Time will tell for Burger King.

11 08 2008

Franchisees really run the show. Burger King has laid down some new rules – “stay open until 2am.”

Unfortunately societal rules change from location to location, as some are governed by limitations like crime, violence or just plain old customer timing. For inner-city restaurant locations, 1:15am may be a keen time to grab a few more customers, but a increased safety concern is a certainty (for staff and for customers). For middle-America, 1:15am may be empty, sleepy streets.

This new 2am mandate has more than a few franchisees grumbling. The BK corporate spokesperson said: “As a matter of fact, 95% of our largest competitors’ restaurants operate some form of extended hours, with 42% of their restaurants open 24 hours a day seven days a week,” said Burger King spokeswoman Denise Wilson. “These extended hours will enable us to effectively compete.”

We understand competition is stiff, but your franchisees aren’t like your competition – and, perhaps they’re YOUR franchisees because they settled on the BK franchise system for a reason – and, perhaps hours of operation WAS a consideration. Broad brush strokes of rule-setting don’t apply here, just as they don’t apply to any of the P’s of marketing.

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