Oct. 6, 2016. Gabrielle Lurie / The Chronicle 2016 Show More Show Less

3 of 3 The Impossible burger at Gott's on Wednesday, February 6, 2019 in San Francisco, Calif. Amy Osborne / Special to The Chronicle 2019 Show More Show Less

Last week, Redwood City&rsquos Impossible Foods announced it received $300 million in new investments now that Burger King plans to serve its faux-meat Impossible Burger at 7,200 locations nationwide.

That&rsquos a lot of veggie burgers. It&rsquos also the largest investment ever in a company that sells plant-based foods, according to the Good Food Institute, a nonprofit organization that promotes such companies.

But as Impossible Foods rapidly expands, some in its Bay Area home base &mdash its single factory is in Oakland &mdash question whether partnering with the fast food industry is the best match for a company whose stated mission is to save the world. After all, Burger King and other chains are known for labor disputes and bringing unhealthy food into low-income communities. Does Impossible Foods&rsquo climate-friendly mission trump other values? By partnering with Burger King, is Impossible Food saving the world, or saving fast food?

&ldquoI have to say, I was a little bit turned off when I saw Impossible Foods go into Burger King,&rdquo said Adrionna Fike of Mandela Grocery Cooperative at the recent inaugural Future Culture Summit in Oakland, where she shared the stage with Jessica Appelgren of Impossible Foods in a panel discussion I moderated about the future of food production.

&ldquoThey exploit so many workers. Think about all the migrant workers. Think about farmers fighting over a 10-cent raise for tomato prices,&rdquo said Fike about Burger King. Fike grew up in Los Angeles in what she called a &ldquofood swamp&rdquo &mdash a neighborhood dense with fast food restaurants and little else. She said she used to struggle with health problems from a poor diet. &ldquoAnimal suffering is one thing,&rdquo she said. &ldquoBut what about human suffering?&rdquo

From left, Erin Clark, Fekida Wuul, James Bell, and Adrionna Fike pose for a portrait at Mandela Foods Co-op in Oakland, CA on Friday, February 10, 2017. Michael Short / Special to The Chronicle 2017

With total funding of $750 million, Impossible Foods is the best-financed of about a dozen Bay Area companies working feverishly to create alternatives to animal agriculture, which is responsible for 14.5 percent of human-made greenhouse gas emissions, according to the United Nations. Rather than trying to convince people to give up meat, Impossible Foods founder David Brown has said he wants to meet people where they are, which often is in front of a fast food burger. Its mission: &ldquoTo save meat. And earth.&rdquo

Brown&rsquos company is not alone in mass-marketing a vegetarian burger to fast food chains. Southern California&rsquos Beyond Meat&rsquos meat-free burgers are available at Carl&rsquos Jr., which is part of the reason its share price shot up 163 percent during its recent initial public offering.

&ldquoI think about just where the money is going in this whole process,&rdquo said Fike, a worker-owner at the West Oakland cooperative grocery store, whose tagline is &ldquoNourishing our neighborhood of West Oakland with healthy food, wellness resources and collective ownership.&rdquo

By contrast, fast food restaurants are known for low wages, labor violations and union busting. Burger King franchisees have been fined and cited in recent years for violating federal laws around child labor and union organizing. However, Burger King does better in that regard than other fast-food chains. According to a 2017 Bloomberg analysis, the chain commits far fewer labor violations per store than Subway, Denny&rsquos and the group that includes IHop and Applebee&rsquos.

Fast food chains like Burger King are also associated with many of the nation&rsquos health problems since their high-calorie, low-cost fare contributes to disproportionately high rates of obesity and diabetes in low-income communities where residents can&rsquot afford healthier choices. A vegetarian burger might seem like a better option at a fast food chain, but its nutritional superiority isn&rsquot so cut and dry (see comparison), although it is cholesterol-free.

A man exits Burger King on Powell Street with a to-go bag in hand Wednesday, March 28, 2018 in San Francisco, Calif. Jessica Christian / The Chronicle 2018

Regardless of which patty you order, the other Whopper ingredients add roughly another 375 calories, 17 grams of fat and 49 carbs &mdash not to mention any fries and soda you might get on the side.

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Drive-through times average 4 minutes and 15 seconds, according to Bluedot, a geolocation company. Like a Daytona 500 pit crew, restaurants are always looking for ways to shave off minutes, or even seconds.

