• Germany's news in English
 
German fast food goes upmarket
Photo: Shutterstock

German fast food goes upmarket

Published: 15 May 2014 08:21 GMT+02:00

Things are not looking so great for the fast food industry's giants in Germany. McDonald’s is faltering and Burger King is suffering from a hygiene scandal. Competition is harder than ever for the top two fast food chains, as pizza delivery services, bakery outlets and posh burger joints launch aggressive strategies to catch up with the fast food kingpins.

For years, McDonald’s and Burger King have dominated the market in Germany. Put together the two US giants have a higher turnover than the next 30 largest competitors. But since 2013, McDonald’s customer number has sunk for the first time in years.

Burger King too has suffered a huge set back as a result of a TV report on RTL showing breaches of hygiene and poor working conditions.

While McDonald’s started stalling in 2013, pizza delivery service Joey's Pizza went full speed ahead. In 2013, the Hamburg-based company increased the number of outlets to over 200, causing their turnover to rise 6.6 percent to €128 million.

That should be of little significance to the McDonald’s, which according to the industry journal “Food Service” has a turnover of over €3 billion.

But Joey's is not alone, Call a Pizza, Smiley and many more pizza delivery services are proving extremely popular with customers. Even US pizza delivery giant Dominos is now up and running in Germany.

However, the fast food war is not only a pizza fight. An increasing amount of bakeries are stepping in with snack shops aimed at lunchtime customers, including the large chains like Backwerk and Back Factory.

“We're following the trend of turning self-service bakeries into a place to come and eat,” said Backwerk's managing director Dirk Schneider. The sales for filled rolls, snacks and drinks already account for more than a third of Backwerk's turnover.

Gourmet hamburger joints such as Ritchie 'n Rose in Düsseldorf or the small chain Hans-im-Glück have also jumped on the bandwagon in a bid to knock the burger giants off the top. More expensive than McDonald’s and Burger King, their “gourmet burgers” are aimed at the more sophisticated palate.

“People are happy to pay a euro more for a burger of much higher quality”, said Richard Nicolaus from Richie 'n Rose, which opened last year. On the menu you will find the classic cheeseburger and fishburger alongside marinated tuna steak or chicken burger with teriyaki sauce.

The small burger chain has outlets in several German cities and offers healthy alternatives to the US chain, from fancy vegetarian burgers such as the “Wuzelsepp” a walnut burger, with Heumilchkäse (cheese produced from hay-eating cows), nuts and sprouts to the “classic” beefburger with the choice of Parma ham, goats cheese and fig jelly, or brie with cranberries.

In comparison to their rivals, Hans im Glück provides table service for their customers and “offer a better made burger”, said the company's managing director Thomas Hirschberger. In addition to gourmet burgers, the newcomer, which has 19 outlets in Germany and plans to have 55 restaurants by 2015, also offers cocktails, beer and wine.

But Hirschberger predicts a long-term future for McDonald’s and Burger King in Germany. “They do a good job,” Hirschberger said. “They always bounce back.”

SEE ALSO: Burger King boss admits scandal has hit revenues

For more stories about Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter

DPA/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
How Germany will deal with the leap second
A scientist works with an atomic clock at the Federal Physics-Technology Institute (PTB) in Braunschweig. Photo: DPA

How Germany will deal with the leap second

Germany's top time scientists are ready to spring into action in the dead of night on Tuesday, inserting an extra second into the clock while everyone else is asleep. READ  

German unemployment hits historic low
Photo: DPA

German unemployment hits historic low

German unemployment remained at historically low levels in June as the recovery in Europe's biggest economy remained on track, data showed on Tuesday. READ  

Greece crisis
Chorus grows for Grexit as midnight strikes
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras preparing for an interview on public television on Monday evening. Photo: DPA

Chorus grows for Grexit as midnight strikes

Hours after Chancellor Angela Merkel's announcement on Monday that she remained open to further talks with Greece, an increasing number of politicians in Germany were calling for Greece to be gently ushered out of the euro. READ  

