- Burger King South Africa has published ads with coupons for free Whopper burgers - as long as your name is Phillip, Philip or Phillipa de Wet.
- This week, Business Insider associate editor Phillip de Wet wrote an article assessing the profitability of the chain in South Africa.
- Burger King believes the ads will fight a perception that the brand is struggling in South Africa.
- For more stories, go to Business Insider's home page.
Burger King South Africa placed ads in the Sunday Times this weekend with coupons for free Whopper burgers – with the catch that your name has to be Phillip, Philip or Phillipa de Wet.
“Hey Phil, we love a good grilling. Come taste ours. Whenever,” the ad reads, in an apparent reference to an article written by Business Insider South Africa associate editor Phillip de Wet.
This week, De Wet analysed the profitability of Burger King in South Africa, based on the transaction terms of its sale to new owners. A fund of Emerging Capital Partners, which manages private equity investments across the African continent, is buying the local franchise from the JSE-listed Grand Parade Investments. GPI also held the franchise rights to US chains Dunkin Donuts and Baskin-Robbins, both of which closed in South Africa last year.
De Wet reported on the terms of the sale, which showed that Burger King is being sold at a relatively cheap price and that its profit (before tax, interest, depreciation and amortisation) target for the year was at least R84 million. That equates to an annual profit of only R900,000 per restaurant – of only R76,000 per month.
Juan Klopper, chief operating officer of Burger King South Africa, says the ad wants to convey that Burger King as a brand is not struggling – which he believes is what De Wet implied in his article.
Klopper told Business Insider SA that – following the departure of Dunkin’ Donuts - there may be a wrong perception about Burger King.
“(With the ad) we are saying that the brand is staying (in South Africa).”
Judging from profiles on Facebook and LinkedIn there may be as many as ten people named Phil, Philip or Phillip de Wet in South Africa. Not a single Philipa de Wet could be found.
Klopper said Burger King decided to publish the advert in the Sunday Times to get the “same reach as Business Insider”.
In January 2020, Business Insider South Africa reached 2.9 million unique browsers, who viewed around 10.6 million page impressions, according to the internet traffic measurement service Narratiive.
The Audit Bureau of Circulation of South Africa, as published on MarkLives.com, calculates there were almost 200,800 copies sold per Sunday Times edition in the last quarter of 2019.
A 40-year old Philip, Phillip or Philip de Wet would only need to get around 3,100 of Sunday’s papers – perhaps sourced from his neighbours, friends and the paper recycling centre - to get a weekly free Burger King for life – if he lived to be a hundred.
Sunday Times readers can post their coupons to Phillip de Wet, Business Insider, MediaPark, 69 Kingsway Ave, Auckland Park, Johannesburg, 2092. The burgers collected under his name will be donated to The House Group, a shelter for homeless girls in Johannesburg.
There is no end-date to the promotion, which says it is redeemable at any existing Burger King outlet, or any of the 100 that will be opening. The ad also says that there is more info on the company’s website, but Business Insider couldn’t find more details on the site.
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