To be competitive in this race, Chipotle, whose digital orders soared from 20 percent of its sales to as high as 70 percent at the height of the pandemic, installed in many of its kitchens a second assembly line where employees put together tacos or burrito bowls for mobile and online orders exclusively.

The chain also expects that 70 percent of its restaurants that open this year will have the dedicated Chipotlanes for online orders.

“In the traditional drive-through experience, you wait in line to order, you wait in line to pay and pick up, you wait in line for your food to be prepared,” said Jack Hartung, the chief financial officer of Chipotle. “We’re trying to get our service time from when you pull up to the restaurant, pick up your food and drive off to 40 or 50 seconds.”

Others, like McDonald’s and Burger King, are adding multiple drive-through lanes, which have been a feature at some busy fast-food spots like Chick-fil-A but are becoming more commonplace. Burger King is running three-lane tests in the United States, Brazil and Spain. In the U.S. and Spain, the third lane is “express” for advance orders made through the app. In Brazil, the lane takes delivery drivers to a pickup area with food lockers or shelves.

Burger King is also looking to propel its drive-throughs into the future with a Big-Brother-like artificial intelligence system, Deep Flame.

Right now, roughly half of Burger King’s drive-throughs with digital menu boards are using Deep Flame’s technology to suggest foods that are particularly popular in the area that day. It also uses outside factors, like the weather, to highlight items like an iced coffee on a hot day.

But this year, Burger King is testing a Bluetooth technology that will be able to identify customers in Burger King’s loyalty program and show their previous orders. If a customer ordered a small Sprite and a Whopper with cheese, hold the pickles, the last three visits, Deep Flame will calculate that chances are high that the customer will want the same order again.

It’s unclear whether the technology pays off. McDonald’s is moving in a similar direction. The fast-food giant acquired the Israeli artificial intelligence firm Dynamic Yield in 2019 with an eye toward boosting sales by providing personalized digital promotions to customers.

Restaurant Brands International — the parent company of Burger King, Tim Hortons and Popeyes — hopes to have the predictive personalized systems at more than 10,000 of its restaurants’ locations across North America by mid-2022.

“We’re taking what was an outdated, old, static sales channel and bringing it to the forefront of the industry,” said Duncan Fulton, the chief corporate officer for Restaurant Brands International. Now, customers can have the “the ability to automatically reorder things and pay for the items at the board, which, ultimately, speeds up the window time, allowing you to collect your food and go on your way.”

Carl’s Jr. is rolling out a CBD burger, but don’t get your hopes too high

If you live in Denver and you’re celebrating 420, the weed-smoker’s holiday, the burger chain Carl’s Jr. has just the thing for your inevitable munchies. The restaurant is debuting a CBD-infused burger, to be sold for $4.20, on Saturday, April 20 (4/20), at a single restaurant in Denver. The burger, which has been named Rocky Mountain High: CheeseBurger Delight, consists of two beef patties, topped with pickled jalapeños, pepper jack cheese, fries and CBD-infused Santa Fe Sauce. Carl’s Jr. is the first major fast-food chain to put CBD on its menu.

But if you think you’re going to get blazed off a cheeseburger, bad news: CBD is a non-psychoactive compound in hemp. It does not contain tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the compound in marijuana that makes people feel high. Advocates say it promotes relaxation, diminishes stress and eases pain. In fact, some say that CBD can counteract some of the unpleasant effects of being high on THC — so if you show up to Carl’s Jr. stoned and anxious or paranoid, the burger could mellow out your high.

CBD has been popping up in lattes, gummies, skin-care products and even pet food: It has become one of the biggest trends of the year and is only expected to grow. The CBD industry got a big boost after the passage of the farm bill earlier this year. When it’s derived from hemp and grown according to strict regulations, its use will be legal nationwide. (Cannabinoids that do not comply with these regulations will remain a Schedule 1 substance.) But for now, it’s a tricky area of the law, because the Food and Drug Administration still hasn’t decided how to regulate CBD products.

Every restaurant is a (potential) ghost kitchen…

Meanwhile, some of the largest restaurant chains are wising up to delivery, creating portfolios of virtual brands to cook in their own underutilized kitchens or as franchises to outside operators. Chili’s Just Wings concept is on a $150mm run-rate and Earl Enterprises of Buca Di Peppo, Bertucci’s, and Planet Hollywood is partnering with Grubhub and celebrity chef Eric Greenspan to build out a portfolio of owned and licensed brands like Tyga Bites, Wing Squad, and House of Subs. Earl has copied CloudKitchens and opened its own ghost kitchen in a former failed restaurant space in North Hollywood, just as Postmates has done with its Downtown LA test.

Welcome to the era of fast(er) food– where wings are slung by rappers on Instagram, cooked in shuttered restaurants and former body shops, and delivered quicker than you can say “heart attack.” Here’s a 15% coupon on your next order, please come again soon.

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Health-Focused Meal Delivery Service Trifecta Puts Beyond Burgers On The Menu

Trifecta has teamed with Beyond Meat to deliver plant-based burgers.

Beyond Meat beefed up its expected share price and valuation a day ahead of its Wednesday initial public offering, betting that fast-growing demand for plant-based meat replacements like the Beyond Burger will put the company’s value at about $1.49 billion.

Shares are expected to be priced between $23 and $25, up from an earlier estimate of between $19 and $21, the company said Tuesday.

The Beyond Burger has expanded into more retail and foodservice channels in the months leading up to the company’s first day of trading, including rolling out at Carl’s Jr. earlier this year. And the product's popularity also brought it to the attention of Trifecta, an organic prepared meal service that has begun offering the Beyond Burger as a plant-based protein option.

Trifecta began life four years ago with a burning mission to help Americans reverse the tide of obesity and disease that has been linked to unhealthy eating habits.

“Poor nutrition is now the number one killer worldwide,” Trifecta CEO Greg Connolly said.

The national company sells fully cooked meals that are delivered fresh, never frozen, every Friday. Customers can subscribe to plans based on their eating preferences, with options ranging from paleo and keto to vegan and vegetarian. Weekly meal plans start at between $109 and $119 for five days of breakfasts and lunches, and customers have the option of paying more to add dinners and boost the order to seven days worth of meals.

“From the beginning, we knew we would need to be able to provide organic food that was less expensive, more convenient and more environmentally friendly than fast food,” he said.

The vegan and vegetarian meal plans now include Beyond Burgers and the company expects to expand its use of Beyond Meat products to more of the dietary offerings. For those eating completely meatless, the burgers and other Beyond Meat products boost protein levels. But Trifecta will also use them to offer its omnivorous customers options for having some meat-free meals.

Companies like Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods, the maker of the Impossible Burger, expect people on plant-based diets buy their products, but a bigger goal is to convince omnivores to trade their beef burgers for plant-based options more of the time.

There are signs the strategy is working. Worldwide sales of meat substitutes are on track to grow 7.7% annually through 2025, when they’re forecast to hit $7.5 billion, according to Allied Market Research.

Both Beyond and Impossible have made news and built followings with burgers that closely replicate beef, a fact highlighted in a recent post by Missouri Farm Bureau public affairs director Eric Bohl. Bohl did a taste test of Burger King’s new Impossible Whopper and wrote that, had he not known the difference, he likely wouldn’t have been able to tell the difference.

Trifecta considered the Impossible Burger as well, Connolly said, with good results.

“We are fans of Impossible Foods as well. Anyone focused on this mission is fantastic.”

But ultimately the decision came down to ingredients. Beyond’s burger has fewer of them, he said, along with a more attractive macronutrient profile. The Beyond Burger is made with pea protein while the Impossible Burger contains soy, which can trigger allergic reactions in some people.

“It came down to the quality of their burgers and other proteins, and their supply chain,” Connolly said.

The keto diet is the most popular among Trifecta’s clients, Connolly said, but vegan orders are among the fastest growing, and vegan and vegetarian customers comprise about 15% to 18% of the total, he said.

The company expands its catalog of meal offerings by about 3,800 new recipes every year, which are crafted by a staff that includes chefs and physicians.

For most customers, reaching optimum health starts with losing weight -- the company’s site has a gallery of before-and-after photos.

But once the pounds are dropped, customers tend to stay with the company and focus on maintaining wellness. Making connections via social media has been important to keeping customers connected with the company and motivated to stay the course, Connolly said.

