Burger King to swallow up Quick in France

Burger King looks set to take a massive bite of the French fast food market after the burger giant announced on Monday that it is in negotiations to take over the 509 outlets run by Belgian chain Quick.

Burger King to swallow up Quick in France
Do you prefer Burger King or Quick? Soon you won't have a choice. Photo: AFP

The Bertrand group, which is the major shareholder of Burger King France announced on Monday that it had opened up “exclusive negotiations” to buy Quick.

If talks succeed then the 509 Quick outlets across the country will be swallowed up by Burger King.

“The proposed merger would allow the new entity to become the second largest fast food chain in France,” the two companies wrote in a joint statement.
The Quick brand would still be maintained in Belgium, Luxembourg, and outside Europe.
The sale will still have to be given the backing of staff representatives and France's competition authorities.
In France, the burger chain market is dominated by McDonald's, which has 1,200 restaurants and outlets across the country.
Burger King, the second biggest fast-food chain in the world after McDonald’s, left France 18 years ago after it became a victim of the ruthless competition between Quick and McDonald’s.
But Le Whopper made a much anticipated return to Paris in 2013 with the opening of a new outlet in the Gare Saint Lazare.
That was just the start.
Last year, Burger King opened 21 restaurants across France which now serve an average of 2,000 customers each per day. 
Earlier this year the company announced a profit of €100 million for 2014 as more and more French diners turn to burgers as a preferred meal.
“These figures are very unusual in the catering industry and they indicate a huge commercial success, which is a bit overwhelming,” Jocelyn Olive, managing director of Burger King France, told AFP. 
Bernard Boutboul, a French expert in catering businesses, said the chain's success story was “unheard of”.
“This is an average of €4.7 million of profit per restaurant per year, which is never heard of in this industry, especially after the craze of the chain's return had waned down,” he said in April this year.
“McDonald’s and Quick have been there for 30 and 35 years and their profits are respectively of €3,3 million and €2.2 million per shop and per year. Burger King has done excellent communication and promotion work on social media.”
But shortly before it came back to France, a real hype around the brand had started to spread.
When the first branch of the chain opened again in Paris at the Gare Saint Lazare on December 16th 2013, people got there hours in advance to get their teeth around a burger, while others continued to queue for anything the restaurant had left in stock, even just fries (see footage below).

Qualium, then known as CDC Capital Investissement, bought Quick in 2006 from Belgian billionaire Albert Frere for between 750 million euros and 800 million euros ($837 million and $893 million).
While the traditional ham-and-butter baguette once reigned in France, hamburgers now account for one in four restaurant meals eaten in the land of gastronomy, according to a March report by food marketing group Gira Conseil.

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Norway Burger King ordered to close for breaking corona rules

A branch of Burger King in Norway was ordered to close on Saturday night after inspectors judged it was allowing customers to rub up too closely together.

Norway Burger King ordered to close for breaking corona rules
The branch of Burger King in Stavanger's main square. Photo: Google Maps
The restaurant in Stavanger, the capital of the country's oil industry, was visited by inspectors from the city government late on Saturday night, and judged not to be meeting infection control requirements.  
“The restaurant was closed because they did not comply with the guidelines for distance between the customers,” Øyvind Berekvam, a spokesperson for the municipality, told Norway's state broadcaster NRK
Norway requires all bars and restaurants to ensure that customers and personnel can maintain a distance between one another of at least one metre. 
Heidi Moss, the marketing manager for King Food, which has run Burger King's Norway franchise sine 1988, said that the chain was looking at how to make sure there could be no infringements at its other 109 restaurants in the country. 
“We are of course taking the event in Stavanger very seriously,” she told NRK. “We want to avoid similar situations and are right now looking at measures that can be implemented.”
She said she was considering where possible putting place a one-way system in restaurants with separate entrances and exits, and also perhaps hiring security guards. 
The closure marked the first time a bar or restaurant has been shut down for non-compliance in Stavanger since the coronavirus pandemic began in March. 
Runar Johannessen, the head of infection control in Stavanger, said he believed that all nightspots should employ security guards to make sure customers follow distancing requirements. 
“It is a challenge to adhere to the guidelines when there is as little contagion as there is now, but with no idea how this develops,” he said. 
For example, it may be to return to stay open day and night, guard when there are many guests waiting and differentiated entrance and exit so that there is a one-way walk through the restaurant, according to the marketing manager.