In this file:


·         CEO of Burger King owner: 'We are all in' on plant-based foods

·         Burger King’s plant-based Impossible Whopper saw sales growth decelerate in the fourth quarter

·         Burger King Closes Half Its China Restaurants as Virus Spreads



CEO of Burger King owner: 'We are all in' on plant-based foods


Brian Sozzi, Yahoo Finance

February 10, 2020


Restaurant Brands (QSR) CEO Jose Cil is still bullish on plant-based foods at Burger King despite some fears on Wall Street that consumer demand has begun to cool amid a flood of new entries into the red-hot space.


“I think it’s just the beginning. It’s a brand new category, it’s a category we are leading not just in the U.S. but globally,” Cil told Yahoo Finance fresh off the company’s fourth quarter earnings call Monday. “And we think there is a lot of work to do still in terms of raising awareness, what are the benefits of it and then being able to offer some different products as well as occasions so that the consumer could expand their knowledge of the product. We are all in.”


Wall Street’s worries on the momentum of plant-based menu items at Burger King — who took a leadership position in the space in 2019 by introducing the Impossible Whopper — are not without merit.


Burger King began offering a two for $6 deal for the plant-based Impossible Whopper several weeks ago. The ad caught several analyst sources by surprise, as the sandwich sold for close to $6 for most of 2019. In other words, it was a premium-priced menu item for Burger King as the chain sought to capitalize on consumer curiosity.


“We felt introducing it in the two for $6 gave us the opportunity to make it accessible to a broader group of consumers. That over time will help us build on plant-based as a core element of our business long-term,” Cil says of the new promotion.


Meanwhile, Burger King’s fourth quarter same-store sales rose 2.8%. Same-store sales for the chain rose 0.6% in the U.S. and 4.7% in the rest of the world. Burger King’s same-store sales increased 4.8% in the third quarter.


‘Proliferation of alternatives’ ...


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Burger King’s plant-based Impossible Whopper saw sales growth decelerate in the fourth quarter

Popeyes chicken sandwich launch in November drove nearly 38% U.S. growth


By Tonya Garcia, MarketWatch

Feb 11, 2020


Burger King parent Restaurant Brands International Inc. said during its earnings commentary on Monday that there was a comparable sales slowdown on its plant-based Impossible Whopper.


“While we did see a deceleration in comparable sales growth in the U.S. from the third into the fourth quarter, our core business continues to perform well and absolute sales levels remain very healthy,” said José Cil, Restaurant Brands chief executive, on the call, according to a FactSet transcript.


McDonald’s Corp. is currently testing its own version of a plant-based burger, the PLT, or plant, lettuce and tomato, in Canada made with Beyond Meat Inc.


The Impossible Whopper is made with the Impossible Foods Inc. burger.


Despite the zeal for plant-based foods at various restaurant chains, McDonald’s has been slower to add an item, which many experts say is in keeping for the fast-food giant.


Restaurant Brands’ Cil said price point for the Impossible Whopper has been a challenge to some diners.


“We know the premium price point has limited some guests from trying the Impossible Whopper, so in January we added the Impossible Whopper offer to our core two-for-six promotion,” he said. “The product clearly resonates with our guests and we plan to invest behind our leadership in the fast growing plant-based segment.”


Burger King plans to add new products to build on the Impossible Whopper, he added...





Burger King Closes Half Its China Restaurants as Virus Spreads


By Leslie Patton, Bloomberg

February 10, 2020


Burger King has temporarily closed about half of its 1,300 locations in China amid the coronavirus epidemic that’s claimed more than 900 lives.


The Restaurant Brands International Inc.-owned chain is carefully watching the situation in China, which it has said provides a big growth opportunity for Burger King, along with its two other brands -- Popeyes and Tim Hortons. Tim Hortons has just 30 locations in China, and Popeyes hasn’t yet opened its doors there.


“Most of the closures are being driven by local regulations. In some cases, malls are closing,” Chief Executive Officer Jose Cil said in a phone interview Monday after the company posted fourth-quarter earnings. “It’s too early to tell what impact, if any, it’s going to have on short-term performance or results”...


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