• 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
Germany sees 'turning point' in birth rate decline
Children at a a kindergarten in Swabia. Photo: Nikolaus Lenau/Flickr

Is Germany's three-decade decline in birth rate now over?

Trump protesters rebuild and tear down 'Berlin Wall'
The 'Stop Trump' protest at the Brandenburg Gate. Photo: DPA.

US expats gathered at the Berlin's iconic Brandenburg Gate on Friday "rebuild" the Berlin Wall and protest US presidential candidate Donald Trump's own proposed wall-building.

Accusation of sexism within Merkel's party creates uproar
Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen and Chancellor Angela Merkel, two leading women in the CDU party. Photo: DPA.

A young politician from the ranks of Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) has caused a storm by suggesting that the party is institutionally sexist.

EasyJet 'in talks to buy German airline' to duck Brexit
Photo: DPA

EasyJet is in talks to acquire TUIfly, a board member of the German carrier said Friday, as the British no-frills airline looks for ways to keep flying freely within the EU after Britain quits the bloc.

Symbols of migrant plight to go on show in Bonn museum
Photo: DPA

A people smugglers' car, a dinghy and a life jacket are among items related to Europe's migration crisis due to go on display at a German museum.

Brexit
Green party demand 'quick and easy' citizenship for Brits
Photo: DPA

The Green party has called for Brits living in Germany to be offered a painless path to obtaining dual citizenship as to "reassure them over the future".

Berlin the new London? 10m2 flat to rent for €750 a month
Photo: Immonet.de.

This shoebox apartment in the gentrified Bergmann-Kiez neighbourhood may be a sign that the tides are turning for Berlin’s comparatively cheap housing market.

Far-right AfD reach record high in national poll
AfD leader Frauke Petry. Photo: DPA.

The Alternative for Germany (AfD) was backed by 16 percent of respondents in a new poll, which was a new high for the upstart populist party.

Bautzen youth beat up pensioner in racist attack
Photo: DPA

In the Saxon town of Bautzen, which has become a byword for racism and anti-migrant sentiment, two youths have attacked a 72-year-old man, shouting 'foreigners out'.

German lawmakers ratify landmark Paris climate accord
The German parliament (Bundestag). Photo: DPA.

Germany's lower of house of parliament on Thursday ratified the Paris agreement on climate change, following in the footsteps of 60 other countries that have committed to the landmark agreement designed to stem the planet's rising temperatures.

Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: the secret to dating in Berlin
Lifestyle
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Lifestyle
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
National
Seven great reasons to stay in Germany this September
National
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Sponsored Article
Retiring abroad: ensuring your health is covered
National
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
National
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
Culture
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Rhineland
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Culture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
Lifestyle
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: the secret to dating in Berlin
Gallery
Germany's 17 Olympic gold medals in pictures
14 facts you never knew about the Brandenburg Gate
Society
Ten times Germans proved they really, really love beer
National
Six things you need to know when moving to Germany
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
International
German scientists prove birds can sleep while flying
Technology
London v. Berlin: Which is better for startups?
Lifestyle
13 mortifying mistakes German learners always make
Travel
Enter if you dare: Berlin's best abandoned haunts
Lifestyle
10 rookie errors all Brits make when they arrive in Germany
5,781
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd