YUM Brands to acquire Habit Burger

storewanderer
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YUM Brands to acquire Habit Burger

Post by storewanderer » January 7th, 2020, 9:47 pm

I kept hoping YUM would acquire Carls Jr./Hardees. The way Carls has gone downhill in the past decade, not much left there to ruin. They may have even been able to improve it.

Oh well.

We will see how this goes. Habit runs a great concept. Quality food, good price (cheaper pricing than McDonalds for the burgers and fries but they get you a bit on the drink), very well run corporate operated locations; clean with friendly employees. Habit is a tight ship.

I suppose KFC, Taco Bell, and Pizza Hut were at one time great concepts as well. Before my time.

It will be interesting to see where this goes.

YUM has failed so many times with burger concepts. They had A&W and sold it off again. They were involved in some sort of co-branding with Backyard Burgers in the early 00's and that went down real fast. And then there was old Hot N Now in the 90's.

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Re: YUM Brands to acquire Habit Burger

Post by Knight » January 8th, 2020, 8:19 pm

I wonder if Yum! Brands is seeking to focus on a consistent third brand after Pizza Hut goes extinct or is divested.

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Re: YUM Brands to acquire Habit Burger

Post by rwsandiego » January 8th, 2020, 9:42 pm

storewanderer wrote:
January 7th, 2020, 9:47 pm
I kept hoping YUM would acquire Carls Jr./Hardees. The way Carls has gone downhill in the past decade, not much left there to ruin. They may have even been able to improve it....
I think you are right. The could probably improve Carl's Jr.
storewanderer wrote:
January 7th, 2020, 9:47 pm
I suppose KFC, Taco Bell, and Pizza Hut were at one time great concepts as well. Before my time...
They were. Almost before my time and I'mm 55 YO.

KFC was good as late as the mid-1970s. For the longest time my aunt would always have us pick up a bucket or two of chicken when we would visit her. At some point, she started having us go elsewhere because the quality dipped.

Taco Bell was good well into the 1980's. That was before the advent of Enchilupachangas or whatever novelty junk they started to serve. IMO, the end started when they offered taco pizza. I will say that the taco salads were a favorite of mine. They also had a seafood taco salad that was pretty good. Or at least 22 year old me thought so.

Never liked Pizza Hut. Growing up in Chicago there was no need to go there, given the plethora of pizza places. In fact, I don't even remember seeing any in the city until I was well into my 30's. By then the quality had taken a nosedive.

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Re: YUM Brands to acquire Habit Burger

Post by storewanderer » January 9th, 2020, 11:16 pm

I did find KFC to be quite tasty in Hong Kong a number of years ago. The location was very busy and food well prepared. I was impressed with the quality and actually went to KFC a week or so later when I got back home. As typical, business was pretty slow. It was the same mushy salty crap I remembered.

I tried a KFC in Canada and I think it was worse than the US version. The location was a real dump, in a strip mall, filthy, and the chicken was lukewarm salty mush and the fries were cold mush, basically inedible.

Not a fan of anything "YUM" brands runs. They seem to cut a lot of corners. Imitation cheese on the tacos at Taco Bell for instance, I take issue with. Artificial butter flavored oil soaked in the crust of those pan pizzas at Pizza Hut. Fake "honey sauce" for the biscuits at KFC and "better spread" instead of butter for the biscuits. It just seems like they cut too many corners. I am really sorry to see a premium quality well executed concept Habit go to them. Carl's Jr. would have been a much better fit, an above average quality concept that is not executing well anymore and seems to be limping along in recent years.

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Re: YUM Brands to acquire Habit Burger

Post by Brian Lutz » January 10th, 2020, 12:52 pm

The problem with KFC isn't that their product is necessarily bad (at least not at most of the locations here), it's just that the product available at pretty much any other chicken chain (be it Popeye's, Church's, Bojangles or even smaller locals like Ezell's in Seattle) is better and usually more consistent. There's a combination KFC\Taco Bell somewhat near the office where I work that I'll visit on occasion, but if I'm near home there's two Popeye's locations I'd go to before going to KFC. One of the locations near me used to be a combination KFC/Long John Silvers, but in a recent remodel the LJS was removed leaving only KFC.

By the same token, Taco Bell is OK if there isn't any similar competition around, but if I happen to be near one I'd probably choose Del Taco 100% of the time over Taco Bell. Del Taco opened a couple of locations in the south Puget Sound area (Federal Way and Lacey) and then just stopped.

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Re: YUM Brands to acquire Habit Burger

Post by Alpha8472 » January 10th, 2020, 2:44 pm

Every chain that Yum touches goes down hill. I fear that Habit will get worse. Habit seems much higher quality than McDonald's or Burger King. Yum will immediately try to cut costs and move to cheaper lower quality ingredients. They will then convert to inferior Pepsi products. Pepsi is cheaper, but people prefer Coca Cola. They may lose some customers, but save on soda costs. Then Yum will add self checkout where you order from a screen. Yum is very big on drive thru service. Drive thru windows increase sales and Yum will try to add those to existing Habit restaurants. However, I do not know of any Habits with a drive thru. Drive Thru is so impersonal. Habit is more customer service oriented. It is a higher quality sit down restaurant with a nicer ambience and a nice decor package. These changes could drive loyal customers away. Habit is more expensive than McDonald's, but it attracts higher income people.