The company’s name was derived from the three areas the company identified as critical for weight loss – mind, body and social, a take on mind, body and soul.

“We had to make eating healthy very convenience to eliminate the stress and willpower components – that’s the mind piece,” he said.

Nutrition is the core component of the body and physical health part, and social media support is the final piece.

“We have social systems where people can have support. When everyone around you is eating doughnuts, you have people to chat with online.”

Do These Logos Look Familiar? 6 Brands with Variant Names

Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free.

Whether it's for legal purposes, local recognition or because pancakes are just damn tasty-sounding, check out these brands that may have a different name depending on where you find them:

1. Hellmann's vs. Best Foods Mayonnaise

This famous mayo goes by the name Best Foods to the west of the Rockies and Hellmann's to the east. And no, contrary to the commentary on Chowhound, it's not because Hellmann's "is Democratic on the West Coast, Fascist on the East Coast." (Though thank you for that gem, 2chez mike. whoever you are.)

Instead, the name change is due to a good ol' American acquisition. Hellmann's Blue Ribbon Mayonnaise, developed in New York City in 1905, and Best Foods Mayonnaise, developed in California shortly after, both gained popularity on their respective coasts. When Best Foods eventually bought Hellman's in 1932, the products were so popular that each kept its original name.

Since 2007, the brands have had the same exact design. and almost the exact same recipe -- while the labels contain the same ingredients in the same "relative quantity" order, Best Foods may contain a bit more lemon juice, making it just slightly tangier.

2. Burger King vs. Hungry Jack's

If you're craving a BK Stacker in Australia, look no further than Hungry Jack's. And for that we have a small food store, lawsuits and pancakes to thank.

You see, when Burger King tried to expand into Australia, the chain found that its name had already been taken by a small takeout food shop in Adelaide. Subsequently, the company provided Australian franchisee Jack Cowin with a list of names already trademarked by BK and its parent company, Pillsbury. Cowin selected "Hungry Jack," one of Pillsbury's pancake mixtures. Add a possessive apostrophe and an "s" and Hungry Jack's was born.

Burger King eventually tried to introduce its brand name in the '90s when the small shop's trademark expired, but to no avail BK lost its suit to the owners of Hungry Jack's. We think Hungry Jack's suits the Australian franchise better anyway.

3. Milky Way vs. 3 Musketeers vs. Mars Bars

Heading to the UK and craving chocolate? Don't be fooled by the Milky Way you'll find there it's actually closer to what we'd call a 3 Musketeers bar here in the U.S. And if you're looking for an American Milky Way, go for the similar-tasting UK Mars bar. Confused yet? Us too.

4. Lays Chips Internationally

Lay's Chips go by many names. The famous crisps are known as Walkers in the United Kingdom and Ireland, Chipsy in Egypt, Poca in Vietnam, Tapuchips in Israel and Sabritas in Mexico.

5. Arnold vs. Brownberry vs. Oroweat

Although each started as a unique bread company, Arnold (in the East), Brownberry (in the Midwest) and Oroweat (in the West) are all the same product owned by parent company Bimbo Bakeries USA. Perhaps the parent company should be the one considering a name change.

6. Edy's vs. Dreyer's Ice Cream

In 1928, business partners Joseph Edy and William Dreyer founded Edy's Grand Ice Cream (kind of a one-sided name choice, if you ask us).

Edy later left the business, leaving Dreyer to take over the Northern California ice cream company in 1947. Dreyer changed the name to -- you guessed it -- Dreyer's in 1953, but when the brand went to expand east in the '80s, the company worried it would be confused with the popular East Coast ice cream brand Breyer's.

The famous ice cream is now marketed under the name Edy's on the East Coast and Dreyer's on the West (west of the Mississippi, to be exact). That way, everybody wins.

Keep the Houston Press Free. Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

Entrepreneur turns one gas station into 1,100 restaurants

Shoukat Dhanani, CEO of the Dhanani Group, a Sugar Land-headquarted firm that owns 1,100 restaurants, 125 convenience stores, two multifamily developments and a wholesale fuel distributor. The company generates more than $2 billion in annual revenue.

Shoukat Dhanani, CEO of the Dhanani Group, stands between his sons Zohaib to the left and Usman to his right. Their Sugar Land-headquartered firm that owns 1,100 restaurants, 125 convenience stores, two multifamily developments and a wholesale fuel distributor. The company generates more than $2 billion in annual revenue.

