Burger King quit France in 1997 due to poor sales, and only returned to the food-loving country in late 2013.
In the intervening 16 years, the French fell in love with fast food. So as Burger King rolls out across the country, the opening of each new restaurant is a major event.
When the chain first returned to Paris, hundreds of people waited in line for more than two hours to get their hands on "Le Whopper." So to celebrate the opening this week of Burger King's new restaurant in La Défense (a major business district to the west of Paris), the fast feeder's agency, Buzzman, has tapped into the excitement – and notorious lines – surrounding each new outlet.
Buzzman has created the "personal queuer" to help people negotiate the crowds. Customers can log on to the website and order up one of 12 queuers hired specially for the purpose, all dressed in Burger King red, to wait in line for them throughout the first five days of business at the new restaurant.
A film to promote the service is being distributed on social media. It shows a young man relaxing in the park while a personal queuer does all the work right up until the last minute, when the man arrives in the restaurant just as the queuer gets to the front of the line. The commentary says, "Our flame-grilled burgers are so tasty that you are ready to queue up for hours… desperately. Except him – someone is queuing for him."
There are also promotional billboards up around the restaurants, and the personal queuers themselves are easily distinguishable in their red uniforms. Around 100 customers a day have been taking advantage of the service, according to Buzzman.
Buzzman's recent work for Burger King has focused on the scarcity of stores. Earlier this year, another promotion offered a moving service to relocate Burger King fans closer to towns where the restaurants had opened. More than 500 people responded to the offer.
The independent shop has a long track record for attention-grabbing creative, and was named International Small Agency of the Year in Ad Age's Small Agency Awards in 2011.