Tag: Burger King

How Bulat Utemuratov promotes the culture of charity and cooperation in Kazakhstan

The year of 2017 laid down the start for effective charity collaborations between the private business and humanitarian organisations in Kazakhstan, and this assistance rendered to Kazakhstanis is being continued through 2018 too. Cooperation of Burger King, Bulat Utemuratov’s Foundation and ForteBank with the Red Crescent Society is one of these projects.

19 September 2017 saw a special position “Whopper Combo 61” appearing on the menu of Burger King fast food restaurants. By the way, the company is affiliated with the Verny Capital group managing direct investment funds. The key shareholder of these funds is Bulat Utemuratov. Having opted for this combo, any guest of 36 restaurants representing the network in Kazakhstan, who felt like it, could donate 61 tenge to those in need for food. The action received wide coverage in the media, with viners, presenters and public figures popular in Kazakhstan serving behind the restaurant counters.

But it was not enough for the initiators to think over an effective scheme of raising money within the “Whopper Combo 61 – Eat not alone!” and to get the message across to the restaurant guests, they wanted to assure themselves of the transparency in the transfer of money to beneficiaries – as the purpose of the project always was real support of the needed. Seeking an expertise and effective logistics, the company’s representatives reached out to the Kazakhstani representative office of one of the world’s most reputable humanitarian organisations – the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.

“From 19 September through to 31 December 2017 we have sold 22,950 portions of “Whopper Combo 61” and have managed to raise 1,399,950 KZT,” – Anuar Utemuratov, President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Burger King Kazakhstan, said. As a result, the Red Crescent Society distributed 40 food certificates, 35,000 tenge each, among lonely elderly people, single mothers and multi-child families. The project lasted till February 2018. In March 2018 the final results were announced, and the second batch of social certificates was distributed.

In November of that year of 2017 another charity project was launched. Bulat Utemuratov’s Foundation signed a memorandum with the Red Crescent Society of Kazakhstan on rendering aid to Kazakhstanis who suffered from natural disasters. The Foundation will transfer money for the victims to ForteBank payment cards which will be distributed by the Red Crescent employees in the event of a natural disaster in the territory of Kazakhstan. Such an innovative way to dispense aid is used for the first time not only in Kazakhstan but in the world.

The total amount allocated by Bulat Utemuratov’s Foundation for this project is 67,200,000 KZT. The sums on each card vary from 20 to 30 thousand tenge which can be spent for what is most urgently needed within the first hours after natural disasters – food, warm clothes and hygiene products. Such mechanics of the project make aid dispensing not only transparent but also systematic, as the aid is prepared well in advance, when a disaster has not yet happened.

The founder, Bulat Utemuratov, said: “I cannot stand on the sidelines when people are left with no shelter and food because of a natural disaster. Joint efforts of Bulat Utemuratov’s Foundation, ForteBank and Red Crescent Society will be used to provide first humanitarian aid to victims. I hope this multilateral initiative to help people suffering disaster will be backed by the business community and public organisations”. Yelena Kim, Director General, Red Crescent Kazakhstan, notes the efficiency of such a system in the context of quick response to emergencies – ForteBank’s banking technologies help saving precious time and dispensing aid more evenly among the victims.

Beside the joint project with Bulat Utemuratov’s Foundation, ForteBank introduced to its online banking a function of transferring money to the Red Crescent Society account. All one needs to do is to enter the website or the mobile application, select PA “Red Crescent Society in the Republic of Kazakhstan” as a supplier in the payments section, enter the required details and specify the amount of contribution. Collaboration between ForteBank and the Red Crescent Society is an illustrative example of how cooperation between business and NGOs makes mutual assistance more technological and accessible for a wide range of people.

Whopper in Kazakhstan. Is cooperation with international networks easy for business?

Franchising became popular among Kazakhstani businesses in the beginning of the 1990-s. Since then we have seen many times how the visibility of dozens of international networks and brands flew up and vanished. The progression of events impels to think whether it is easy to bring foreign business to Kazakhstan and, what is even more important, to make it successful in the domestic market. Let’s look into this using the example of the international network of the Burger King fast food restaurants.

Established in 1954, the international network of Burger King fast food restaurants is on the second place as for the number of restaurants in most regions of the world. The scope of Burger King can be understood if to imagine that over 19,000 restaurants in 100 countries of the world have about 11 million visitors daily. In 2012 Kazakhstan became the 83rd country where the Burger King Corporation fast food network opened its restaurants. Having decided to bring this international network to Kazakhstan, businessman Bulat Utemuratov entered a contract with Burger King to open a franchise in the territory of the Republic of Kazakhstan for the period of 12 years. In the course of work the company opened 32 restaurants in 9 cities of the Republic and employed 651 people – currently this is the largest international network in Kazakhstan which not only gave Kazakhstanis an access to the fast and high-quality service, but also created many jobs and opportunities for the career growth. The company employs quite a few staff who succeeded to progress from line personnel to middle and even senior level managers.

The Burger King global representative has a range of requirements to everyone who opens restaurants of this network. At the first stage they have to prove the financial reliability of a franchisee as the launch investments cost on the average from 316,000 USD up to 2,660,000 USD. Besides, the franchise contract usually also allows for the 4.5% royalty. Likewise, Burger King has a number of requirements which must be met not only by the franchisee but also by each of his product suppliers. On the one hand, this makes the life of visitors more comfortable – wherever in the world you come to Burger King, you can rely upon the consistent quality of food and servicing. On the other hand, this makes the life of local franchisee more difficult because not every country has suppliers who have the safety certificate approved by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI).

The process of approval of a new supplier takes two years and requires capital investments to production technologies which are not something all producers in Kazakhstan are ready for, that is why Iceberg salad and potato wedges come to us by air from Holland from two different suppliers once in 48 hours. Other ingredients are also imported mainly from the European countries despite local suppliers offering much lower prices. The quality guarantee is valued by the global player more than short-term profit for local franchisees. It happened exactly so in Kazakhstan, but the Kazakhstani network, against the odds, meets the international standards: they cook meat only over an open fire, and use products only from certified suppliers in strict accordance with the regulations. Thanks to that they managed to become effective as early as in 2015: daily Burger King restaurants in Kazakhstan were visited by about 15,000 people, so in 2015 the restaurant welcomed 6 million guests. Whopper became the most popular meal in Kazakhstan –1,860,000 whoppers were sold in 2015.

In addition to the authorisation of suppliers, the terms of the Burger King franchise require close attention to the service, so the company’s management will have to undertake training abroad several times before opening a restaurant or a restaurant chain. Usually this is Miami in Florida, but there may be other locations. And after the main training, you need to regularly conduct trainings for managers in the country of the franchise outspread, to make sure that all the key principles of the Burger King service are observed.

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