Burger King’s Organizational Culture Characteristics

Burger King organizational culture, work culture, restaurant business culture, QSR company culture characteristics analysis case study
A Burger King restaurant in Elyria, Ohio. Burger King’s organizational culture (company culture) supports high productivity and effective work performance in the fast-food restaurant business. (Photo: Public Domain)

Burger King maintains an organizational culture that supports high performance among employees. A firm’s organizational culture is the set of values, traditions and habits that influence the behaviors of workers. Burger King’s market position as one of the biggest quick-service restaurant chains in the world is partly based on its culture of performance. The company keeps employees aligned to this organizational culture to ensure a unified approach in developing human resources. Such an approach ensures that Burger King leverages the synergy achievable through unified efforts to push global business performance further.

Burger King’s organizational culture puts emphasis on attitude and performance, while ensuring an enjoyable workplace and compliance with rules. This company culture promotes employee behaviors necessary for achieving high-quality output in the food-service business. Thus, the quality objectives of Burger King’s mission statement and vision statement are supported through the company’s work culture and its influence on human resource effectiveness and motivation for excellence.

Features of Burger King’s Organizational Culture

Burger King’s organizational culture is based on the company’s goal of continued global growth, especially following the completion of its merger with Tim Hortons in 2014. The following are the main characteristics of Burger King’s organizational culture:

  1. Bold and empowered
  2. Accountable
  3. Fun
  4. Meritocratic and performance-driven

Bold and Empowered. Burger King’s organizational culture empowers employees to achieve high performance. This feature of the corporate culture allows a certain degree of flexibility and autonomy among employees. Different levels of Burger King’s organizational structure have their corresponding levels of autonomy. As such, the organizational culture allows Burger King to maintain the resilience needed for continued global growth.

Accountable. Burger King’s employees are accountable for their actions. This characteristic of the company’s organizational culture ensures that, with autonomy, employees follow the rules and face the consequences of their decisions. Thus, Burger King’s organizational culture contributes to product/service consistency, while also minimizing errors or deviations in employees’ actions.

Fun. This feature of Burger King’s organizational culture focuses on employee morale. An enjoyable and fun workplace also reduces employee turnover, which has significant effects on the company’s financial performance. Through this organizational culture, Burger King manages to attract and keep qualified workers. The company applies the fun factor through management approaches as well as benefits and incentives in the compensation system.

Meritocratic and Performance-Driven. Burger King’s organizational culture encourages employees to maintain high performance. This characteristic of the organizational culture is aligned with the company’s policy of using performance-based appraisals. In this way, Burger King’s employees know and rightly expect that having better performance could improve their career options in the company. This cultural factor relates to Burger King’s corporate social responsibility strategy, which promotes a work environment where workers, as stakeholders, are supported in their career development. Moreover, this business culture motivates workers to focus on performance, which enhances organizational capabilities. In this regard, business strengths, such as the ones identified in the SWOT analysis of Burger King, are reinforced through this company culture.

Burger King’s Organizational Culture: Advantages & Disadvantages

The primary advantage of Burger King’s organizational culture is its support for high performance, which is emphasized through meritocracy and empowerment. Empowerment and autonomy are motivating factors for high performance among employees. The accountability characteristic also ensures that, even with autonomy and flexibility, errors and related unnecessary costs are minimized. However, while Burger King’s organizational culture is strongly manifested in corporate offices, it has only limited implementation in the restaurants. This disadvantage is due to the nature of franchising. Franchisees have varying approaches to implement this organizational culture in Burger King restaurants.