Burger King – TO BOOST THEIR BUSINESS

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*The franchise sets sights outside Dhaka

What are the main challenges of opening franchises in Bangladesh?
The franchising industry of Bangladesh is promising, Despite the positive growth of the industry, franchisees struggle with importing raw materials and the unavailability of local suppliers producing required quality. Compliance and regulatory cost is also very high. These leads to many local competitors with lower price making aggressive offers. Also, adjusting with local taste by maintaining a global standard of taste.

Has the increasing buying capacity of the middle class fostered a favorable environment for international franchises?
Obviously, this increase in the disposable income and the willingness in spending for regular recreation is bringing in more and more customers into restaurants and food joints across the country. As an international food chain, we find the local environment inspiring, and Burger King has a high brand recognition and is on top in the minds of consumers due to its long withstanding reputation.

What are franchises doing to remain relevant to local consumers and how are they tackling local competition?
When international franchises think about venturing into Bangladesh’s market, there are criteria’s that’ll help them assimilate better in the local environment. A popular trick of the trade is to adapt to local tastes to build familiarity with consumers. Besides staying relevant, franchises have to differentiate themselves. Tools like focused marketing can assist franchisers in understanding the needs and demands of their target segments. Second tool for sustaining differentiation is competitive pricing. Along with these provisions, franchisees can reach out to their consumer base by offering attractive extensive offers, and the convenient luxury of home delivery.

Who are your competitors?
With the advent of entrepreneurship, Bangladesh has seen an exponential growth in the hospitality industry. The local market is doing extremely well, and it also encourages competition. For an international food chain, specially whose primary product is burgers and fries, we find that there is no direct competition in the same category and at our scale of operations but delivering sundry, innovative products to drive customer excitement year after year.

What do you think is the reason behind franchises failing to make an impact in Bangladesh?
We do not think like that. Franchises are making subsequent impacts in local markets. The way franchisee is maintaining an international standard is helping others to follow suit which eventually helps customers to get better food, environment, quality and tastes. Also, franchises are leaving an impact on the economy by creating jobs and there has been a rise in the increase in transactions. Our extensive and high quality training program also creates resources for the service industry with global standard of professional service attitude and quality.

What were the indicators that made you believe Bangladesh would be a profitable market?
30 percent of the total population in Bangladesh are young who enjoy international standard of food and living. Restaurants are social hubs where families go for a weekend dinner, or friends gather for an after-work snack – it’s how locals indulge in recreation and spend their leisure time.

What sorts of digital and other marketing do you indulge in?
We rely on social media like Facebook to reach our consumers. Streaming websites like YouTube allows us to take our products and inform consumers on what’s the latest in Burger King. We make use of Google Daily Network to have an intricate understanding of markets and consumer behavior, and how we can better advertise to our targeted segments. At the same time, we are engaged in Below the Line (BTL) advertising, as well as LDN.

Compared to other similar markets, such as in South Asia, how does Bangladesh fare?
Although a relatively small market compared to many other South Asian market, it holds a lot of potential for great round the year footfall and scalability across the country in the next few years. As the country is progressing, the purchasing power is increasing rapidly with developing infrastructure. The future seems bright for both end – customers and businesses.

What are your plans for expansion?
Our priority is to cover the Dhaka city first and then expand across Bangladesh, starting from metro cities.

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