Burger King plans to invest $400 million in U.S. restaurants over the next two years to upgrade stores and boost sales.

The burger chain said Friday that investments include $250 million in store renovations and technology and kitchen upgrades, and $120 million in advertising. Burger King also plans to spend $30 million to upgrade its app to offer smoother ordering and personalized deals.

The move comes after years of unexpected sales at Burger King’s 7,058 locations nationwide. In 2019, Burger King’s same-store sales, or at least those of his restaurants that have been open for more than a year, increased by less than 2%. By comparison, market leader McDonald’s U.S. same-store sales were up 5%.

Burger King’s U.S. sales plummeted during the pandemic, but recovered in 2021, growing 5%. But that was slower growth than McDonald’s, which increased U.S. same-store sales by 14% in 2021.

Wendy’s surpassed Burger King to become the second-largest U.S. fast-food chain in 2020, according to consulting firm Technomic, and will remain so in 2021.

Toronto-based restaurant Brands International, which owns Burger King, Tim Hortons and Popeyes, hired Tom Curtis to spearhead a turnaround effort last summer.

Curtis, a longtime Domino franchisee and head of operations, joined Restaurant Brands in 2021 and currently serves as president of Burger King North America. Curtis said he visited many of the chain’s 400 franchisees in the U.S. and Canada last year and asked how he would like to revamp.

From upgraded digital ordering and menu boards to better kitchen equipment, Curtis said updates will be driven by each store’s needs. About 800 stores will undergo further extensive renovations. For example, it may be moved to accommodate his two-lane drive-thru, or it may need a new interior.

“All restaurants are snowflakes,” says Curtis.

No widespread restaurant closures are planned as part of the renovation.

Burger King will also refocus on its Whopper Burger with new flavors built from its platform. He said he was working on it.

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