Burger King

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Burger King Loosens Up


Burger King is the second largest fast food restaurant chain in the world behind McDonald's. Bought in 1967 by the Pillsbury Company, Burger King has tried many different advertising schemes to pass McDonalds. Moreover, Burger King went through eight presidents and six chairmen in hopes of catching the industry leader throughout the 70's. By the mid-80's Burger King and Pillsbury were having culture problems. Pillsbury believed in a more conservative work environment well, Burger King elected to use a loose highflying approach to their work place. However this would change when British Grand Metropolitan bought the two. Burger King was forced to become a more conservative and "button-down" like Pillsbury. Work hours became intense, a dress code was strictly enforced and top management remained separate from their subordinates, making it difficult to communicate with them.

This would all change in 1992 however, when Hurricane Andrew destroyed Burger king's main offices. As workers tried to put back the peace's of their lives, Burger King was understanding and became lenient with their employees. They allowed their employees to dress any way they wanted and allowed them flexible hours. Barriers were brought down between top management and their subordinates. The hurricane changed the way business was done dramatically, but work was still being done.

CEO Jim Adamson felt that the attitude of the workers and the environment was better after the hurricane. Therefore, Burger King's new building was decorated in hamburger tones, middle-level workers were given the best views, and there were no doors put on any offices allowing communication to remain open between all employees. "In addition, Adamson developed a six part strategic plan code named Operation Phoenix". The plan is designed to improve menus, operations, facilities, value strategies, marketing and operations. At the same time their goals are to open up more international units and bring back past successful advertisements like "have it your way".

Relative Chapters (3,10, 13, and 15)

Chapter 3 deals with the organization's environment and how the company must adapt and overcome the environmental problems it has faced. The case deals mainly with corporate culture; Burger King changed from a mechanistic to a more organic s...

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... the company $250 million. In addition, he gave operators a bigger say over which menu items they will push with local ad dollars. Despite all of the changes Burger King remains the No. 2 burger chain in the world. Moreover, they only have 6.1% of the fast-food sales, a far cry from McDonalds 83%. Although, they are a far second, the changes in Burger King have worked. The company has posted a 28% increase in operating profits, to $77 million, for the year ended September 30, 1994. Helping performance was the sale of 211 company-owned stores during the year to franchisees, which garnered $64 million. The continued performance improvement has impressed lenders, who have committed to issuing more than $500 million in loans and credit deals to franchisees for capital investment (Nation's Restaurant News). All this has made Burger King executives happy, but Burger King did experience another set back as James B. Adamson resigned in 1995. Robert C. Lowes former CEO of Grand Met's European food sector replaced him. Lowes is a capable replacement, but this continual change in top management continuos to hurt Burger Kings attempts to be the number one hamburger chain in the world.

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