Newly-appointed Burger King chairman and chief executive designate John Dasburg yesterday squared-up to deadly rival McDonald’s, promising to snatch market share with an aggressive US expansion programme.

Dasberg, who joins Diageo-owned BK on April Fools Day after ten years at the controls of Northwest Airlines, is not unfamiliar with the catering industry, having spent a similar period as chief financial officer at hotel chain Marriott.

He hailed Burger King as “one of the great brands in the consumer product area”, before adding the rider, “it clearly needs a turnaround and I happen to like these kind of challenges”.

Although declining to discuss the specifics of re-energising BK’s fortunes, Dasberg observed: "In a business where market share matters, we need considerable unit growth, and we'll have to have the unit economics to justify that."

He shrugged off BK’s expected first-half sales decline of 2% and the malaise currently besetting the fast food industry: "The best time to take market share is when the industry is relatively hostile," he opined.

Meantime, palms are getting clammy at BK’s three recently appointed US agencies: McCann Erickson Worldwide, New York (adult campaigns); Campbell Mithun Esty, Minneapolis (children); and DraftWorldwide Chicago (promotional). All have been appointed since the start of the new year.

News source: Financial Times