February 11, 2008

In The News: Maniacal Monarch

The New York Times' Andrew Martin penned a fascinating piece on the inner workings of the Burger King machine.

If we let figures do the talking, they tell us that the suits at BK are doing something right when it comes to finances and popularity among their target demographic.

"The company has recorded 16 consecutive quarters of growth in same-store sales — those open at least a year, a common industry measure. And in the last quarter... Burger King posted a remarkably strong 4.5 percent gain in same-store sales, even as McDonald’s and its other competitors showed recent signs of weakening amid a souring economy."

Their stock has crept up 32 percent over the past twelve months, too.

Too bad their practices are nothing to write home about.

Case in point? "When McDonald’s... agreed to pay farm workers in Florida a penny more per pound to pick tomatoes, Burger King dug in its heels and refused," Martin reveals.


Meanwhile, The Portion Teller Plan author -- and New York University adjunct faculty member -- Dr. Lisa Young points out some of their nutritionally hideous items.

"'BK is pretty shameless with regards to portions,” Lisa Young, a dietitian in New York who has tracked the increase in portion sizes at fast-food restaurants, wrote in an e-mail message. “Bigger than McDonald's... The Quad [Stacker hamburger] has 1,000 calories, no veggies allowed!”

As Dr. Young explained in a self-penned article for MSNBC.com last October, "Hardee’s, Burger King and Wendy's all have introduced 1,000-calorie-plus sandwiches stuffed with 12 ounces of beef — the amount of meat recommended for two days for most adults" over the past few years.

Martin explains that McDonald's ended up bearing the majority of the brunt after fast-food documentary Supersize Me unveiled the murky world of fast food. Burger King continued selling monstrously large items with little criticism or media scrutiny.

And who can forget this heinous 2006 television commercial for their Texas Double Whopper?

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