A whopper of a profit for Burger King
The world’s second largest fast food hamburger chain Burger King has reported double-digit profits at its Barbados operations, while announcing plans to open additional outlets.
Franchise holder Ralph “Bizzy” Williams and other officials of the fast food restaurant have officially opened their fourth restaurant at the popular Sheraton Mall, adding to the two locations in Bridgetown and one in SkyMall.
General manager of Burger King Barbados Ryan Walters told Barbados TODAY Barbadians have responded well to the franchise and that he expected the new location to perform “extremely well”, particularly on weekends.
“We have actually seen a good response from the public. We have grown our sales between 15 to 20 per cent from the previous year. So we are optimistic that it will continue [to grow] as we deliver good service. So part of that is getting more locations so that more people will taste the product and get access to the product. And I think that as we grow we will continue to have positive contribution,” said Walters.
He said the operators had already been given permission for four more restaurants on the island, but he was keeping the details close to his chest.
“We are already exploring opportunities outside of [The City] into other popular areas. We are still in negotiation so we cannot say right now. But we can expect that within the next 12 months we will have another Burger King if not completed, on the way to being completed,” said Walters.
Meantime, Williams said he was pleased with the performance of the franchise here, as well as the reaction of customers to the new location, adding that sales were “brisk”. He said the fast food enterprise was making a significant contribution to the island through the employment of Barbadians and by purchasing local items, as well as through the payment of Government taxes.
“Burger King is doing very well in Barbados. We are now employing just over 100 people in total and we are moving gradually towards greater use of local products. Most of our vegetables and tomatoes are grown locally now; almost all of the bread that we sell now is produced locally; we are increasing the percentage of chicken that we buy locally and in general I think Burger King is looking up. We are doing well and I am very happy about the investment,” reported Williams.
Also sharing his delight was Everick Eastmond, one of the local directors, who ridiculed suggestions that Barbadians did not care for burgers.
“If you look at any sporting or entertainment event, when you look at the barbeque grill you will see three things mainly – chicken, fish and burgers. If you look at the hamburger varieties in supermarkets you will see a wide range,” Eastmond said.
Burger King took part in the recently concluded Crop Over festival by sponsoring a number of events, according to Walters.
“Foreday Morning was a big hit for us. We served about 25,000 patrons between Spring Garden and a private event on Foreday Morning. So we have been very well received and we had a very successful Crop Over this year,” the general manager reported.