Two Burger King locations in Jacksonville have unexpectedly closed their doors, leaving locals and fans of the fast-food giant in the dark. These closures are part of a larger trend seen across the nation.
Unexpected Closures in Jacksonville
The Burger King branches in question, stationed at 210 E. State St. and 1981 Kings Road, ceased operations suddenly. The absence of any given reason by Burger King or the franchisee, Lee Wesley Restaurants LLC, leaves speculation as the only explanation. Each of these branches had been serving customers for four decades, and their closure is now reflected on Burger King's official website.
Burger King’s History in Jacksonville
Jacksonville has significant relevance to Burger King, being the city where it all started. The establishment, which was originally branded as Insta-Burger King, opened its first-ever branch on Beach Boulevard back in 1953.
National Trend of Burger King Closures
The closures in Jacksonville aren't isolated incidents. Burger King has been systematically closing down branches across the country over the course of the year. Joshua Kobza, the CEO of Restaurant Brands International, announced in May plans to shut down as many as 400 Burger King locations.
Struggles Among Franchisees
- Franchisee Bankruptcy: There have been several instances of Burger King franchisees filing for bankruptcy in the past year.
- Franchisee Dedication: Kobza has mentioned that franchisees who are not fully committed to achieving success would be encouraged to step away.
Fast Food Industry Challenges
These franchisee issues aren't unique to Burger King. Other renowned fast-food chains, including Hardee's, have encountered similar challenges with their franchisees filing for bankruptcy and subsequently shutting down. Notably, Summit Restaurant Holdings, the owner of 145 stores, was compelled to file for bankruptcy in May.