Burger King takes first bite of the Indian market

Burger King's first Indian customers can pre-order through eBay.
Burger King's first Indian customers can pre-order through eBay.

The U.S. burger giant launched its first restaurant with a digital campaign that includes pre-booking burgers on eBay. (Don't ask for beef)

MUMBAI — Miami burger chain Burger King opened its first Indian restaurant in Dehli on Nov. 9 in New Delhi.

The launch of the restaurant is accompanied by a digital campaign, led by a tie-up with eBay. Consumers could pre-book their burger by logging on to the website. Those opting for this offer would also be entitled to a free 'Whopper' T-shirt along with the burger.

Speaking with Campaign India, Uma Talreja. chief marketing officer, Burger King, explained why such an initiative was rolled out.

She said, "We started looking at who would be aware of us already. Every time we spoke to people, most said they picked up Burger King when they were traveling. Most people would make an exception on their travel abroad to eat at Burger King, even if their friends and family didn't want to. The brand has a lot of passion and followers who have experienced this abroad. We found four lakh (40,000) people in India who have Burger King as an interest on their Facebook profile. So we first served the campaign to them. Eighty per cent of our respondents spoke about the Whopper. So we got two insights through our conversations. One, was that a lot of our consumers are online, and secondly a majority of them love the Whopper. So we thought of this campaign as a good way to reach out to the people. We wanted fans to experience the Whopper on the opening day."

The brand also communicated that it had changed the presentation of the Whopper for India with three options: veg, chicken, lamb.

On the response, Talreja added, "We had put out a quantity which we expected to be sold out in three days. But, we actually finished the campaign within a day and a half. On the first day itself we sold 1,200 coupons of the Whopper. To put this in perspective, an average restaurant in this category would do about 750 bills a day. We've sold 1,200 Whoppers alone. Additionally, we'll be selling other products to customers who haven't signed up for this offer."

A campaign will roll out alongside the Delhi launch, straddling offline and online media.

Burger King is globally known for its beef burgers, but Talreja pointed that the brand will steer clear of serving beef products in India. Some fans of that burger have expressed their feelings against this. Talreja explained the stand: "We are not doing beef burgers in India. The market is very small for beef. We've looked at the negative messages against that, but then there are a lot of people who happy with our options. The Lamb Whopper received the second highest sale through our eBay sale. Chicken received the maximum sales. I think we are confident of what we are offering. We don't stand just for beef, we stand for great burgers and we have a menu that is built for India."

On the partnership, Latif Nathani, managing director, eBay India, said it harnesses the e-commerce player's 'belief of working in partnership with brick-and-mortar companies'.

Talreja added that Burger King plans to launch 10 to 12 restaurants in Delhi and Mumbai by end-December.

This article first appeared on campaignindia.in.

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