The hamburger enjoys a wide acceptance in Spain, so much that even the most famous of Spanish cuisine has turned it into an object of worship. However, it has not lost an iota of its popularity for companies like Burger King.
We invite you to a trip, the one million daily whopper produced by the SpanishCarpisa Foods, who has been working for the US multinational since 1986. About 110 tons of national beef a day, which are not only served to the 787 establishments that Burger King owns in Spain but exported to countries like Portugal, Morocco, Qatar, Ivory Coast or Ghana. Specifically, Spain is for the restaurant chain the third market by volume of restaurants and one of the five most important countries, in terms of growth and profitability.
33 years doing Whopper
Our journey begins in the Madrid town of Griñón, where the Carpisa Foods factory is located. 16,000 square meters and that employs more than 250 people. Facilities in continuous modernization, in which seven million euros have been invested since 2016. «In these 33 years we have grown at the same pace as Burger King, investing in R & D, and in the latest technology to meet their demand », highlight the CEOs of the Spanish manufacturer, Jorge Castelló and Carlos Quintas.
But how are Burger King burgers made? Carpisa works with homologated slaughterhouses, mostly Spanish, whose meat arrives at the plant with the corresponding sanitary seal to be dehuested, after weighing, sorting and storage in a cold store to be deboned on the same day. In particular, for the burgers, the front part of the cow and the skirt are used. As in the whole process, through labeling, you can know the origin of each piece.
Similarly, from the boning room and throughout the manufacturing there are several metal control points, to filter out remains of plastics, bone or iron. After boning the pieces pass to the «Workshop», where with a percentage of frozen meat, the raw material is chopped and filtered again, to finish in the "formadoras" – a high pressure system with up to 1,000 kg of capacity – that introduces them in different molds. Then, they go to the ultra-freezing tunnel where they are frozen in just 20 minutes, at a temperature of -18 degrees. Finally, they go to the packaging line and are sent to the logistic center of Burger King in Guadalajara, for later distribution.
3,500 analytics per month
Sausages in smocks, with helmet and insulated to avoid any contamination, the people in charge of the factory teach the kitchen and the self-control laboratory, where they are made 3.500 analytics per month, both of the raw material and of the product in all stages of manufacturing. Or it is verified that the temperature of cooked (74 degrees) is the one demanded by Burger King. For this, it has the broiler, a gas grill used in restaurants, and that gives the burger the flavor of grilling. Further, Burger King It makes several tastings a year and the meat has international certifications such as BRC.
For Bianca Shen, Marketing Director of Burger King Spain and Portugal, we are facing a "high quality" product made with 100% fresh beef meat «that does not contain allergens, gluten, salt, additives or preservatives». In this line, Shen endorses the commitment to work with local suppliers, "since allows to maintain control also on the entire chain, while boosting the economy of the area ».
For this executive of Burger King, «one of the biggest challenges of the company is continue being pioneers» in a sector that evolves "very quickly". In this sense, he points out that they will continue to innovate in products and services. It also confirms the commitment to the franchise model to grow and the commitment to local patners such as Carpisa Foods. "Is local commitment strategy It also allows us to maintain control over the entire chain, while at the same time boosting the local economy, "concludes Shen.
Sustainable growth engine
The so-called organized restoration, restaurant chains, have also been boosted in recent years by the strong growth of the Spanish economy. According to him «Yearbook of restoration in Spain», prepared by the consulting firm KPMG together with the Restoration Marks Association, this activity represents 6.2% of nominal GDP while the organized one is already 0.51% of GDP. Looking to last year, the authors of this report estimated a growth of 6.1%.
In the opinion of Carlos Peregrina, Consumer and Distribution partner of KPMG in Spain, these restaurant chains "is one of the main engines of growth of the restoration » and, because of this "great capacity for development", it foresees a significant number of openings for this year and the next "of all the signs of organized catering". In this sense, this expert has qualified that the current number of establishments is lower than that existing before the crisis and has reminded that the catering sector is "exposed to multiple variables or uncertainties» like the consumption of the families, the tourism or the climatology, although the schools are better prepared now.
For Bianca Shen (Burger King), "one of the company's biggest challenges is continue being pioneers» in a sector that evolves "very quickly" and confirms the commitment to the franchise model to grow as well as to establish lasting relationships with local patners: "This local commitment strategy It also allows us to maintain control over the whole chain, while at the same time promoting the local economy, "he concludes. On the above, Peregrina (KPMG) has concluded that the challenge is «Grow in a sustainable way» and that factors such as real estate prices, digital transformation and communication with customers will help; «The development of new concepts», logistics – weight gain delibery- or internationalization.