• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3

German fast food goes upmarket

DPA/The Local · 15 May 2014, 08:21

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 news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

DPA/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Brexit vote
Brexit 'doesn't pose big risk' to German economy
Car manufacturing at Volkswagen. Photo: DPA

While the financial markets have been thrown into disarray by the Brexit vote, leading experts on the German labour market say the country is easily strong enough to cope.

Berlin colony says no to more 'non-Germans' in its gardens
One of the many small garden colonies in Germany. Photo: DPA.

A public Berlin garden colony has come under fire for denying two Turkish families allotment spaces, saying there are already too many 'non-Germans' using the allotments.

Germany experiences highest birth rate in 15 years
Photos: DPA

Germany is experiencing a mini baby boom - but a veritable "death boom" is more than balancing out the score sheet.

Monsanto still 'open' to deal with German chemical giant
An Indian Monsanto farmer seen at work in 'Sweet Corn' field at Monsanto Bangalore Centre. Photo: EPA.

Monsanto said on Wednesday it was still open to a potential merger with Bayer, or to another big deal, as it reported lower earnings due to a tough agricultural market.

Shock birthday party attack at campsite leaves one dead
A broken fence posts found at the campsite. Photo: DPA.

Violence erupted at a campsite birthday party in Lower Saxony leaving one dead, police reported on Wednesday.

Trabi totalled on Autobahn after skidding on snail slime
Photo: Paderborn police

A vintage East German "Trabi" car has come unstuck after its driver hit a snail trail on the Autobahn.

Munich 'to spend extra €2.2m' on Oktoberfest security
Oktoberfest in Munich, 2014. Photo: DPA.

After terror attacks in Paris, Brussels and most recently Istanbul, Munich could spend nearly €3 million more on security and other measures - but terrorism isn't the only concern: the biggest fear is overcrowding.

The Local List
Six ways to make this Munich summer one to remember
The Kocherlball in the English Garden. Photo: DPA

At a loss for what to do with the warm months in Munich this year? These six attractions have to go on your summer bucket list.

Brexit vote
Germans rally on Twitter to show love for UK
Photo: DPA

Twitter was swamped with tributes after Germany's largest liberal newspaper asked readers to show some love for Britain despite its vote to leave the EU.

German kidnaps Swiss child, raising online gaming fears
File photo: Rachel Johnson / Flickr Creative Commons.

A 12-year-old Swiss boy was allegedly abused by a German man he first met online.

Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
National
How to get German citizenship (or just stay forever)
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Technology
Brexit will turn Berlin into 'Europe’s startup capital'
International
'Germany needs to make UK come to its senses'
Sponsored Article
Education abroad: How to find an international school
Features
Six odd things Germans do in the summer
Sponsored Article
Health insurance for expats in Germany: a quick guide
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
Features
How two gay dads cut through German red tape to start a family
National
Five things to know about guns in Germany
Sponsored Article
US expats: Taxes are due June 15th
Culture
10 things you need to know before attending a German wedding
National
Eight weird habits you'll pick up living in Germany
Lifestyle
Six reasons 'super-cool' Berlin isn't all it's cracked up to be
Society
Only one country likes getting naked on the beach more than Germany
Lifestyle
23 ridiculously fascinating things you never knew about Berlin
Culture
8 German words that perfectly sum up your 20s
Lifestyle
Can't make it past the door at Berlin's most famous club? Help is at hand
Business & Money
Why Frankfurt could steal London's crown as Europe's finance capital
Features
6 surprising things I learned about Germany while editing The Local
Culture
Five sure-fire ways to impress Germans with your manners
Features
6 reasons Germany's summer is unbeatable for thrill-seekers
National
The future belongs to these 10 German regions
7,924
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd