Ipswich Burger King snapped up as major franchise expands

EMBARGOED TO 0001 MONDAY DECEMBER 27 File photo dated 18/09/19 of a sign for a Burger King drive thr

An Ipswich Burger King has been snapped up as a major franchisee expands. - Credit: PA

An Ipswich Burger King has been snapped up as part of a major franchisee's expansion.

Burger King UK, the master franchisee for Burger King in the country, has agreed a deal to acquire 12 new restaurants from franchise partners.

The group has confirmed it will take over all the fast food chain’s restaurants operated by franchise companies Kaykem Fast Foods Limited and Saxby.

The deal will continue ambitious growth plans by Burger King UK and take its directly-owned portfolio to 172 restaurants.

The expansion will include locations across London, Ipswich, Kent and elsewhere in the South East.

There are Burger King sites at Copdock, at Anglia Retail Park, in the town centre, at Beacon Hill services and at Ransomes Retail Park.

The group now directly owns almost a third of the chain’s 530 UK restaurants, with the rest still majority-owned by franchisees.

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Burger King UK, which is led by former Gourmet Burger Kitchen boss Alasdair Murdoch and chaired by Martin Robinson, said it is moving “into a year of growth” after weathering the impact of the pandemic.

The company said it is “committed to expanding organically through the opening of new sites and through acquisition by consolidating smaller franchises in the UK into its centrally managed portfolio”.

It has also pumped investment into its customer experience over the past year, introducing more digital ordering kiosks and digital menu screens.

Chief executive Mr Murdoch said: “I would like to thank Kaykem Fast Foods Limited and Saxby for their support along with the contribution they have made to Burger King in the UK over the past 25 years.

“The restaurants have been run in an exemplary way and we welcome our new colleagues in the restaurant teams as they become part of Burger King UK.”

The Burger King master franchise was bought from global owner Restaurant Brands International by private equity firm Bridgepoint in 2017.

Sky News reported earlier this year that Bridgepoint is exploring a potential £500 million sale of the business and has held early-stage talks with possible advisers.