In this Wednesday, July 31, 2019 photo, an Impossible Whopper burger is photographed at a Burger King restaurant in Alameda, Calif. Burger King will soon offer its Impossible Whopper plant-based burger nationwide. The chain said the soy-based burger, made by Impossible Foods, will be available for a limited time at its 7,000 U.S. stores starting next week. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

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Cyclone Anaya's Mexican Kitchen, a grouop of Houston-based Tex-Mex restaurants has been sold to the Heritage Restaurant Group, part of the Dhanani Group, which also owns La Madeleine brand. Shown: Cyclone Anaya's in Midtown.

This Aug. 21, 2019, photo, shows Popeye's new chicken sandwich, the spicy version, in New Rochelle, N.Y. (AP Photo/Julia Rubin)

Julia Rubin, STF / Associated Press Show More Show Less

Rebecca McDonald peers through a display case at La Madeleine French Bakery & Cafe on Broadway.

Robert McLeroy, Staff / San Antonio Express-News Show More Show Less

Entrepreneurs can fall into several categories ranging from inventor-founder to business plan innovator to new segment pioneer.

One of the most interesting, and perhaps underappreciated, is the turn-around specialist.

Shoukhat Dhanani&rsquos first gas station-convenience store was as humble as his upbringing in Pakistan. But today, his family empire of 1,100 restaurants, 125 convenience stores, two multifamily developments and a wholesale fuel distributor demonstrate what hard work and attention to detail can accomplish.

Dhanani and his brother, Ahmed, came to Houston in 1972 to attend South Texas Junior College. They attended classes full time, but also needed to work full time to support themselves.

&ldquoI started out as a busboy in an Italian restaurant, he was a busboy in a French restaurant,&rdquo Dhanani said. &ldquoWe both used to work at a Tenneco gas station, and the reason we lasted there the longest is because he would work at the gas station in the morning, and I would go to school, and then I would finish my classes at one, get there by two, and he would go attend school in the evening.&rdquo

In 1976, the brothers decided to buy their own gas station, taking over a Shell at the corner of Hillcroft and Bissonet on Houston&rsquos west side. They were short of cash, but Shell agreed to finance the first shipment of gasoline and the business took off, Dhanani said.

For the next 20 years, the Dhananis acquired other underperforming gas stations, fixed them up and brought them up to their potential. Then in 1994, flush with cash, they decided to build gas stations from scratch and become a fuel wholesaler.

At about the same time, a Burger King franchisee offered to sell him two of his restaurants. That deal fell through, but only after Dhanani was approved as a franchisee. That&rsquos when he decided to put a Burger King inside his newest gas station.

&ldquoBack in those days, co-branding with food and gas was being talked about, but no one had done it,&rdquo Dhanani said. That was the company&rsquos first restaurant, and today it owns 510 Burger Kings, 290 Popeye&rsquos Fried Chicken restaurants and dozens of other, including Sonic Drive-Ins, Dairy Queens, La Madeleine bakeries and Cyclone Anaya Mexican restaurants.

Throughout the expansion, Dhanani kept to his philosophy of purchasing underperforming assets. The Dhanani Group bought its first two Popeye&rsquos in 2010 when then-CEO Cheryl Bachelder was starting to revamp the brand, and the restaurants needed rehabilitation.

Today, Dhanani is Popeye&rsquos largest franchisee, owning 12 percent of the company&rsquos restaurants as the brand&rsquos spicy chicken sandwich craze takes off.

When Burger King headquarters decided to sell off its corporate-operated locations in New England, they asked Dhanani to take them over in 2012. Ahmed is semi-retired, so Dhanani sent his son Zohaib Dhanani to oversee the renovation of all 101 restaurants before the arrival of the vegetarian Impossible Whopper.

The company&rsquos 40 La Madeleine locations are Dhanani&rsquos latest attempt to turn around an underperforming brand.

&ldquoYou want to buy businesses that you can afford and that have an upside, whether it was mismanaged or whether it needs some capital expenditure to fix it up nice,&rdquo Dhanani said. &ldquoYou have to be willing to work hard because there is no shortcut, and you have to be determined.&rdquo

Watch the video: Burger King Tries Home Delivery (June 2022).


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