Wimpy, Britain’s oldest burger chain, is creating a new brand, Dr
Beaks, which will go head to head with KFC in the fast-food chicken
Three Dr Beaks outlets are opening in the next three months, with a
further 100 franchised outlets planned over the next five years.
Dr Beaks is the company’s first departure from its traditional high
street burger outlets since Wimpy launched in 1954 as the UK’s first
fast-food chain. Since then, it has been eclipsed by McDonald’s and
Burger King, with 990 and 605 UK outlets respectively to Wimpy’s
Dr Beaks hopes to capitalise on the trend toward white meat in the UK
and will take on chains such as Favourite Chicken, Southern Fried
Chicken and Tennessee Fried Chicken for the number two slot. KFC
dominates this sector with 460 UK outlets.
Mintel estimates that the fast-food chicken market was worth pounds 530m
in 1998, an increase of 25% since 1994.
The first two launches, in Bristol and Reading, will be supported by
local radio, press and promotions through Ignition Marketing Group.
The agency was responsible for developing the concept and has worked
with Wimpy for four years. Its other clients include Procter & Gamble
and Thomas Cook.
’The scale of our expansion is ambitious but certainly achievable,’ said
Roger Freeman, development director for Dr Beaks.
The brand will be positioned alongside KFC, with Dr Beaks challenging
Colonel Sanders with his own brand of breaded-chicken meals.
However, Freeman says Dr Beaks ’will extend the traditional fast-food
offering into a whole new area’ by providing a healthy option with oven
baked fillets and wings.
Wimpy opened 17 new outlets next year, and plans at least a further 20