I Blame That Damn Big-Headed “King” Puppet

Nine Burger Kings close in the metro and Saint Cloud.

Is there any wonder why?

Top 10 Kings in Video Games - SpawnFirst

I think not.

16 thoughts on “I Blame That Damn Big-Headed “King” Puppet

  1. One of the closed BKs is in my backyard (well, closer to my front yard, actually), and I do like the “flame-broiled” taste of a double-cheeseburger off their value menu. The units that are closing, though, belong to a single franchiser, who no doubt has fun afoul of the IRS and other creditors.

    A burger franchise used to pretty much be a license to print money. Now, evolving tastes, more choices, and the $15 minimum wage (and resulting costs involved in automating) make it more of a challenge (and I prefer Culver’s, anyway). It may be that soon the only place you’ll find a BK, or even a McDonald’s, will be in a “food desert”, and won’t that be happy news in a state where the “obesity gap” between rich and poor (with the poor being more likely to be obese) is growing.

    I’m trying to do my part to hold the line for the “rich”, but I can’t do it by myself, people!

  2. The competition is immense for the fast food dollar, BK has been playing catch-up for as long as I can remember and I don’t get their marketing strategy at all. For all the options available to consumers a company has really be on it’s toes to stand out in the crowd. I think for marketing and variety of menu options Arby’s is leading the field today.

  3. When I was in high school, circa early 70’s, all of my male friends thought the Whopper was the best burger on the planet (that we could regularly afford on our $1.75 per hour minimum wage or our “allowance”).

    Consequently, we would send one guy to BK for Whoppers, one guy to McDonalds for fries and one guy to DQ for malts. We would then meet at the very back corner of a KFC parking lot and eat.

  4. There was a time when the BK burgers were better than the competition. That time has passed as even McD and Wendy’s are better these days. About the only thing that BK does better is that they have onion rings rather than fries.

  5. The units that are closing, though, belong to a single franchiser, who no doubt has fun afoul of the IRS and other creditors.

    I know at least one of the units that is closing (Plymouth 169/Rockford Rd)also suffers from piss-poor staff management as well. 3 of the last 5 times I tried to go thru the drive thru, these were the results

    1) Store closed well before their posted hours
    2) Store closed well before their posted hours
    3) Good, quick service with the correct items in my bag
    4) Store and drive-thru appeared to be open, at least 1 car parked in what would have appeared to be an employee parking spot, but no one one took my order at the drivethru for more than 5 minutes. Buhbye.
    5) Store closed well before their posted hours

    The BK on 394 right next to Menards in GV has given me dozens of good, quick and correct orders. I started getting complacent and not checking my bag before driving away from the store, and got bit by a missing item once. So while I still go there, unless I can tell by weight of items in the bag (like only 2 or 4 burgers/sandwiches and nothing else) I went back to checking every time.

    The BK on W Bdwy in Crystal is horrible. They’ve gotten my order wrong several times, and often, they take the “fast” out of “fast food”. I’m surprised they’re still in business.

    McD’s has a better track record with me, but not perfect by any stretch of the imagination.

    To note: I do not believe Taco Bell has ever gotten my drive-thru order wrong. Maybe once, but I don’t remember it if they did.

  6. Scott, if you’re on FB, you should check out Arby’s page. Whoever they hired to do their social media marketing is a tried and true geek, and worth their weight in gold. They have the BEST FB postings of any business I have ever seen.

    There is another chain that rules Twitter (Wendy’s, I think?) and yet another which rules Instagram. I have seen hugely creating “message battles” play out amongst the companies on their respective platforms.

  7. I have noticed that our local Culver’s has very friendly people with great attitudes – extraordinarily so. After seeing this several times it occurred to me to leave a comment on their local web page, noting that this behavior doesn’t just happen unless management makes it a priority and it should be recognized. The next evening I received a call at home from the manager of the store, saying it was a priority and thanking me for noticing. She even sounded a little emotional about it (it may have been a tough day).

