The Local, Germany, 08 May 2014
A hygiene scandal involving one of Germany’s biggest Burger King franchises has hit the American fast-food chain where it hurts, with branches reporting revenue losses and a fall in customers.
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“It’s hit us hard,” the boss of Burger King Germany Andreas Bork told Bild newspaper on Thursday. “We’re seeing revenue losses in many German branches.”
Bork said he hoped to win customers back by being more transparent and improving hygiene with a four-point plan.
He told Bild that Burger King would bring in an outside organization, probably health and safety watchdog TÜV, to improve its restaurants. But he stressed the chain already had “very high” hygiene standards in place.
“We can trace the cow that the meat has come from,” he said. “For example, in the Whopper I ate at the start of the week the meat came from a cow [called] Bulli from Allgäu.”
An undercover television programme broadcast on RTL showed Burger Kings run by a franchise called Yi-Ko Holding were ignoring the chain’s own hygiene rules.
Food was left out in the kitchen for more than eight hours, perishable goods were relabelled when they were past their sell-by date and meat was not “fresh from the grill”, RTL said.
Yi-Ko Holdings runs 91 of Germany’s 671 Burger Kings, but the fallout has hit the chain nationwide, Bork said. He told Bild that “many well-run restaurants” had been affected.
The franchise's management team was changed on Monday, following the revelations the week before, and two outlets have also been closed.