Burger King recently announced a remodeling initiative that will set franchisees back between $300,000 and $600,000 per restaurant. The company plans to overhaul all 12,000 of its worldwide locations over the next ten year, and franchisees are contractually obligated to come up with the cash. The new look includes touchscreen menus, rotating flame chandeliers, corrugated metal, and brink. Huh? Six-hundred grand for some brick and metal? “I’d call it more contemporary, edgy, futuristic,” CEO John Chidsey told The Associated Press. “It feels so much more like an upscale restaurant.” Double huh? Upscale? That’s one adjective nobody has ever accused BK of being. Burger King says that remodeled restaurants should see sales climb about 15 to 20 percent. The blogosphere has reacted to the remodel with its typical mix of scorn, spite and derision. “The first thing Burger King has to address is the cleanliness of their stores, they are filthy,” noted one blogger. “Maybe if they changed the way their food tastes I would go,” quipped another. Jeez, some people are never satisfied.
Big boys don’t cry. What does it say about a city whose chief cultural landmark is a Big Boy statue? The residents of Charleston, West Virginia are up in arms because the Big Boy International restaurant chain wants to tear down the larger-than-life statue of that impish kid in overalls hoisting a huge double-cheeseburger up to the heavens. The statue has adorned Charleston’s downtown drag for decades. But here’s the problem: There’s no Big Boy restaurant in the downtown area, and hasn’t been since 1976, when the original franchisee converted the location into a competing burger joint. Big Boy’s gripe is that that town is displaying a trademark that does not belong to them “in a manner that causes confusion to the public.” Townsfolk disagree. “Big Boy should lighten up,” says one. “(It’s part) of the history,” says another. And what a proud history it is.
McMona Lisa. A rogue Big Boy mascot in West Virginia we can understand. But a McDonald’s in the Louvre? Mon Dieu! It’s true, Mickey D’s is putting a new eatery in the famous French museum. The restaurant will open next month in the underground shopping plaza beneath the museum courtyard, and will be situated right next to the Louvre’s new ticketing area, guaranteeing maximum exposure. Of course, it’s mostly American tourists who visit the museum, so it’s likely the French won’t even notice. Good thing. They hate us enough already.