Burger King franchisee Meridian Restaurants Unlimited (Meridian) has divested 70 of its restaurants after declaring bankruptcy earlier this month.
QSR Magazine has reported that the franchisee is said to have divested the majority of its stores out of bankruptcy months after filing for court proceedings due to pressures created by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Meridian, which is said to be one of the largest franchisees of the Burger King brand, blamed its bankruptcy on increased wages, labour costs, shipping, food inflation, decreased availability of staff and declining food traffic.
When it filed for bankruptcy in March, it operated 120 restaurants.
During the auction, which took place this month, the franchisee had 91 restaurants, of which Burger King acquired 32 restaurants.
The remaining 38 stores were purchased by other franchisees, including Kansas King, Dakota Restaurant Partners, Kraf and Snake River Foods. The stores were divested for a sum of $17m.
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Burger King acquired restaurants in Utah, Montana and Wyoming. Kansas King purchased restaurants in Kansas and Nebraska.
Dakota Restaurant Partners bought 12 restaurant outlets located in Minnesota, Montana and North Dakota. Kraf purchased seven restaurant units in Arizona.
Snake River Foods acquired three restaurants in Montana.
Meridian is said to have also filed a motion requesting the court to permit the divesture of the remaining 21 outlets,