Seattle’s Best will replace BK JOE’s coffee program in Burger Kings by September 2010.
I’m sure this is a good financial deal for Seattle’s Best (owned by Starbucks) and will help BK increase its perceived coffee quality, but in the long run I believe this will hurt Seattle’s Best perceived brand quality. Why? Because BK is unable to enforce quality standards in its stores.
Most people have an above average perception of Seattle’s Best Coffee, a somewhat premium coffee brand akin to Caribou Coffee or Gloria Jean’s. On the other hand, Burger King quality image is quite poor, with people citing dirty stores, low quality meals and lazy employees. Quality issues are due almost entirely to unmotivated employees and lack of leadership from the absentee franchisees. It’s clear as soon as you step into a BK that there is little company pride or culture. And when your employees don’t give a crap, your coffee standards (brewing methods, time in the pot, keeping coffee at ideal temperatures, etc.) will be ignored, to the eventual detriment to Seattle’s Best.
On a side note, Burger King is wisely taking a page from McDonald’s by dropping a slice of cheese from it’s $1 double cheeseburger. The article mentions that BK is signaling removal of the $1 double cheeseburger from the dollar menu in the spring, and it’s testing higher prices for its $1 Whopper Jr. Was the $1 double cheeseburger really worth all the fighting with franchisees?