Burger King's new Crown Program enhances family mealtime

Nov. 6, 2011 | by Alicia Kelso

Burger King Restaurants today announced the launch of its new BK Crown Program for kids, encouraging family mealtime and philanthropy.

The BK Crown Program includes a fund to support charities involved in fostering education and protecting the environment and wildlife. Kids who visit BKCrown.com will learn how Burger King's charitable partners make a difference and can vote for their favorite cause to help the chain choose donation amounts for each.

Partner organizations include:

  • Wildlife Conservation Society, working to save wildlife and wild places through science, global conservation, education and the management of the world's largest system of urban wildlife parks, including the flagship Bronx Zoo;
  • National Parks Conservation Association, protecting and enhancing America's National Parks for present and future generations;
  • DonorsChoose.org, matching donors with teachers looking to fund classroom projects; and
  • Have It Your Way Foundation, making a positive impact on the communities in which Burger King serves, works and lives through initiatives such as the Scholars Program.

Alex Macedo, senior vice president, North American Marketing, Burger King Corp., said these specific organizations were chosen because education, environment and wildlife causes resonate best with families.

"(They) will be great partners to help us teach the invaluable lesson of giving at an early age," he said. "The new BK Crown Program is built to inspire every kid's imagination and encourage kids to learn more about how to give back."

Interactive dining experience

Also as part of the launch, Burger King is introducing a new box that houses the Kids Meal and provides an interactive dining experience.

Burger King's new version of its iconic BK crown, with brighter colors, a slimmer style and more "jewels," sits atop each box. The box itself can be taken apart to uncover games and activities that can be played by the whole family, and the meals also come with a toy. Online, more games and prizes are available.

The suggested retail price for a Kids Meal is $2.99.

The family bundle rolls out

In conjunction with the introduction of the program, the chain is also rolling out the BK Family Bundle. For a retail price of $9.99 ($11.99 in Hawaii), the BK Family Bundle includes one Whopper Sandwich, one Whopper Jr. Sandwich, two small fries, two small drinks and a kids meal.

The BK Family Bundle offer will be available from Nov. 7 through Dec. 4, 2011 and complements the chain's new objective to broaden its target demographic beyond 18- to 24-year-old males.

"In today's busy world, we understand the challenges that families face at meal time and the importance of getting everyone together," Macedo said. "Our new family bundle offering provides a quality meal for the whole that's convenient and fun for kids, too. Burger King is looking to enhance our product offerings for the whole family; that's why we've taken bold steps to completely redesign family mealtime."

Healthy Dining extension

The Crown Program comes shortly after Burger King signed on as one of the initial restaurant partners in the new Kids LiveWell initiative. Created by the National Restaurant Association and Healthy Dining, the campaign provides parents and children healthier food and beverage selections while dining out.

As one of the few QSRs to sign up early for the effort, Burger King Corp. now has three different kids meals available that meet the program's guidelines. The company's commitment led to french fries and soda no longer being offered automatically in kids meals, although those items are still available on request. Employees will be expected to ask parents upon ordering if they prefer alternative options, such as sliced apples.

"By providing families the opportunity to pick their entrée, side and drink, which includes choices like milk and apples, the BK Crown Program kids meal offers more meal choices than ever before," Macedo said.

Burger King's new crown hits the harbor

Burger King Corp. also donated $125,000 towards the restoration of the Statue of Liberty in honor of her 125th birthday. To coincide with the launch, a 60-foot Burger King crown was unveiled today in front of the Statue of Liberty.

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Topics: Customer Service / Experience , Food & Beverage , Health & Nutrition , Marketing / Branding / Promotion , Online / Mobile / Social , Operations Management , Packaging , Social Responsibility

Alicia Kelso / Alicia has been a professional journalist for 15 years. Her work with FastCasual.com, QSRweb.com and PizzaMarketplace.com has been featured in publications around the world, including NPR, Good Morning America, Voice of Russia radio, Consumerist.com and Franchise Asia magazine.
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