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Burger King to return to Japan December 15, 2006

Posted by fukumimi in Food and Drink, Japan.
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Adamu @ Mutant Frog reports that the Nikkei Newspaper is reporting the return of Burger King.

It’s the same Lotte and Revamp combination (Lotte will take a majority stake), which brings us Krispy Kreme, whose first store opened in Shinjuku this morning.

Lotte has its own Lotteria hamburger chain (which isn’t particularly great IMO), and it looks like Burger King will be priced higher than Lotteria.

Adamu says 700 yen for a “meal”, which is a bit higher than the prices at McDonalds, which are typically about 10 to 20% lower, and 30-40% higher than Lotteria.

It’ll be competing with the local Mos Burger and Freshness Burger chains at the price point targetted. Mos Burger is my favorite fast food hamburger chain. Although for really good burgers in Tokyo, I recommend Brozers in Ningyocho (around the corner from where I live, actually).

700yen is nearly $6, but it is a lot cheaper than Burger King in the UK, from memory. But then everything in the UK seems to be outrageously expensive these days….

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1. Gen Kanai - December 18, 2006

I personally think the market is saturated for hamburger-fast-food in Japan. If Lotteria was going to kill off their own brand and replace those with BKs, then maybe. But as an additional competitor? Who needs another hamburger place? Where are they going to get the real estate? How are they going to compete against MOS and Freshness, both which are significantly better experiences than BK.

I am not optimistic. Show me a real strategy and I might think twice, but until I hear more, I think this is a failure in the making.

2. fukumimi - December 18, 2006

I suspect that, as Revamp are involved, it will indeed involve a rebranding of Lotteria outlets. Lotteria is struggling, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see Lotterias being changed into BKs and KKs. Maybe even BKs selling KK donuts too? Who knows, but hamburger joints seem to be used as much to drink (crappy) coffee and have a rest as much as eat “meals” (if a hamburger and fries qualifies as such), so maybe there is synergy in the BK/KK mashup….

In any case, Lotte needs to go slow and steady, and have a business model which makes money without thousands of outlets.

Rebranding Lotterias to BKs carries a risk of alienating existing Lotteria patrons, who are probably lured by the price (I can’t see any other redeeming features). Going up market may drive away the exisiting customers, but given that they are mostly high school kids who spend little money and spend hours chatting or are tired salarymen skiving off work, I guess that isn’t such a big loss….

3. Grace - May 28, 2007

I wouldn’t trade MOS Burger for anything!

4. Burger King returns to Japan on June 8th « from the inside, looking in - June 2, 2007

[…] Burger King returns to Japan on June 8th June 2, 2007 Posted by fukumimi in Food and Drink, Japan. trackback Burger King returns to Japan this Friday, with the first store opening in Nishi-Shinjuku. (previous mention about the return of Burger King here) […]

5. Whiskymike - June 8, 2007

The line to get in the BK in Nishi Shinjuku is fairly long. Not as long however, as the KK at Shinjuku station. I wonder if, like the KK, BK will remain like this throughout the winter. I’m happy about the return but its not worth waiting an hour. Same goes for KK, I don’t see why there are always such long lines? What’s the attraction?

6. richard - June 8, 2007

Went today. Long line bad burgers. Yuck

7. Joseph - June 29, 2007

I’m going to check out the Ikebukuro one today. Sunshine City just feels right for BK.

8. sephon - August 16, 2007

The reformulated Mos Burger is terrible! Pork-beef patty, “meat” sauce with little meat (spun as “more vegetables”).

Both Mos and Freshness are too expensive for everyday meals in Japan. 700 yen at a Mos Burger? That sounds low to me.

9. fukumimi - August 16, 2007

Sephon>

I have to agree with you about the reformulated (to be precise, they reverted to the original beef/pork mix (aibiki in Japanese)) MosBurger patties. I prefered the 100% beef patties (even if they were bits of cows I’d rather not know about).

s with most things, it is almost certainly cost driven. (As is the recent McDonalds switch from reconstituted chicken to the pork-based McPork for the budget JPY100 product line)

700yen at a Mos does get you a “meal”, but given the size of the burger, I have to agree that it doesn’t really constitute enough of a meal for a guy with a healthy appetite.


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