There’s a cliché in business that it’s the tough times that drive innovation. Covid has been the toughest of times for almost every firm, and it’s triggered both some unlikely behaviours from brands, and strong creativity in messaging. The hospitality industry in most countries was decimated by the pandemic, sending restaurants businesses large and small into turmoil as sales stopped, diners stayed home and bills mounted up.
Burger King stepped-up to ask people to eat out to help out. They actively led the narrative and did so on behalf of all restaurants, to help the hospitality category get through the crisis. They did it in a way that showed category leadership and drove a conversation they’d be sure to be a part of. And in classic Burger King style, this challenger brand wove in a tease of its global rival.
The UK branch of the US fast food chain, posted a message on Twitter asking people to buy from KFC, Leon, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, Subway and Greggs as ‘thousands of jobs depend on it’.
The tweet has seen more than ten thousand replies, with many branding the store ‘classy’ while others instead suggested supporting small businesses and local independent restaurants rather than multinational chains.
‘Just like we never thought we’d be encouraging you to order from KFC, Subway, Domino’s Pizza, Pizza Hut, Five Guys, Greggs, Taco Bell, Papa John’s, Leon… or any of the other independent food outlets, too numerous to mention here.
‘In short, from any of our sister food chains (fast or not so fast).
‘We never thought we’d but the restaurants employing thousands of staff really need your support at the moment.
‘So, if you want to help, keep treating yourself to tasty meals through home delivery, takeaway or drive thru.
‘Getting a Whopper is always best, but ordering a Big Mac is also not such a bad thing.
We know, we never thought we’d be saying this either. pic.twitter.com/cVRMSLSDq6
— Burger King (@BurgerKingUK) November 2, 2020
They followed up with a tweet urging customers to support other burger restaurants.
‘Special mention to our fellow burger joints @pattyandbunjoe @honestburgers @ByronBurgersUK @gbkburgers @MEATLiquor @BlackBearBurger @DipFlippo @NeatBurger_ @TwistedBurgerCo @SolitaNQ @MacandWild’
According to the new UK coronavirus restrictions, which come into force in England on November 5th, “hospitality venues like restaurants, bars and pubs must close, but can still provide takeaway and delivery services. However, takeaway of alcohol will not be allowed.”