Burger King remains embroiled (or should we say flame-broiled?) in litigation with franchisees over its $1 cheeseburger promo. But sandwich chain Quiznos finally wiped its slate clean of franchises lawsuits when it recently settled four class-action suits. The company has been accused of making franchisees buy food and supplies at inflated prices, and then forcing them to set prices so low they couldn’t make a profit. Maybe that’s why many of the Quiznos shops where we live have a history of shutting down faster than a new laptop. Nation’s Restaurant News estimated that the settlement could cost Quiznos as much as $100 million. “This settlement is very good news for Quiznos,” said a company spokeswoman. “Litigation is a time-consuming process that shifts valuable time and resources away from our most important focus – great-tasting food, franchise owner profitability and customer satisfaction.” Hmm. Great-tasting food? Customer satisfaction? Let’s not get carried away. This is Quiznos we’re talking about.
Loyal subject. Speaking of franchise litigation, the royal rebellion plaguing Burger King took another sharp turn recently when the single largest franchise owner said it was staying loyal to the King. Carrols Restaurant Group, owner of 314 Burger King restaurants, said it doesn’t agree with the lawsuit, which claims that the $1 cheeseburger promotion causes franchise owners to lose money. Carrols believes the promo is not a money loser, and that Burger King needs the cut-rate cheeseburger to compete with other national chains that are also slashing prices on certain items. Carrols says the promo actually brings in more customers, who then buy plenty of higher-margin items like fries and soft drinks. It’s hard to complain with that logic. Unless, of course, your customer is Takeru Kobayashi, the champion speed-eater who can inhale 90 burgers in one sitting.
Site of the week. Last week we included an item about what happens when technology goes awry. This week we highlight Domino’s Pizza, which is an example of what happens when technology actually works. The company rolled out a slick website that makes ordering pizza easier and more convenient than ever, reports The Wall Street Journal. The site includes a build-your-own-pizza function that let you see a virtual representation of your pie as you pile on the toppings. The image changes as you add or remove toppings, which the company says has resulted in greater order accuracy. There is also an order-tracking feature with real-time updates on when your pizza enters the oven and leaves the store. Online orders now account for almost 20 percent of all… Sorry, we can’t finish this post. We’re too busy building virtual pizzas. Mmm, pizza.