Greece crisis
Germany's Greeks look anxiously homeward
Antonius Chantzaras in his kiosk. Photo: DPA

Germany's Greeks look anxiously homeward

As crisis engulfs their homeland, members of the Greek community in Germany look anxiously homeward and reflect on how the crisis is already traveling back to Germany. READ  

Women's World Cup
Semi-final clash with US 'like a final'
Germany coach Silvia Neid. Photo: DPA

Semi-final clash with US 'like a final'

Ahead of Tuesday's semi-final clash against the Unites States in the Women's World Cup, Germany coach Silvia Neid warned that her team would not be relinquishing their status as the world's number one team yet. READ  

Germanwings co-pilot buried in silence
A man walks past a makeshift memorial to the Germanwings flight 4U9525 victims in Düsseldorf airport. Photo: DPA

Germanwings co-pilot buried in silence

As the co-pilot who steered Germanwings flight 4U9525 into the French Alps in March was buried on Monday, the authorities prepared to unveil the first steps they will take to improve air safety. READ  

Feisty mum attacks kids with pepperspray
Photo: DPA

Feisty mum attacks kids with pepperspray

A 20-year-old mother attacked a group of children with pepper-spray on Sunday believing they weren't being considerate enough with her own child. READ  

Tunisia terrorist attack
Second German confirmed among dead
Photo: DPA

Second German confirmed among dead

UPDATE: The Foreign Ministry confirmed on Monday that at least two Germans were killed in the terrorist attack in Tunisia which took the lives of nearly forty people. READ  

Boy sues classmate over sore bottom
Photo: DPA

Boy sues classmate over sore bottom

A 15-year-old boy from Hanover is suing his classmate after he pulled a chair from underneath him as he was about to sit down. READ  

Two refugee home 'attacks' in as many days
Police guard a refugee home in Freital, Saxony. Photo: DPA

Two refugee home 'attacks' in as many days

Two planned refugee homes have gone up in flames in two days in suspected arson attacks by far-right groups. In both cases the homes were still unoccupied and no injuries have been reported. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Society
An eye for an eye? Mum protects child in playground with pepperspray
Politics
Follow our LIVE blog as Europe holds breath over Greece crisis
National
As it happened: Queen Elizabeth's final day in Germany
National
As it happened: Queen Elizabeth's second day in Germany
National
Queen Elizabeth II's first day in Germany - as it happened
National
Bus passengers tell fake racists where to get off
Politics
What's really in the Queen's handbag?
National
Germans say USA doesn't respect freedom
National
Yes, you CAN buy adult e-books before 10pm in Germany
VIDEO: Watch a 93-metre turbine crash to earth in slow motion
Gallery
Who's got a shot at the German Film Awards
Rhineland
Anger over 'child-free' beer garden
National
How do you do, Majestät?
National
Man defends right to pee in public with tear gas
Features
The Germans who won Waterloo for the British
Frankfurt
Should Germany ban circus animals?
Hamburg
Where people are having the most sex in Germany
Culture
Who Wants to be a Millionaire? Not this student...
National
Dresden's three-decade-long red light
Politics
Upper house calls for gay marriage now
Berlin
Berlin named 3rd-best city worldwide
Sport
In search of the toughest firefighter
Business & Money
German firms shine for European engineering students
Gallery
Hitler's paintings up for auction
National
German's 70-year search for murdered US pilot
Politics
What the G7 leaders agreed at Elmau
Business & Money
What really makes Germans happy
National
Playmobil builder leaves worldwide legacy
National
The car share that became a drug run
Politics
What Snowden revealed to Germany
Rhineland
Why wolf cubs are being raised by hand
National
Hitler's booze cave found
National
Environment makes Germany worth living in
Culture
What's top of the charts in June
Gallery
Germany's most beautiful cycle routes
Business & Money
The business case for Britain in the EU
Rhineland
Why farmers are free to pong up the countryside
National
German restaurants among world's best
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

6,715
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd