St. Louis Business Journal: Why this St. Louis franchisee was selected to test a Burger King redesign

St. Louis Business Journal: Why this St. Louis franchisee was selected to test a Burger King redesign January 3, 2020

Broadway Restaurant Group, a Maryland Heights-based Burger King franchisee that owns more than 55 restaurants across Missouri and southern Illinois, has opened a new Burger King in Jefferson City that will serve as just the second location in the world to debut and test the brand’s new restaurant design.

The new Jefferson City location, located at 521 Missouri Blvd., is now open and has created 30 to 40 new jobs for the area.

Design elements of the redesign include Cadillac bench seat-inspired booths, white subway tile, table lighting that incorporates the Burger King crown and ceiling lights that “give the feel of whopper ingredient layers,” officials said.

“The booths are designed after a Cadillac bench seat that harkens our guests back to a time where people and the road were one — nothing but time and enjoyment of being on the road and stopping for a quick bite to eat,” Chris Mott, head of architecture, design and constructions for North America at Burger King, said in a statement.

The Maryland Heights company is one of few franchise groups in the U.S. that works with Burger King’s corporate office to test new concepts, including the meatless Impossible Whopper, which was tested in St. Louis last spring, officials said.

Michael Adams, vice president of operations, spoke with the Business Journal last summer and said Broadway Restaurant Group has continued to be selected to test new concepts because of the number of restaurants it owns and because its restaurants aren’t all located in one spot.

“We have restaurants all over Missouri and Illinois,” he said. “That gives them a good feel for the feedback we get.”

The Impossible Whopper test in St. Louis was successful and the burger was rolled out nationwide soon after. Adams said the test allowed the group to bring in new guests to its restaurants in order to try the burger, but they also ended up ordering other products, which boosted sales. He declined to share how much growth in sales the franchise group saw.

Jonathan Maze, executive editor of Restaurant Business Magazine, would likely agree with Adams’ assessment about why Broadway Restaurant Group continues to be selected as a test market.

“If you test in the Midwest, you may get a better read on the country as a whole,” Maze said. “You don’t want to try it in an ultra urban or super rural area. It depends on what you’re trying to accomplish.”

In addition to the Jefferson City location, Broadway Restaurant Group operates another Burger King in Jefferson City, located at 1923 Christy Dr., which reopened in September after it was damaged by a tornado in May.

In August, the franchise group said it would add seven new locations in Missouri, including five in the St. Louis area. Two are already open — at Chippewa Street and Gravois Avenue and in Union, Missouri. A location in St. Robert, Missouri, opened recently, while three others in the St. Louis area are planned for this year, including Bellefontaine Neighbors in March and Hanley and Natural Bridge roads at the end of June.

Broadway Restaurant Group also is doing a complete rebuild of its existing location at Delmar and Kingshighway boulevards, as well as an extensive remodel of the group’s location in Granite City, which begins later this month.

Investment costs and revenue numbers were not disclosed, but according to Franchise Help, the franchise fee for a Burger King is $50,000 and a typical investment is between $316,000 and $2.6 million.

Henry Delouvrier, based in New York, and Christine Apold, based in Canada, founded Broadway Restaurant Group in 2016. Adams runs operations in St. Louis. The company has more than 1,500 employees across its nearly 60 restaurants.

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