The hospitality industry in the US particularly restaurants face many challenges in providing for customer service needs. Customers are continuously becoming more sophisticated and so are the kinds of services and products which they need (Jing & Jin-Zhao, 2009). Increasing competition has made most restaurants to align their customer service with the changing trends of customer service needs.
The trends in the hotel industry have included the use of payment card, Point of Sale systems as well as dietary changes. There have been changes in menu and emerging flavors as well as ingredients in several restaurants in the US.
Burger King is a fast food chain restaurant that was opened in 1953. It has branches and stores in the US, South America and Europe and currently operates in 73 countries (Dairy Foods Magazine, 2005). Its menu comprises of hamburgers, chicken, meatless sandwiches, French fries, salads, fish, desserts, breakfast menu, soft drinks as well as milkshakes among others (Dairy Foods Magazine, 2005).
Over the years, the company has evolved in its customer service and expanded its franchises and stores. It has had menu expansions and changes to provide for a wide demographic market and to keep up with the changes in customer trends.
Changes in the menu
In response to the recent obesity trends in the US as well as in other countries, Burger King has started to adjust its menu. It is also modifying its food preparation practices. Today, it offers lower-fat menu items like salads. The company also includes dietary guidelines as well as other nutrition data in its nutrition guides.
In January 2008, Burger King set off a program aimed at eliminating extra trans-fat in the company’s products and in its place adopt pure vegetable oils which do not have hydrogenated fats (Lauren, 2008). By 2009, the company had completely changed new oils. The company also introduced products like apple fries, broiled chicken tenders as well as Kraft macaroni aimed at addressing the increase concern on obesity in young children in Western nations (Adam, Alford, & Balch, 2003).
These products offered low-fat in children’s meals. In 2009, the company reduced the amount of calcium in its Chicken Tenders by about 33% and also shifted to non-fat milk products (Dairy Foods Magazine, 2005). It also uses calcium-fortified apple juice in making its beverage products. The company has also changed its menu in order to accommodate different vegetarian dietary. The vegetarian options include salads among others.
The changes aimed adapting to positive nutrition in the society has added menu options and dietary needs of customers which in turn, has increased its demographic market. By making these changes, customers believe that Burger King understands the needs of its guest and are sensitive to individual needs.
Reasons for making changes
Burger King’s changes in the menu to reflect the changes in diet trends in the US were wise and in the positive direction. It was aimed at reducing the increasing obesity among the US citizens and its other nations of operations. It also aimed at creating a health-conscious society through provision of dietary guidelines. The changes also helped the company compete favorably with its competitors like McDonald’s.
Burger King has greatly expanded and transformed its products and service to conform to the changing needs of customers. It provides for a wide demographic market. Its sensitivity to customer trends has greatly helped it establish itself in the market.
Adam V. P., Alford, C. A., & Balch, V. (2003). Children love to meet, but some want to veg out. Plymouth: Plymouth Evening Herald.
Dairy Foods Magazine. (January 2005). Burger King milk. Retrieved from http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m3301/is_1_106/ai_n8966394.
Jing, W., & Jin-Zhao, W. 2009. Issues, challenges, and trends that facing hospitality industry. Management Science and Engineering, 3 (4): 53-58. Canadian Research & Development Center of Sciences and Cultures. Retrieved from http://www.cscanada.net/index.php/mse/article/viewFile/1038/1101
Lauren S. (2 October 2008). Burger King switches to trans fat free oil. New York Times. Associated Press. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/business/AP-Burger-King-Trans- Fat.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=%20AP%20Burger%20King%20switches%20to%2 0trans%20fat%20free%20oil&st=cse&oref=slogin.