Burger King To Close Up to 400 Locations

Burger King fast food retail store. | Image by Jonathan Weiss, Shutterstock

The CEO of Burger King told investors last week that the well-known fast-food chain plans to close between 300 and 400 restaurants before the end of 2023.

CEO Joshua Kobza assured investors during the May 2 earnings call that the company usually closes a hundred locations each year and occasionally more.

According to ScrapeHero, a data company, Burger King has 7,257 locations in the U.S., with Texas having the most at 580.

Yet a May 2 press release from Restaurant Brands International — the holding company for Burger King, Popeyes, and more — listed 7,088 Burger King stores in operation, suggesting some have already closed.

Indeed, a few of Burger King’s franchisees have gone under this year, including Toms King, which sold for $33 million out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy last month. One of the four buyers was Burger King itself, which bought 17 locations for $3.2 million.

Although the company did not specify which locations would be closed or provide a detailed timeline, Kobza said during the call that the company plans to focus on cutting underperforming restaurants to shore up the overall health of the franchise system.

Franchisees with problematic stores are going to have to “commit to implementing the changes necessary,” as Kobza explained.

Failing that, local operators will “step in and do what’s required,” he added.

Kobza also told investors that funds will go to making updates to over 4,000 restaurants, including digital menu boards and kitchen equipment.

While Burger King is aiming to make long-term improvements to its business foundation, future restaurant closings will depend on the speed of recovery.

“We’re feeling increasingly positive about the case path forward this year and into the future,” Kobza told investors.

Just recently, the chain announced that it would offer a special red and black whopper ahead of the Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse premiere.  The limited-time whopper can be purchased at Burger King restaurants from May 15 to June 21.

Burger King’s U.S. sales grew 8.7% year over year in Q1 2023, according to the earnings call. Internationally, sales grew by 19% year over year.

Yet some of its rivals did better domestically, as McDonald’s reported a 12.6% increase in comparable sales.

As The Dallas Express reported, another burger joint — Texas-based Whataburger — made cuts to its corporate staff in early March after a corporate restructuring.

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