US fastfood chain Burger King has recently launched a scheme with online auctioneer eBay, allowing customers to bid on products such as CDs and tickets using reward points earned in the burger giant's outlets.

"Winning customer loyalty in the fast food restaurant industry is a tricky business," however, warns CommentWire, a service operated by leading food industry analyst Datamonitor, "and this initiative is sure to turn up the heat.

"Whether it will prove a success, however, is less certain."

The online bid to ensure customer loyalty in an increasingly competitive sector is just the latest initiative from Burger King to invogorate business. Under the shadow of an upcoming sell-off from British parent Diageo, BK has introduced new menu additions and announced large expansion plans.

CommentWire argues that the very idea of attempting to build loyalty in an impulse sector is "a tricky business, as it requires changing consumer behavior". It points to tentative moves to establish a loyalty scheme at archrival McDonald's, which has still not been rolled out after three years of testing.

Overall, the service sees the scheme as something of a make or break for the burger chain; an operation that will prove to be either "its cutting edge or its Achilles heel.

"If customers go for it, and it is well executed, then the chain may just get the much-needed boost that it has been looking for."

To view the full release on the CommentWire service, click here.