Thursday 9 July 2020 9:37 am

Burger King boss warns over UK restaurant closures and job losses

The chief executive of Burger King UK has warned that the fast food chain could close up to 10 per cent of its branches due to the coronavirus crisis, putting up to 1,600 jobs at risk.

Burger King boss Alasdair Murdoch said that the burger chain could close between five to 10 per cent of its 530 restaurants in the UK, in a move that could cost between 800 to 1,600 jobs. 

Read more: Burger King grilled for advertising plant-based burger not suitable for vegans

Murdoch told the BBC that government help for the hospitality industry does not go far enough to offset the impact of fixed costs and plummeting sales. 

Burger King is reportedly expected to participate in the Eat Out to Help Out scheme that was announced by the chancellor yesterday. 

Read more: Date night discount: Government to split the bill on dining out in August

The scheme offers a government subsidised discount of up to £10 per head on restaurant bills in August.

Rishi Sunak also announced a reduction in VAT for hospitality businesses, cutting the tax from 20 per cent to five per cent. 

“If we can possibly avoid it, we will,” Murdoch told the broadcaster. 

Read more: Burger King launches plant-based Whopper – but it isn’t vegan or vegetarian

“We don’t want to lose any. We try very hard not to, but one’s got to assume somewhere between 5 per cent and 10 per cent of the restaurants might not be able to survive.”

“It’s not just us – I think this applies to everyone out there in our industry,” he said.

City A.M. has contacted Burger King for comment.