Wednesday, September 08, 2010

754 Burger King Flip Flop

754 Burger King Flip Flop

It's not just flipping burgers at Burger King. Since the fast food burger joint was founded in the early 1950s, it has gone through more ownership changes than we can count, and despite all the headquarters hullabaloo it has managed to keep putting out pretty consistent -- and in some opinions -- the best of the breed in its fare. BK started as a private company. Somewhere in there it went public, got bought, got sold, went private again, went public again and now is going private again.

The first private equity outfit that took control didn't do what private equity companies often do, which is break the acquisition into pieces and sell each off separately. Kind of unusual. Now, there's a second group of private investors, and who knows what they're planning to do. Maybe separate the restaurants into Burger King, Fry King, Salad King, and then sell them off? Close up restaurants (can they really call those places restaurants?) Open new ones?

Whatever they do with expanding and contracting, there are a couple of things they should also do. First is make the places look clean. They aren't dirty, but there's a kind of grunge atmosphere, whether in Texas City, Taipei or Timbuktu. It's uninviting. Thing two, get a decent advertising agency. The latest series of ads, featuring a plastic-looking "king" stealing McDonald's breakfast recipes just doesn't make it. Back to something funny, like "It takes two hands to handle a whopper." Or "have it your way." Or even the almost classical America Loves Burgers one of the best institutional ads ever, sung by Florence Warner, the finest singer you never heard of.

Argue the health deficits of this kind of place all you want. You're right. The stuff's going to shorten your lifespan, raise your cholesterol, raise your blood pressure and your weight. But that's not going to stop many people from eating there. Something's going to kill you, and you might as well die happily full of the flesh of dead animals, served up in a sauce of cheese and mayo. Let's hope the owners of the moment know what they're doing.

But there's this question: how much flipping can a burger joint do before it flops?


Shrapnel:

--A Jewish gay guy from New Jersey who can't be President but should be has been serving in Congress since The Flood and is under primary challenge from a Lyndon LaRouche nutcase, so this is an appeal for contributions. The Jewish gay guy's name is Representative Barney Frank (D-MA.) The Massachusetts morons got rid of Ted Kennedy's heir apparent. Don't let them do it again.

--Speaking of which, the Associated Press has declared politics a "recession proof industry." The agency reports that house and senate candidates have amassed record cash for the current campaign season. No hard times in that business, apparently.

--The Homer Simpson picture on the desk has been covered up by the picture of another chubby bald guy. It's Buddha holding a guitar. The interloper(s) are giving your correspondent a complex.

I'm Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you're welcome to them.®
©WJR 2010


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