Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Fastfood in Germany

Back in the 1980s, there were a number of US franchise operations which tried to introduce themselves into Germany.  A fair number failed.  The successes?  McDonalds, Burger King, Kentucky Fired Chicken.

In the last decade, a new attempt was made with several US operations: Subway and Dominos.

I would say that it's a rough business and just because of success in the US....it doesn't mean that the taste or the gimmick works in Germany.

Burger King and McDonalds?  They made it but Wendys didn't.  Both BK and McDonalds currently suffer because the corporate strategy is just to get shops open and then stage a massive coupon campaign, which means the local franchise owner is barely making any real profit.  If you really hold operating expenses to the absolute limit.....you might walk away each year feeling good (not great, but just good).  The coupon gimmick was supposed to get bigger crowds in, but after a while you notice that coupons are now a monthly thing and they cut into regular planning and finance.

Kentucky Fried Chicken?  They do a fairly good business, but Germans aren't exactly big chicken-eaters.  The only difference between the US and German KFC?  For some odd reason (based on the half-dozen times I've been at KFC over the past decade).....is that the chickens are slightly smaller (a quarter less in size) at the German shop.  I'm guessing they buy from Spain and go for the lesser costly chickens there.  Otherwise, it's the same basic operation.

Dominos?  Well....since they redid the menu and rediscovered how to make good pizza five years ago.....it's making it at a slow pace in Germany.  There aren't that many operations but it's growing.

Subway?  It's an unusual success story.  After you look at the menu and the cost situation.....it's a great deal for the lunch crowd.  It's about the cheapest lunch that you can find.  The Subway in the picture?  It's in the big hall as you enter the Wiesbaden train station.

I won't say that American fastfood is doing a four-star success here in Germany.  Some picked great locations, and some simply exist waiting on the better days ahead.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Germans aren't big chicken eaters? Try the Brathahnchenfarm in Steinau. I traveled all the way from South Carolina to eat there with bunch of chicken eating Germans last September.