Published on December 3rd, 2015 | by Dean Carr
Burger King granted licence sell alcohol in the UK
The Burger King restaurant in Bury St Edmunds is the first to win an alcohol licence – and more could follow
A Suffolk branch of Burger King has been granted a licence to sell alcohol – despite objections from local police.
The restaurant, in Bury St Edmunds’ St Andrew’s Street, applied for permission to serve drinks from 10am till 11pm seven days a week. However, local licensing inspector Matt Dee raised concerns with Suffolk council that the burger chain would be ill-equipped to deal with the ramifications, saying: “Other night-time economies [in Bury] have door staff, CCTV, substantial staff training and policies for identifying underage customers.”
He added: “The applicant would be free to sell strong spirits in its current application format which the constabulary deem inappropriate for the type of premises and lack of safeguarding.”
Under the terms of the licence granted by the council, the restaurant will be able to serve only one beer per adult up until 9pm, with no drink permitted outside.
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The restaurant chain, founded in Florida in 1953, plans to sell plastic bottles of American beer to be drunk on its premises, according to a recent report.
CPL Foods, Burger King’ parent company, is also seeking permission to sell alcohol at branches in Blackpool, Hull and Newcastle-under-Lyme. If the trial is successful, it may seek to introduce alcohol at more of its 654 UK outlets.
Discussing the licence applications last month, a spokeswoman for the company said: “We’re just catching up with the rest of the world really.”
Burger King’s arch rival McDonald’s is unlikely to follow suit. In the FAQs section of its UK website the chain responds to the query “why doesn’t McDonald’s sell beer like European restaurants?” saying:
“We develop our menu based on what our customers tell us they like and want from a visit to McDonald’s.”
“Although a number of European McDonald’s markets serve alcoholic beverages as part of their menu, this is not something that we have experienced customer demand for or something that fits with the family-friendly focus of our restaurants in the UK.”
Burger King already sells alcohol in some parts of the US, Singapore, Venezuela and Spain through it’s higher-end, “fast-casual” Whopper Bars.
News Source: The Telegraph