As Sales Drop, Burger King Draws Critics for Courting ‘Super Fans’


For five years, Burger King Holdings Inc. was on a roll, successfully courting its “super fans”—18- to 34-year-olds who account for half of all visits to Burger King restaurants.

Thanks to high unemployment and healthier eating habits, those super fans haven’t been so super lately. Burger King has felt the impact more acutely than its main rival, McDonald’s Corp., whose sales are growing.

As Burger King prepares to report earnings this week after two straight quarters of same-store sales declines, the question is whether the chain has relied too heavily on customers that may be permanently changing habits.

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