Burger King plans Whopper Bars in Europe

LONDON - Burger King is considering expanding its Whopper Bar concept, a smaller, more modern version of its regular restaurants, to Europe as it prepares to open the first outlets in the US and considers adding beer to the US menus.

According to a Wall Street Journal report the fast-food chain will open six to 20 Whopper Bars in the US over the next 12 to 18 months. The company has revised its plans for the chain since first disclosing plans for the initiative in March.

The chain, which is based around the retailer's signature Whopper burger, will now have only one third, or possibly fewer items than a typical Burger King restaurant, including six to eight versions of the Whopper.

As well as Europe, Burger King is also scouting locations in Latin America and Asia. It is in negotiations to acquire 20 to 25 sites outside of the US.

Russ Klein, president of global marketing at Burger King, said locations being looked at include airports, beaches, cruise ships, sporting venues, and other locations where there may be less space available for a restaurant.

The new chain of outlets will also feature an industrial-looking corrugated metal backdrop, instead of the traditional brick wall, while staff will wear "uniforms that might be better described as clothing".

Klein said the company is also weighing up whether to offer beer on its US menus: "We're not interested in being in the business of hard liquor, but beer is certainly an option."