Starting Jan. 23, the pilot program will expand to 16 locations from four, although it’s too early to say when New Jerseyans will be able to satisfy their Whopper fixes without having to make a drive to the local Burger King.
The New York Daily News reported that delivery service is already available at Burger Kings in Mexico, Brazil, Turkey, Columbia and Peru.
“We are currently testing the service to bring this convenience to the United States, starting with just a few restaurants in the DC area,” a spokesman for the chain said in a statement.
The convenience isn’t free. There is a $2 delivery charge, and the minimum order is $8 to $10, depending on the store, according to Bloomberg News. Also, delivery customers must live within a 10-minute drive from the restaurants, which have a goal of making the delivery within 30 minutes. The service is offered from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Not everything on the menu is available for delivery. Only bottled drinks — not sodas, shakes or coffee — are included. Breakfast foods also won’t be delivered.
Orders will be packed in a thermal insulated bag, "which ensures the Whopper is delivered hot and fresh, and the French fries are delivered hot and crispy,” Jonathan Fitzpatrick, chief brand and operations officer for the company, told USA Today.
Two McDonald’s in lower Manhattan currently offer delivery to businesses in the area.
“There are some real food-quality issues here," Ron Paul (not THAT Ron Paul), president of research firm Technomic, told USA Today. "But there's no question that consumer expectation for having things delivered has risen."
Burger King, the third-ranked fast-food restaurant and No. 2 burger chain, according to QSR magazine, was purchased by equity firm 3G Capital for $3.26 billion in October 2010.
Under its new ownership, it has added 11 new breakfast items and partnered with Seattle’s Best coffee. It briefly tested a combo meal that included a Whopper, Whopper Jr. and Kids Meal for under $10 in late 2011.
McDonald’s is far and away the fast-food leader, while Wendy’s is No. 3 among burger restaurants.
—JOE GREENE, NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM