• Menu. The strength of our menu has been built on our distinct flame-grilled cooking platform to make better tasting burgers. During 2012, we launched four new menu platforms (salads, wraps, smoothies and desserts) and expanded our chicken, coffee and ancillary menu platforms. We will continue to optimize our menu by focusing on our core products, such as our flagship Whopper sandwich, while broadening the depth and breadth of our menu to appeal to a broader range of consumers. • Marketing Communications. We have established a data driven marketing process which is focused on driving restaurant sales and traffic, while targeting a broader consumer base with more inclusive messaging to reach women, parties with children and seniors. We have launched a new food-centric marketing strategy with the tagline “Taste is King”, which we believe will refocus our consumers on our food, which is our core asset. We believe that this food-centric marketing strategy will allow us to strike a balance between value promotions and premium limited time offerings to drive profitable restaurant sales and traffic. • Operations. We believe that improving restaurant operations and enhancing the customer experience are key components to increasing the profitability of the Burger King system. As part of our franchisee-focused approach to our business, we have implemented standardized restaurant crew training and restructured our field teams to significantly increase our field presence and more closely align the compensation of these field teams with restaurant performance. • Image. We believe that re-imaged Burger King restaurants increase curb appeal and result in increased customer sales. Our goal is to have 40% of our U.S. and Canada Burger King restaurants on a modern image by 2015. We have lowered the cost of remodeling restaurants by improving the supply chain and providing franchisees with financial incentives and access to a third-party financing program to assist them in their remodeling efforts. Re-imaged restaurants have experienced a sales uplift of approximately 10-15% on average, enabling our franchisees the opportunity to achieve an attractive return on their investment. • Accelerating international development : We believe that international development will be one of the principal drivers of long-term growth of the business and value for our shareholders. We seek to accelerate our international growth by: • creating strategic joint ventures with accelerated development targets, in which we retain a significant minority equity interest without deploying new capital; and
• entering into master franchise and development agreements with experienced local operators. Generally, these strategic arrangements grant one or more franchisees the exclusive right to develop and manage Burger King restaurants in a specific country or region. We expect to focus our international expansion plans predominantly in high-growth emerging markets where we believe our current penetration is low relative to our potential. We believe this strategy will permit us to capitalize on under-penetrated markets and rising middle class consumer spending.
During 2012, we entered into joint venture agreements for China, Russia, South Africa and Central America and granted master franchise and development rights for each market. We also entered into an agreement with our largest franchisee in Mexico to establish a joint venture in that country, which we expect will close in 2013. In each joint venture, we typically pair a proven local operator with a strong financial partner while retaining an equity stake and board seats. Also during 2012, we entered into development agreements with franchisees in Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Korea, the Nordic countries (Norway, Sweden and Denmark) and Colombia, and we are actively seeking strategic partners to accelerate our international expansion in other countries.
During the fiscal year ended June...