The home of the Whopper closed over 250 restaurants in 2019, and more than it opened in subsequent years.
This article is free of bias, and is based on national statistics and accredited media reports. All listed facts within this article are fully-attributed to economic and media outlets, including Restaurant Brands International (RBI), Caitlin Cochrane for MoneyWise.com, Danny Klein for QSR Magazine, Wikipedia, and Jonathan Maze for Restaurant Business Online.
In 2019, MoneyWise.com published an article by Caitlin Cochrane on the state of modern-day restaurant chains. Entitled “These Chains are Closing the Most Restaurants,” Burger King placed #4 on the list, following Subway, Starbucks, and Pizza Hut, respectively.
See here for article, which states: The home of the Whopper has been closing at least 100 restaurants per year, but more than double that number (250) were set to leave the king's realm in 2019. Two more have closed in 2020, maybe on the way to a more “normal” cutback this year. Lagging locations have been on the chopping block to make way for the "Burger King of Tomorrow": new BKs incorporating technology such as self-order kiosks inside and digital menu boards at the drive-thru. Each new restaurant is expected to do about $500,000 more business per year than the old ones being shut down. Burger King — called "Insta-Burger King" when it was founded in Florida in 1953 — says it serves 11 million fans around the world every day.
Earlier that year, Restaurant Brands International (RBI), the Toronto-based owner of the venerable Burger King chain, disclosed that 7,294 of the United States’ 7,346 Burger King locations have been franchised.
Burger King Closures
In an August, 2020 article for QSR Magazine, titled “Burger King Parent to Close ‘Several Hundred‘ Restaurants,” writer Danny Klein stated: The chain was embarking on a U.S. “closure program” intended to trim lower-volume stores in favor of units designed to unlock digital changes. Its “Burger King of Tomorrow” store, modeled after the “Garden Grill” package, features double drive-thru lanes and outdoor digital menuboards... But at RBI’s investor day last May, the company said, over the next two years, it expected to shuttered 200–250 restaurants—a shift it believed would position Burger King for future expansion as well as boost profitability near-term for franchisees. That would accelerate off U.S. rates in 2018 and 2017, when it opened net 104 and 70 locations, respectively, averaging about 140 closures of underperforming units.
Klein goes on to discuss further financial-related notes, including net positive new store locations over the covered period.
It can be fairly stated that Restaurant Brands International, which also owns Tim Hortons, Popeyes, and Firehouse Subs, has proven a strategic brand owner. For further information about the company, see Wikipedia entry here, and its corporate website here.
As with most all fast food burger chains, Burger King experienced further financial setbacks in the two years following its widespread 2019 closures. Jonathan Maze’s Restaurant Business Online article, “Burger King’s Sales Recovery Takes a Hit,” examines the company‘s pandemic business in 2020 and 2021.
The article states: The company blamed its weakened performance on its value offers. Jose Cil, CEO of parent company Restaurant Brands International, said that the chain’s $1 Your Way menu and its 2-for-$6 offer didn’t perform as well as value offers a year ago. Burger King also said it shifted away from paper coupons, which it relied on for sales more than other brands. Burger King’s marketing strategies, including its Ch’Kng chicken sandwich and its Real Meals, didn’t make up for the loss of value sales.
According to RBI’s corporate website, RBI.com, Burger King’s 2022 numbers are so far proving more optimistic.
For now, anyway, despite some knocks Burger King does not appear to be going away.
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