Whopper discount mistake cost Burger King franchise $8 million

Illustration for article titled Whopper discount mistake cost Burger King franchise $8 million
Photo: Miguel Villagran (Getty Images)

To err is human, right? No one is perfect at their jobs, and we’re all bound to make work mistakes both small and large. But if you’ve ever accidentally cc’d the wrong person on an email or filed a TPS report without a cover sheet, rest assured that your error (probably) didn’t cost your company $8.3 million.


Human error cost Burger King in a big way when certain Whopper discounts were applied across hundreds of Burger King locations owned by one franchise company. Restaurant Business reports the “convoluted” mistake occurred over the summer, as additional discounts were applied on top of an already existing Whopper promotion.

Carrols Restaurant Group is Burger King’s largest operator, and it generally outperforms other locations. So when the company noticed it had only posted 4.5% growth in same-store sales, behind the company’s 5% overall growth rate, it decided to dig further into the numbers. That’s when it discovered the Whopper error.

“It was not an accounting issue. It was not a systems issue. It was a mistake,” Carrols CEO Dan Accordino said on an earnings call. Without that error, the company’s same-store sales would have been at 7.4%, well above the Burger King average. He called the mistake “a one-time error.”

It’s not a good look to take comfort in other’s misfortunes, of course, but there’s a small reassurance here for all of us: Sometimes you make a mistake, and it’s a real Whopper. But tomorrow’s a new day, and once you’ve fessed up, it’s an opportunity to move on.

Kate Bernot is a freelance writer and a certified beer judge. She was previously managing editor at The Takeout.


Carrols was a restaurant chain when I was a kid. I remember they had good milkshakes and had really cool Looney Tunes glass tumblers as a promo. I still have a Yosemite Sam one. I was a sad little kid when they closed down and were replaced with Burger Kings.