Higher End Fast Food Options Giving Giants McDonald’s and Burger King Something To Worry About

By Stephen Fuchs on Email @StephenWFuchs

Truffle Burger Fast food giants McDonald’s and Burger King have sailed through the last several years with little to no sizable competition in Germany, but a recent spike of more upscale options ranging from bakery snack shops and burger chains are beginning to have an impact on the bottom line for larger chains. Burger King has recently suffered some bad PR when a TV report on RTL uncovered poor hygiene and working conditions at many German locations. McDonald’s also saw their customer numbers drop for the first time in years. While the two burger giants still have a turnover rate that is higher than the next 30 largest competitors in Germany, the gap is beginning to narrow. Bakery chains, including Backwerk and Back Factory, have seen the potential in offering quick menu items to customers on the go and are beginning to open up snack shops. At Backwerk, more than a third of their turnover sales come from newly added filled rolls, snacks and drinks. “We’re following the trend of turning self-service bakeries into a place to come and eat,” Backwerk’s managing director Dirk Schneider commented. It isn’t just bakeries increasing the pressure either. Smaller upscale burger outlets are taking a healthier approach to the fast food market and offering unique burgers at a minimal price premium over McDonald’s and Burger King. Richard Nicolaus from the newly opened Richie ‘n Rose stated that customers “are happy to pay a euro more for a burger of much higher quality.” Hans im Glück, another small burger chain, currently operates 19 locations and is looking to expand to 55 restaurants by 2015. The chain also provides table service for their fast food patrons and offers what they believe to be a much better burger.   Source: The Local Photo: Cindy Kurman, Kurman Photography [Flickr]

Stephen Fuchs
Stephen founded German Pulse and LGBT Germany out of a passion to introduce Americans to a Germany that goes beyond beer and polka (although with enough beer he has been known to polka it up a bit). He's a coffee addict, lover of wine and good times, a hit in the kitchen and editor of TV commercials. You can follow him on Twitter (@StephenWFuchs) to find out a lot more.
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