Burger (Thailand) Co, the operator of Burger King in Thailand, is adopting digital transformation as consumer behaviour shifts, in a bid to grow its brand affinity.
General manager Tanawat Damnernthong said the company had significantly increased its budget allocation for digital assets this year and next. The substantial investment is intended to fortify the company's infrastructure, enabling it to serve customers through new channels, he said.
The overarching goal is to future-proof the brand, ensuring it remains adaptable to emerging solutions such as smart device-based food ordering and augmented reality, said Mr Tanawat.
He said Burger King makes consistent investments in its proprietary mobile application, with a major upgrade in the first quarter of this year.
The company has introduced a "self pick-up" channel, which has grown by double digits since its inception, said Mr Tanawat.
The eatery's self-ordering kiosk integrates loyalty programme features as well as membership services, and is user-friendly. This service is scheduled to launch within two months, Mr Tanawat said.
The company aims to deploy these new Burger King kiosks in a third of its 106 outlets.
"We can gain deeper insights into our customer profiles through this initiative. Armed with this knowledge, we can tailor enticing offers that boost customer visit frequency or entice them back with special promotions," Mr Tanawat said, adding that in addition to increasing sales through regular memberships, ordering via kiosks also helps reduce labour costs.
"In South Korea and Singapore, Burger King boasts over 60% of digital sales via kiosks, delivery, and its dedicated application, and there's no reason why Thailand can't follow suit."
According to Mr Tanawat, in a move to acquaint more customers with its digital services, the company has rolled out cashless payment options at 10 Burger King establishments located in urban lifestyle hubs like Thong Lor, Sukhumvit, and Ratchadapisek.
"With our digital initiatives, we anticipate that Burger King's digital channel sales will contribute 50% of the total next year, up from the current 30-40%," he said.
Furthermore, Mr Tanawat said the company has reintroduced "The Black and Pink Burger", a menu item that was once a sensation. This revival is a response to the dynamic shifts in consumer behaviour, which now encompass a wide array of preferences and needs.
Consumers today are yearning for innovation and are increasingly open to investing in products and services that cater to their unique needs, actively seeking satisfaction through fresh and distinctive experiences, Mr Tanawat said.
According to Mr Tanawat, the reintroduction of the Black and Pink Burger is expected to generate a positive reception once more, driving increased sales and expanding the customer base, especially among the younger generation.
"In our pursuit of becoming the most cherished brand for individuals of all genders and age groups, Burger King is committed to aligning its business models with contemporary lifestyles. Through the introduction of various trendy marketing strategies, Burger King has achieved remarkable success, increasing its customer base by more than 50% in the first eight months of this year," said Mr Tanawat.