A Burger King Whopper burger is put on display in San Anselmo, California, on April 5, 2022.
Justin Sullivan | Getty Images
More customers at Burger King and its sister brands are redeeming coupons and loyalty program rewards as inflation drives up menu prices.
Jose Cil, CEO of Restaurant Brands International, told UKTN that the company has seen no significant change in what diners buy at its restaurants. The chains, including Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen and Tim Hortons, have increased menu prices this year to curb rising costs for key ingredients like chicken and coffee.
But Cil noted that the broader fast food sector is seeing low-income consumers spending less of their money on burgers and fries, while higher-income diners seem to be moving away from casual dining or fast-casual restaurants. KFC owner Yum Brands, McDonald’s and Chipotle Mexican Grill recently told investors they see the trend emerging.
Instead of selling fewer combo meals, Restaurant Brands’ eateries are seeing an increase in customers redeeming paper coupons and loyalty program rewards to lower the price of their meal.
“It suggests that people are looking for good value for money,” Cil said.
Burger King has been withdrawing paper coupons in recent months in an effort to encourage consumers to download its mobile app and join its loyalty program. In exchange for redeeming their points for free menu items, the burger chain learns more about its customers and how to target them more effectively with promotions and deals.
The strategy is part of a broader turnaround for Burger King’s US operations, which have struggled to keep up with rival burger chains in recent quarters. Restaurant Brands plans to unveil a plan to revive the business in September.
Shares of Restaurant Brands rose more than 6% in afternoon trading after the company reported an improvement in demand for Tim Hortons coffee and international sales growth at Burger King.