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Re: YUM Brands to acquire Habit Burger

Post by storewanderer » January 10th, 2020, 7:40 pm

Alpha8472 wrote:
January 10th, 2020, 2:44 pm
Every chain that Yum touches goes down hill. I fear that Habit will get worse. Habit seems much higher quality than McDonald's or Burger King. Yum will immediately try to cut costs and move to cheaper lower quality ingredients. They will then convert to inferior Pepsi products. Pepsi is cheaper, but people prefer Coca Cola. They may lose some customers, but save on soda costs. Then Yum will add self checkout where you order from a screen. Yum is very big on drive thru service. Drive thru windows increase sales and Yum will try to add those to existing Habit restaurants. However, I do not know of any Habits with a drive thru. Drive Thru is so impersonal. Habit is more customer service oriented. It is a higher quality sit down restaurant with a nicer ambience and a nice decor package. These changes could drive loyal customers away. Habit is more expensive than McDonald's, but it attracts higher income people.
Habit takes a while to make its food and does not seem well suited for a drive through. From what I have been told, Habit emphasizes with its employees product quality and correctly prepared product over speed of service.

I notice some new build Habits lately like the one in Sparks and another I saw in Yuba City have drive throughs.

Most Habits are in small strip mall spaces with no possibility for a drive through; often at an end cap to at least have a dining room with a lot of windows and easy access to throw a few extra tables out on the sidewalk to handle the high volume of customers present.

Many Habits have installed self order kiosks as well. It basically interfaces like ordering on their website.

Habit up here in Sparks runs about 3.45 for a "char burger" - I think it goes to 4.05 if you add cheese. Fries cost something like 2.25. Drink is $2. The nearby McDonalds at the next offramp charges 4.49+ for a Big Mac and fries start at 1.99 for small and go up to 2.99 for a large, but the drink is $1. I find Habit to have better fair pricing (there is a lower "without cheese" price) and a far more consistently prepared superior quality product.

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Re: YUM Brands to acquire Habit Burger

Post by Bagels » January 13th, 2020, 3:18 am

Granted, I haven't followed their financials in awhile, but it looked like after several years of explosive growth, reception to the brand was cooling off and they were hemorrhaging consumers. No surprise, really - they've rolled back the closing time to 10PM at most locations, and the once impossible task of finding a table is now not an issue. A major problem for a chain that's more-or-less breaking even while in its early growth stage.

The lion's share of locations are corporate-owned, and most lack a drive through. One of their investor slides indicates they will attempt to include a drive through on all future locations, since locations with one generate nearly 50% more sales. It'll be interesting to see how this is addressed.

I'm actually surprised Yum! acquired the chain. Personally, I had this chain, along with Pick Up Stix and others, on my mental "2020s Endangered Species List." It'll be interesting to watch it going forward.
storewanderer wrote:
January 7th, 2020, 9:47 pm
I kept hoping YUM would acquire Carls Jr./Hardees. The way Carls has gone downhill in the past decade, not much left there to ruin. They may have even been able to improve it.
I don't think anybody will touch Carl's Jr. Even once-fiercely loyal Orange County has turned its back on the chain - numerous restaurants have closed in recent years, while several others have changed owners. In Irvine, a location touted as the chain's most profitable, is now closing its lobby at 10PM after previously being open 24-hours... while the nearby McDonald's has expanded its weekend lobby hours to 24-hours.

Heck, Carl's Jr. itself is annexing Hardee's -- announcing it'd be returning to its roots, likely to salvage itself -- while people in California increasingly go elsewhere.
storewanderer wrote:
January 10th, 2020, 7:40 pm
Habit up here in Sparks runs about 3.45 for a "char burger" - I think it goes to 4.05 if you add cheese. Fries cost something like 2.25. Drink is $2. The nearby McDonalds at the next offramp charges 4.49+ for a Big Mac and fries start at 1.99 for small and go up to 2.99 for a large, but the drink is $1. I find Habit to have better fair pricing (there is a lower "without cheese" price) and a far more consistently prepared superior quality product.
In fairness, a large chuck of McDonald's check include some type of promotion, whether it's an item on promotion or purchased with a paper coupon / digital deal. One shouldn't have to pay full price at McDonald's very often! Obviously, these promotions are reflected in the menu price (the sucker paying $5 for his Big Mac is subsidizing the $1.99 I paid for mine, using the app).

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Re: YUM Brands to acquire Habit Burger

Post by veteran+ » January 13th, 2020, 7:24 am

Carl's has a sorted past in California that spills over into political and social issues and it's quite ugly!

Even their salacious advertising campaigns were troubling (and I'm no conservative).

In my experience their service was spotty and I and others I know became ill a few times after eating there (including Green Burrito).

As far as I am concerned they can get to steppin and kick rocks out of existence.

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Re: YUM Brands to acquire Habit Burger

Post by jamcool » January 13th, 2020, 9:34 am

Carl’s Jr isn’t HQ in Anaheim anymore...they moved HQ to Tennessee (along with Hardee’s). And they have previously stated that they would be doing less development in California because of the anti- business climate there

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