BURGER King has announced mass closures of nearly 400 locations across the United States as bankruptcy issues have hit the fast-food franchise.
The closures come in an attempt to protect Joshua Kobza’s famous brand of Restaurant Brands International, Burger King’s parent company.
RBI chairman Patrick Doyle warned earlier this year that stores unable to meet their sales targets would have to close in the coming months.
“There’s always going to be a minority who aren’t enthusiastic operators, and that’s okay,” Doyle said during RBI’s first-quarter earnings call.
“We will work with them to get out of the system and do something else. There is simply no place for franchisees who are unwilling or unable to work hard to sustainably operate restaurants that perform above the system average.”
The CEO’s words came as two of Burger King’s franchisees, Meridian Restaurants Unlimited and TOMS King, filed for bankruptcy.
Kobza informed fans of the fast-food giant that the stores scheduled to close are still understaffed — however, several closures have already occurred this year due to the bankruptcies, leaving several states with closed locations.
The US Sun compiled a list of at least 53 Burger King locations in eight states that have already said goodbye to local customers.
- 209 Nokomis Street, Alexandria
- 926 Central Avenue Northeast, East Grand Forks
- 528 Western Ave, Fergus Falls
- 21 Depot Street, Litchfield
- 205 Lake Street, Long Prairie
- 586 Southwest 1st Street, Montevideo
- 516 East Bridge Street, Redwood Falls
- 100 21st St North, Moorhead
- 1611 US-12, Willmar
- 1422 West Main Street, Lewistown
- 520 North 27th St, Billings
- 1211 West 9th Street, Columbia Falls
- 2201 East Kansas Ave, McPherson
- 3627 South Lincoln Avenue, York
- 2504 E St, Lincoln
- 4230 North 27th Street, Lincoln
- 3765 Gateway Drive, Grand Forks
- 171 East Gateway Dr, Heber
- 7810 South 1300 E, Sandy
- 10235 South State Street, Sandy
- 729 North Main St, Clearfield
- 1466 East 3500 North, Lehi
- 119 East Crossroads Blvd, Saratoga Springs
- 147 East Bangerter Highway, Draper
- 5390 South 1900 West, Roy
- 1660 West North Temple St, Salt Lake City
- 1902 Mountain View Drive, Cody
And another, EYM King of Michigan, explained in a WARN notice that 26 Michigan restaurants would also be closing in April.
- Dearborn Heights: 20401 W Warren (16)
- Detroit: 2155 Gratiot Ave. (8th)
- Detroit: 9871 Livernois (13)
- Detroit: 8201 Woodward Ave. (14)
- Detroit: 18021 Kelly Rd. (20)
- Detroit: 20200 Grand River Ave. (22)
- Detroit: 13600 W. McNichols Rd. (22)
- Detroit: 15500 W. Seven Mile (21)
- Detroit: 20240 Plymouth Rd (25)
- Detroit: 12661 Mack Ave. (11)
- Detroit: 9239 Gratiot Ave. (9)
- Detroit: 17440 E Warren (30)
- Detroit: 16245 Livernois Ave. (14)
- Ecorse: 3863 W. Jefferson Ave. (11)
- Ferndale: 10336 W. 8 Mile Rd. (26)
- Flint: 3625 South Dort Hwy. (25)
- Flint: 3801 Clio Rd. (18)
- Highland Park: 13324 Woodward Ave. (13)
- Livonia: 28203 Plymouth Rd. (10)
- Livonia: 34835 Plymouth Ave. (19)
- Royal Oak: 31456 Woodward Ave. (17)
- Southfield: 23660 Telegraph Rd (19)
- Southfield: 30711 Southfield Rd. (7)
- Walled Lake: 1113 E. West Maple Rd. (8)
- Warren: 2411 E. 8 Mile Rd. (13)
- Whitmore Lake: 9774 E.M-36 (13)
Michigan, Utah and Minnesota are the three states hardest hit by Burger King’s closures so far, at 26, nine and nine respectively.
Another nine are spread across Wyoming, North Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas and Montana.
More closures are expected soon.
In Virginia, DC Burger is expected to buy 37 Burger King locations for $22 million each restaurant operation.
Another company, Karali Group, is reportedly paying more than $7 million for 27 stores in Ohio and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Kobza also said new franchisees are key for Burger King in the US as they downsize ailing locations.
“If that’s not possible, we have operators who can step in and do what’s necessary,” the CEO noted.
“We are increasingly positive about the further course of the cases this year and in the future.”
With the current closures and hundreds more expected, Burger King’s sales have been up lately.
The burger chain surprised analysts with a 12.3 percent increase in global same-store sales in the first quarter of 2023.
The company also saw an 8.7 percent increase in US same-store sales following the launch of its $400 million “Reclaim the Flame” campaign.
For more related content, check out The US Sun’s coverage of Burger King’s new menu expansion, which has a controversial twist.
The US newspaper “Sun” also reports on a cult chain and Burger King competitors that has closed branches after narrowly avoiding bankruptcy.