  8. I have noticed that our local Culver’s has very friendly people with great attitudes – extraordinarily so.

    That’s always been the expectation — the Culver’s in St. Anthony has a great team. There was a Wendy’s about a quarter mile to the south and the service there was indifferent at best. It went out a number of years ago and now the space is a giant Starbucks. BKs and McDonald’s locations are always hit or miss.

    I also get great service at the Northtown Chick Fil-A. You get what you teach.

  9. Fast food is an interesting business. The idea is for corporate to contain costs and insure quality by controlling every aspect of production of the product. Where this breaks down is at the retail front. The economics of the business demands low cost, low skilled employees — even the managers — and these workers make or break the customer experience.

  10. Not to bring race and class into it, but . . . fast food restaurants compete within their class, and race is a factor, at least from my limited perspective in St. Paul.

    Culvers is Senior Citizens food. Rarely see young people hanging out there. Mostly White crowd. Middle-class dress and behavior, the baggy pants bunch not in evidence.

    Famous Dave’s is Southern Food – ate there last night and picked collard greens as a side dish, where else can you get that in St. Paul? Mostly Black crowd. Middle class dress, no baggy pants, behavior is louder than Culvers but still orderly.

    Popeye’s is replacing KFC locally. Mostly younger Black crowd. Baggy pants hangout. Lower class dress and behavior. Remember those awful KFC commercials with the hip-hop rapper Colonel? Trying to steal Popeyes’ crowd, unsuccessfully, Chick-fil-a is middle class, racially balanced crowd, people who love fried chicken done right and no messing around, thank you, ma’am.

    Arby’s does novelties – roast beef, ham, chicken cordon bleu sandwiches – they fill the Rax niche, never a big market in this area.

    In the burger war, I think it all comes down to who’s your target market? Who are you trying to bring in? White Castle and Maid-Rite were aimed at the 1930’s working stiffs who only had a quarter to spend for lunch, that demographic is going fast. Hardees and Wendy’s are fighting over the “3/4 pounds of beef with cheese and bacon” crowd. So who are McDonald’s and Burger King’s target market? What menu items must they offer to get those customers? At what price? In what locations? It’s a vicious zero-sum game.

  11. Culvers is Senior Citizens food. Rarely see young people hanging out there. Mostly White crowd. Middle-class dress and behavior, the baggy pants bunch not in evidence.

    Maybe that’s true in St. Paul. Not in my area. Everyone goes to Culver’s around here.

  12. Bill C, thanks for the FB tip, I’ll check it out. I don’t do the fast food thing all that often but I admit to stopping by one of the vendors from time to time. If done right for quality and service I enjoy the experience. There are menu choices from most all of the brand options that I do like. But if by neglect, poor service, or incompetence any don’t meet my expectations I never go back. Too many options to accept less than the best. A store has to earn my respect and work hard to keep it.

  13. One of the things I like about Culver’s is their pork tenderloin sandwich (with mustard/mayo/lettuce and onion), and cheese curds and tater tots are available as sides. None of these are typically found at fast food places around here (and they also have a butterflied shrimp basket).

    While at the drive-thru at my local Culver’s that I mentioned earlier, I saw a senior citizen helping her even more senior mother get into their car when the elder fell down. Immediately three of the Culver’s counter staff were out in the parking lot, checking to see if she was ok (yes, but mortified) and helping her get back up and into the car.

    This Culver’s also hires Down syndrome teens to run the food to the tables or out to the cars. This place gets the majority of my 3 – 4 times a month fast food business.

  14. They’re being replaced by Sambusa King in St. Cloud, Worthington Minneapolis.

  15. If that’s correct, Swiftee, it makes sense. Minneapolis is home to the largest population of Somalis outside Africa. And St. Cloud is home to the largest group outside Minneapolis. Why fight for McDonalds customers when you can lock up the African customer base?

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.