Burger King gets the Boot

A new sign outside the Burger King store in Cornmarket Street calls for new tenant enquiries.

A ‘for let’ sign has been placed outside of the closed Burger King premises in Cornmarket Street in Oxford, seeking new restaurant lease enquiries.

Burger King closed their Cornmarket location in response to the coronavirus outbreak, and it is now understood that they will not be reopening this location.

The company offering the property for lease, AG&G, works with large chains including Nandos, Wagamama and Pizza Express and in an interview with journalist Tim Hughes, at the Oxford Mail, state that the issues for this location relate to a significant hike in rent prices by the landlords, Oxford University’s Jesus College.

In his interview with Oxford Mail, AG&G Director Richard Negus explained that Burger King had tried to negotiate the rent issues with Jesus College, but it is alleged that the College would not budge on price. As a result, he claims that Burger King would not have made enough money to justify the level of rent being charged.

This news follows recent warnings by Burger King that it could close up to 10% of its outlets in the UK, putting hundreds of jobs at risk.

In fact, Burger King UK CEO Alasdair Murdoch said that closures could lead to between 800 and 1,600 job cuts, and noted that “somewhere between 5% and 10% of the restaurants might not be able to survive.”

Whilst the “Eat Out to Help Out” scheme was designed to help support the struggling hospitality industry and venues like Burger King, many business owners feel this scheme has been poorly executed, and simply pushed all business to Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, with the remaining days seeing less than average turnover.

Murdoch expressed similar feelings, saying that the scheme :does not do enough to minimise the impact of fixed costs and lost sales during the pandemic.”

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