Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) refers “the ethical principle that a person or an organization should be accountable for how its acts might affect the physical environment and the general public” (Jobber, D. & Fahy, J. , 2009). Nowadays, CSR programme is a global trend, which is encouraged by the government. It also helps the company in partnership and investment opportunities. On the other hand, CSR programme can enhance the company’s image in the consumers’ views. It would be very effective in a competitive market. And furthermore, CSR programme can improve the productivity and reduce the producing cost for the company.
For these reasons, all kinds of business have began to focus on their CSR programme as responding to the sociality concerns in various ways. Burger King Corporation (BKC) is a global chain of hamburger fast food restaurants. BK is founded in 1954 by James McLamore and David Edgerton. In the end of 2012, it has a total of 12,700 outlets in 73 countries. Recently, BKC has just arrived to Vietnam. BKC is located in Hanoi, Da Nang, and Ho Chi Minh City. However, BKC does not seem to provide a good marketing campaign here. BKC has installed several CSR programmes in other countries but not in Vietnam yet.
To implement a CSR programme is a way of marketing it to Vietnamese society. The problem in Vietnam market is Vietnamese people are not used to fast food due to culture differences. They also care a lot about their looks, their healthy, especially obesity problem. People in ages of 16-35 are the main customer target of BKC. However, the rate of obesity of people in these ages is increasing rapidly. Obesity can cause a lot of harm to people health, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, joint problem, sleep apnea, cancer, metabolic syndrome, and psychosocial effects.
Also, the rate of death caused by obesity is increasing. Plus, BKC has a bad reputation over the world, “New Burger King burger has nearly 1,000 calories; Smoked Bacon and Cheddar Double Angus draws criticism” (Goldwert, L. , 2012). So, people seem afraid to eat fast food at the moment. Beside, in the US, people can find it is very cheap to buy a burger at a price of 2 USD. In Vietnam, the same burger costs 50. 000 VND to buy. But with 50. 000 VND, Vietnamese people can have a bigger meal and healthier foods. To make an effective influence to Vietnamese lifestyle, the cost of BK meal has to meet a better
quality. The new CSR programme of BKC should aim at foods regarding to social health and environment issues, named “Healthy Burger at Your Door”. This plan includes four main parts: installing BK website with providing menu and foods nutrition, reducing fat and sugar in products, giving more choices of low-fat foods to the customers, and using materials come from certificated suppliers. The very first thing BKC should do is to install a website in Vietnam. The website will be in both Vietnamese and English in order to make it understood by Vietnamese as well as foreigners.
Then, BKC has to install its menu and nutrition of its food in the website. This will make BKC closer to the customers; ordering online and delivery service would be applied effectively. The more important thing of this act is the customers can actually see the amount of calories, carbohydrate, fat, sodium, protein and sugar… in each product. For that, the customers would have better choices of their meals to meet their individual diets and lifestyles. The next thing BKC should do is to reduce fat and sugar in the products as much as possible because most of the BKC products contain fat and sugar, which is the number one cause to obesity.
BKC can reduce fat in their oil used to make french fries or chicken nuggets. BKC can also use low-fat cheese for burgers and low-fat dressing for salads. To reduce sugar, BKC should offer zero-calorie, sugar free drinks and lower the amount of sugar in ice creams. These actions will be able to help the society to reduce obesity and have a healthier lifestyle. After that, BKC should offer more choices of low-fat products. For example, a customer can choose whether to have normal cheese, or low-fat cheese for his burger.
Of course, BKC will set the price of low-fat cheese lower than the normal cheese in order to target at the price sensitivity customers and motivate more people to use low-fat products. In additional, not only to make a better lifestyle, BKC can help to make a better world in decreasing non-traditional threads (sea rinse, climate change, earthquake…) to the earth by using materials that come from certificated suppliers. For instance, source only beef that has been raised in environmentally responsible ways so that none of the beef comes from deforested tropical rainforests.
Or using vegetables that come from certificated farms. This will make a worthy contribution to the environment. In terms of implication and evaluation, all the CSR programmes have volunteer characteristics that put society and environment benefits as the main point. However, if BKC apply the new CSR plan, it will gain so many other benefits. “It is widely known that Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is the way that leading companies nowadays do business, not only because it is clearly the right thing to do, but also because it is accompanied with long term benefits.
One of the benefits CSR is reputable for is its ability to enchase, if not build, your business’s image and reputation” (CSE, 2013). As CSR is the marketing tool, this plan will help to enhance BKC brand in Vietnam market. Even it cannot be as effective as other marketing tools (advertising, promotion…), but when BKC’s competitor, Lotteria, has not done any CSR programme, it could be an advantage of attracting customers and strengthening loyalty. Thus, implementing this plan will create advantage in customers’ awareness of BKC due to such positive effect to healthy problem.
Because of lifestyle changing, people are always busy working and studying. In term of profit, to be able to provide delivery service is another necessary improvement. It does not just enhance the brand service in general, but also increase the productivity to the highest level. On the other hand, Vietnam is a developing country. The new CSR programme will also be a chance to help people in adapting the new development in order to make the country economic grow faster. Realizing the importance of society and environment in expanding business, BKC, a global chain of fast food, should implement a new CSR programme – Healthy Burger at Your Door.
Being considered as a quality fast food can lead BKC to higher achievement in business. As much as the corporation expresses its morality toward the environment, it also shows its concern for the society more perfectly. Although BKC has some bad reputations in the past, BKC can overcome this embarrassment by building a new image in Vietnam and paying attention to the main benefits of the customers. Thus, “corporate social responsibility is no longer an optional extra but a key part of business strategy…” (Jobber, D. & Fahy, J. , 2009).