Burger King Expands Home Delivery Test To Houston

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.

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 www.BKDelivers.com 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 erin.dostal@penton.com.
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