Burger King sets its sights on northern Sweden

Burger King sets its sights on northern Sweden
A burger war is brewing in northern Sweden, pitting the country’s own Max hamburger restaurants against American fast food giants McDonald’s and Burger King.

Until now, the battle over the best burgers in Sweden’s far north had been a two-contestant match between McDonald’s and Max.

But now Burger King has entered the fray in a bid to beat out both of its rivals.

“Without revealing any time frame, I’d guess there will be eight to ten restaurants in Norrland,” said Stefan Eriksson, Burger King’s head in the Nordic region, to the TT news agency.

The fast food chain’s first restaurant north of the Dala River is set to open in Örnsköldsvik on Wednesday with 40 employees.

The restaurant will be managed by Norwegian-owned King Food through a franchising agreement.

Eriksson mentioned Luleå, Skellefteå, Umeå, and Sundsvall as other prime locations in northern Sweden for Burger King restaurants. Hudiksvall and Haparanda are other possibilities.

“We look primarily at whether there is a sufficient base for operations and if the location is good. In addition, there needs to be someone who can run the restaurant well,” he said.

Eriksson added that the presence of McDonald’s or Max doesn’t make a difference in choosing a location for a new Burger King restaurant.

“Almost anywhere you go a McDonald’s is less than five minutes away and we’re used to local competitors like Max in the 70 countries in which we operate,” he said.

Burger King already has 67 restaurants in Sweden. In addition to the new franchise in Örnsköldsvik, four other new Burger Kings are set to open in the first six months of the year – two in Malmö, as well as one in Halmstad and one in Stenungsund, both along Sweden’s west coast.

“Last year we focused on Denmark, but now there will be more in Sweden in 2009,” said Eriksson.