Magazine article Marketing

Fast Food's Quiet Man

Magazine article Marketing

Fast Food's Quiet Man

Article excerpt

Fast food's quiet man

David Richards, Burger King's director of marketing, likes to keep a low profile.

For the past few months he says he has camouflaged himself in an old Wimpy building that Grand Metropolitan picked up when it bought the chain from United Biscuits. But the launch last week of Burger King's first major TV campaign has thrust him into the limelight. The massive 10m [pounds]-plus campaign will make Burger King one of the top five TV advertised brands in the UK.

Richards, 42, didn't start out seeking the limelight. He says friends thought he was a bit naff when he chose a career in catering in the late 60s. He gained one of the first BA Hotel and Catering degrees at the University of Strathclyde.

Along with his courses on management, he gained hands-on experience that allows him to claim with some authority, if not just a little bias, that Burger King's flame grilled Whoppers are tastier than McDonald's fried Big Macs.

"We went into the kitchen two days a week and put on a white uniform to learn how to cook," he says, eager to prove he is no mere burger theorist.

The first restaurant he managed -- a themed one where one could dine on "amazing" roast beef in Sherwood Forest -- didn't exactly earn any Michelin stars. …

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