Coronavirus is bigger than SARS, but its impact will be temporary
Burger King has temporarily closed about half of its 1,300 locations in China amid the coronavirus epidemic that’s claimed more than 900 lives.
The Restaurant Brands International Inc.-owned chain is carefully watching the situation in China, which it has said provides a big growth opportunity for Burger King, along with its two other brands — Popeyes and Tim Hortons. Tim Hortons has just 30 locations in China, and Popeyes hasn’t yet opened its doors there.
“Most of the closures are being driven by local regulations. In some cases, malls are closing,” Chief Executive Officer Jose Cil said in a phone interview Monday after the company posted fourth-quarter earnings. “It’s too early to tell what impact, if any, it’s going to have on short-term performance or results.”
Across China, especially in the Hubei province where the outbreak started, businesses are closing their doors. Dunkin’ Brands Group Inc., Starbucks Corp. and McDonald’s Corp. have shuttered some of their establishments.