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These 3 Beloved Fast-Food Chains Are Closing Hundreds of Locations

Breakfast and burgers are out, but fried chicken sandwiches are still in high demand!
burger king sign

The parent company of Burger King, Popeyes, and Tim Hortons announced this week they will be closing several hundred locations across the three brands.

Restaurant Brands International, which counts 12,000+ Burger King locations, 3,000+ Popeyes locations, and 4,800+ Tim Hortons locations in their portfolio, is taking a break from rapid growth plans of hitting 40,000 locations in the next decade, in order to bounce back from the coronavirus aftereffects. There's no confirmation of the exact number or location of stores that are on the chopping block.

While most Burger King closures are expected in the U.S., Tim Horton's is looking at closures primarily in Canada, which is its biggest market.

"The pandemic has had an especially pronounced impact on routine-based visits, including on the morning commute and afternoon snack occasions, which each represent a significant part of our business," said RBI's CEO José Cil, explaining the company's loss of sales.

Popeyes, on the other hand, has become the gem of the company's portfolio during the pandemic. But despite the fried chicken chain's 24.8% sales growth, the parent company has seen a 25% decline in revenue. However, this may mean fewer Popeyes locations are up for closure than its other two sister brands which have underperformed in the last few months. It must be that delicious chicken sandwich that's helping Popeyes stand out from the competition. (But look out, McDonald's is launching their own crispy chicken sandwich soon!)

The move comes during a time when many fast food franchises are taking a long hard look at their least profitable locations and conducting sweeping cuts in order to focus on locations that look more promising. McDonald's recently announced the closure of 200 locations in Walmart stores; Dunkin' is shutting down 800 locations, half of which are located in Speedway gas stations; and Starbucks is shuttering 400 coffee shops in favor of a new pickup concept.

In today's socially distanced world, drive-thrus are the best-performing store setups and many brands are prioritizing the expansion of drive-thru windows. Burger King in particular announced last year that it's planning to open more locations with several digital upgrades. The "Burger King of Tomorrow" concept will feature double drive-thru lanes and outdoor digital menu boards. Here are the 8 Best Drive-Thrus in America Right Now.

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Mura Dominko
Mura Dominko is a senior editor at Eat This, Not That!. Read more