The No. 2 burger chain in the world might be hoping to become No. 1 with the help of a little booze. Burger King will soon begin offering moderately-priced beer at select locations in the U.S., according to a story in The New York Daily News. Earlier this year, the chain already opened its first so-called Whopper Bar in Orlando, Fla.: a restaurant with a smaller footprint than a regular Burger King joint and limited menu options. That location does not yet serve beer. But a Whopper Bar that is about to launch in Miami Beach, Fla. will. Additional Whopper Bars, all featuring beer on the menu, might be in the works for New York, Las Vegas and Los Angeles.
The move likely arose from Burger King's desire to expand its customer base in a down economy. It follows in the steps of its rival McDonalds' earlier move into the coffee market, which has proved quite successful. Coffee, however, is not a very controversial product. Burger King's new strategy, on the other hand, might very well bring in new clients who'll be delighted to wash down their burgers with a little ale and if the company puts beer on the menu in only a few, strategically chosen locations this might be a smart move. But if this becomes a practice at most Burger King joints, it has the potential to drive away more customers than it brings in. I think it's a safe bet that many parents won't feel comfortable bringing their tots to a place where they might run into a drunk or two. And women might be put off by this as well. It wouldn't be an issue in the daytime, but if I was craving cheap fast food in the nighttime, I'd probably opt to get it from a place that doesn't serve alcohol as well.
What does everyone else think? Is this a good move for Burger King?