Growth at King Burgers

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Problem Definition

King Burgers, a fast food chain has recently opened up new stores at several new locations and reapplied their business model in all the new stores. Unfortunately most of the new stores are barely breaking even. What do you think is the problem?


The case is designed to be presented to the candidate by an interviewer, who plays the role of a representative of King Burgers.

Short Solution

Most of the new stores have been opened in upscale malls where King Burgers is facing a lot of competition. Moreover it is also suffering from its image as a low-price brand.

Detailed Solution

Paragraphs highlighted in blue can be verbally communicated to the interviewee.

Paragraphs highlighted in orange indicate hints for you how to guide the interviewee through the case.

I. Poor Performing Stores

Wait for the interviewee to ask questions regarding the background of the case. A few sample questions are shown below. You could use them to help the interviewee with information, if he's stuck.

1. Are the revenues lower or the costs higher in the new stores compared to the old stores?

Revenue: The number of customers are fewer compared to the old stores. The sales per customer are also lower.

Cost: Labor, real estate & facilities and food inputs are the major costs. Costs are higher because the new stores are primarily in upscale malls; the older stores were in lower income neighborhoods.

The candidate should now focus on the reason why the new stores are attracting fewer customers.

2. Customers: How are the customers segmented? Are all the stores serving the same segment?

Burger prices are same across all the stores. The kind of customers that visit the mall are different than those which visit the older stores; the average income of the mall visitors is higher.

3. Product: Do all the stores serve same type of burgers?

Yes, the food is the same. Different products sell better in the new/old stores.

4. Competition: Does King Burger face similar competition in all the locations?

No, location of a store determines the competition it faces.

II. Conclusion

Location is the key to King Burgers' problem. Most of the new stores are in upscale malls where King Burgers is facing a lot of competition. Moreover it is also suffering from its image as a low-price brand.

Difficult Questions

If the interviewee solves the case very quickly, you can ask the candidate to recommend what King Burgers should do in such a situation.

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