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03.2010

Massachusetts Beverage Business

archivedOnBeerReport

BURGER KING AND A BREW?

South Beach is famous for its beaches, nightlife and “beautiful” people. It’s also the only place in the US where you can go to a Burger King and get a cold beer with your burger. In January, Burger King unveiled plans to sell beer and burgers at the “Whopper Bar” in Miami Beach’s tourist-heavy South Beach. The South Beach Whopper Bar was scheduled to open in mid-February. Don’t look for beer at conventional Burger Kings, but more Whopper Bars – which offer an assortment of burgers, toppings and beer – could be in the works to come to other tourist hot spots such as New York, Los Angeles and Las Vegas.

A beer at the new Whopper Bar – served in special aluminum bottles to keep them extra cold – will cost $4.25. Or, order beer as part of a Whopper combo and the bill will be $7.99 – roughly $2 more than the same combo meal with a fountain drink. Not a bad deal. Burger King’s Whopper Bar isn’t the first fast-food chain to test alcoholic beverages domestically. Last year in Seattle, Starbucks opened “15th Avenue Coffee and Tea, inspired by Starbucks”. In addition to coffee and tea, it sells regional beers and wines. The restaurant will initially sell Anheuser-Busch and MillerCoors beers with the plan to gradually add more choices. However, the chain will be challenged to train staff to legally sell and serve alcohol. Legions of teenagers stream to BKs everyday after school for fries and a burger. The temptation to hit the Whopper Bar to try and order a beer will be great. The restaurant also will offer delivery of all items . . . except beer.

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