Burger King woos couch potatoes with delivery

After a spate of bad publicity over hygiene and staff conditions at some of its franchises, Burger King is hoping to win consumers back with a new home delivery service in Germany.

Burger King woos couch potatoes with delivery
Photo: DPA

The company announced on Thursday that the fast-food chain will take telephone orders from Thursday between 11 am and 10 pm, or 11 pm at the weekend.

“The desire for a delivery service among our customers is huge”, said Christian Bauer, European marketing director for Burger King.

Customers are expected to receive their deliveries within 40 minutes by car, scooter or electric bike, and can pay with cash or by debit card.

However, only eight out of 685 branches nationwide are currently taking part in the scheme, which was piloted at one restaurant in Mannheim at the end of January.

This second phase of testing allows customers within a radius of eight minutes' travel time to order from new branches in Berlin, Chemnitz, Gera, Zwickau, Dresden, Waiblingen and Singen.

The company had a tricky end to 2014 after a franchise operator, Yi-Ko, had to close its 89 branches after going into administration.

Yi-Ko had been hit by allegations of staff mistreatment and accusations of poor hygiene at the franchises it operated.

Its branches have since reopened under control of the administrators.

SEE ALSO: Burger King axes 89 franches over scandals

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Let them eat bread: the origins of the French baguette

More than six billion baguettes are baked each year in France and UNESCO has now inscribed the tradition in its “intangible cultural heritage” list.

Let them eat bread: the origins of the French baguette

The French baguette – one of the country’s most abiding images – was given world heritage status by UNESCO on Wednesday, the organisation announced.

READ ALSO French baguette gets UNESCO world heritage status

Here are some of the more popular theories:

Napoleon’s Bread of War
The oldest tale has the baguette being kneaded by bakers in Napoleon’s army. Less bulky than a traditional loaf, the long slim shape of the baguette made it faster to bake in brick ovens hastily erected on the battlefield.

France’s most famous man of war was preoccupied with getting his men their daily bread.

During his Russian campaign in 1812, he toured the ovens daily to sample the day’s offering and ensure the crusty batons were being distributed regularly, according to historian Philippe de Segur.

He also had portable bread mills sent to occupied Moscow, but the setbacks suffered by the Grande Armee in one of the deadliest military campaigns in history ended his bid to export the doughy staple.

Viennese connection
Another theory has the baguette starting out in a Viennese bakery in central Paris in the late 1830s.

Artillery officer and entrepreneur August Zang brought Austria’s culinary savoir-faire to Paris in the form of the oval-shaped bread that were standard in his country at the time.

According to the Compagnonnage des boulangers et des patissiers, the French bakers’ network, Zang decided to make the loaves longer to make them easier for the city’s breadwomen to pluck from the big carts they pushed through the city’s streets.

Breaking bread
Another theory has the baguette being born at the same time as the metro for the 1900 Paris Exposition.

People from across France came to work on the underground and fights would often break out on site between labourers armed with knives, which they used to slice big round loaves of bread for lunch.

According to the history site, to avoid bloodshed, one engineer had the idea of ordering longer loaves that could be broken by hand.

Early rising
In 1919, a new law aimed to improve the lives of bakers by banning them from working from 10 pm to 4 am.

The reform gave them less time to prepare the traditional sourdough loaf for the morning, marked the widespread transition to what was called at the
time the yeast-based “flute”, which rose faster and was out of the oven in under half an hour.

Standardised at 80 centimeters (30 inches) and 250 grams (eight ounces) with a fixed price until 1986, the baguette was initially the mainstay of wealthy metropolitans, but after World War II became the emblem of all French people.