Burger King refused alcohol licence

Burger King has been refused a licence to serve beer at branches in two of London’s busiest train stations: Victoria and Paddington.


Last year a branch of the fast food chain in Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk was granted the right to sell liquor from 10am to 11pm seven days a week – despite opposition from local police – making Burger King the first fast-food outlet in the UK to gain an alcohol licence.

As reported by The Telegraph, the venue plans to sell beer in plastic bottles which are to be drunk on the premises. The restaurant will only be able to serve one beer per adult until 9pm and no alcohol will be allowed outside.

However a similar application for branches at two of London’s busiest train stations have this week been rejected. The fast-food chain wanted to serve alcohol at Victoria and Paddington stations from 10am to 11pm, Monday to Saturday, but were met with opposition from local police.

“To us, it’s fast food, fast service, fast alcohol and fast drunkenness, as a result of that,”, PC Bryan Lewis told Westminster council’s licensing sub-committee as reported by the Evening Standard. “People consume alcohol and have a desire to eat fast food on the way home. At this point, they have had enough to drink but then they will be offered more [alcohol] at the station.”

Nicola Smith, solicitor for SSP which runs Burger King, argued that Burger King customers could already purchase alcohol from nearby restaurants and shops.

Burger King already sells alcohol in parts of the US, Singapore, Venezuela and Spain, usually through its ‘Whopper Bars’. Last year Burger King released its own red wine brand, Whopper Wine, to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the opening of Burger King’s first branch in Spain. The oak aged red has been crafted specifically to pair with the chain’s famous Whopper burgers.

Earlier this month fast-food rival McDonald’s revealed plans to open a restaurant in Korea that will serve beer along with “premium” burgers. The restaurant will open in Seongnam, with McDonald’s planning to open similar stores in the trendy Seoul districts of Gangnam and Sinchon in the near future. 

McDonald’s already serves alcohol in several markets including Spain, France and Germany, but as yet has no confirmed plans for its UK restaurants.

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