Burger King & Popeyes Plan to Close a 'Several Hundred' Locations This Year

Parent company RBI will shutter "underperforming, unprofitable restaurants."


The coronavirus pandemic has devastated much of the restaurant and bar industry, including national chains and mom and pop shops alike. Just last week, Dunkin' announced plans to shutter 800 locations across the United States this year while McDonald's is saying goodbye to 200 of its own. And now, Burger King, Popeyes, and Tim Hortons are following suit. 

CEO of parent company Restaurant Brands International José Cil said in an earnings call earlier this week that the brands would be "proactively closing several hundred more restaurants than we might in a typical year," according to Delish. However, because of new openings, Cil did say that he expects to "end 2020 with a similar number of restaurants relative to where we ended in 2019." 

So, who's getting the axe? Though it's unclear how the cuts will impact each individual chain, the company is identifying "underperforming, unprofitable restaurants that it makes sense to close." CFO Matt Dunnigan said RBI is currently sorting through its data to make the final determinations.

"...We are going through a proactive process of looking through our systems all around the world, and where it makes sense to close restaurants that will help improve the overall health of the system profitability," he said. "And then also longer term, makes sense for our partners and for us in terms of the business models and supporting future development, that's something we're going to do, and we're going to be proactive about that in the second half."

Despite these setbacks, according to Cil, the company "believe[s] this process of replacing older parts of our network with new modern restaurants and strong locations, drive substantial benefits and returns for both our partners and for us over the long term." 

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Megan Schaltegger is a staff writer at Thrillist.