Burger King to close down 400 stores by the end of 2023

May 7, 2023
Ryan Ledendecker

The King is dead. Or, at least, close to it. 

According to the New York Post, Burger King, an iconic American fast-food establishment, will shutter an astonishing 400 stores across the country by the end of 2023.

The upcoming closures feel like the inevitable end of the last of the K-Mart stores, which once helped rule the land of big box retailers.

The fast food joint, famous for the "Whopper" hamburger, is notably doing quite well abroad, with business booming on the international front. But here in America, it's a much different story.

What's happening?

The chain cited increased competition by other, much more popular restaurants like McDonald's and Chipotle for the reason it plans to continue to close hundreds of restaurants around the country.

A handful of bankruptcies by some of its biggest franchisees also put a chink in the king's financial armor, apparently.

The Post noted:

In the first quarter, Burger King closed a net 124 US locations, or 1.7%, to end the quarter with just under 7,000 US restaurants, according to the earnings release from its parent company Restaurant Brands International.

The news came about during a recent call with investors. CEO Joshua Kobza vowed that the company would seek franchisees with deeper pockets for its hopeful next round of growth.

On the depressing investor's call, Chairman Patrick Doyle said, "There will always be a minority (of franchisees) who aren’t dedicated, enthusiastic operators," referencing the failed restaurants that caused an avalanche of problems.

Is there a different reason?

Social media reacted to the news over the weekend, with many blaming President Joe Biden's lackluster, inflation-ridden economy for the reason behind the mass number of Burger King closures.

"Bidenflation is crushing businesses. It's forcing businesses to close or scale way back, thus putting more people out of work. Remember this next time he gaslights you on the economy," Phil Holloway tweeted.

Chad Prather tweeted, "Burger King has been serving really bad food for 70 years, but it only took 2 1/2 years of Joe Biden‘s economy to put them out of business."

Burger King might not be at the top of everyone's list of go-to fast-food chains, but most of us have enjoyed the occasional Whopper over the years, and it's truly a shame to see them go.

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