Burger King is considering putting plans into place that would see the closure of up to ten of its UK stores.
Whilst fast food in general, especially in terms of delivery, has faired well during the pandemic, even the biggest restaurant chains like Burger King, have struggled without the usual number of bums on seats and buns on burgers.
So difficult has this last six months been, in fact, that Burger King were unable to pay their quarterly rent on a huge number of their UK premises.
At #TeamCES, we’ve been all over the recent disputes between commercial landlords and their tenants, seeing first hand how just a few weeks of not trading can impact upon both the bottom line and on the overheads in such a devastating manner.
It creates a situation where there’s just too much bun on either side of the burger, and that isn’t good for anyone.
The UK chief executive of Burger King, Alasdair Murdoch, has been a vocal critic of UK Government policy towards the hospitality sector, claiming that there simply hasn’t been enough support from day one.
Whilst he has been critical of the Government’s handling of the crisis though, he has also been very quick to try and appease an army of growingly impatient landlords, by reminding them of the value of the hospitality sector to the UK economy, when they’re understandably more interested in getting paid.
He has a point, as the industry is worth billions, but by asking for patience and understanding from landlords, on an indefinite scale, whilst refusing to dip into Burger King’s sizeable coffers to pay the rent, he is perhaps playing a dangerous game.
One way or another, it seems certain that Burger King are about to enter a period of great change, that could see a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) come into play, or a pre pack type agreement.
The last thing anyone wants is more job losses, but unfortunately, with local lockdowns on the horizon and uncertainty on a King Size scale, this almost seems like an inevitability.