Premium recalls on the rise

Most QSRs will go on ad nauseum about how safety is their main priority, but recalls are on the rise.
The New York Times reports that in the last five years 34.5-million toys were recalled by American fast-food chains. That's compared to no recalls at all between 1994 and 1996.

Most QSRs will go on ad nauseum about how safety is their main priority, but recalls are on the rise.

The New York Times reports that in the last five years 34.5-million toys were recalled by American fast-food chains. That’s compared to no recalls at all between 1994 and 1996.

As recently as last month, Burger King Corp. of Miami, Fla., issued a warning about 2.6 million ‘Hourglass Space Sprout’ and ‘Look for Me Bumblebee’ toddler toys, because they contained small beads or balls that posed a choking hazard to young children. The premium didn’t run north of the border, because the Canadian chain doesn’t have a program for children three years old and under.

‘The older child appreciates the toy whereas [for] younger kids, it doesn’t create any frequency or loyalty because they are very small,’ explains Patrick Gibbons, Burger King’s chief marketing officer, who adds that in the U.S., the chain has a strategy for toddlers due to stiff competition from other retailers.

The danger is that slip-ups like these attract bad press and can impact the overall brand image, points out Karen Bigby, account executive of the corporate promotions division at Orchard International. ‘If there’s a recall, as a parent you think twice about whether or not a toy is safe when you order a kids’ meal at that restaurant. You lose trust.’