Staff await news on jobs as South Shields Burger King remains at risk of closure

The Burger King outlet in Simonside is under threat  just a year after opening.
The Burger King outlet in Simonside is under threat  just a year after opening.

Staff at a fast food outlet are waiting for news on the future of their jobs after their employers ran into difficulty.

The Burger King branch in Shaftesbury Avenue, near Simonside, is one of 36 under threat of closure across the UK after administrators were called in.

Administrators have been called in at 36 Burger King branches.

Administrators have been called in at 36 Burger King branches.

It comes after two firms which run the outlets under a franchise from the entered administration, putting up to 1,000 jobs at risk nationwide.

The Simonside branch opened last year adjacent to a McDonald’s outlet, leading to a backlash from council health chiefs.

Having the fast food outlets located so close to each other led to a warning from South Tyneside Council that the borough was facing an obesity “time bomb”, with figures showing over a third of youngsters in the borough finish their primary school years classed either as overweight or obese.

Jobs are now under threat and the outlet could close after Nick Cropper, Ryan Grant and Catherine Williamson, of business advisory firm AlixPartners, were appointed joint administrators over Millcliffe Ltd and CPL Foods Ltd.

I think if this story is true it’s a shame that people are losing their jobs

Patricia McMahon Maher

It is understood administrators were appointed after the businesses experienced cash flow pressures.

All branches are remaining open and trading while administrators examine “all possible options for a sale of all or parts of the business”.

They will also work closely with franchiser Burger King Europe GmbH in finding interested parties.

A spokesman for the administrators said: “Our priority now is to work closely with the business and determine the optimum route forward for the companies as we continue to serve our valued guests throughout the UK. We are confident that the companies are an attractive proposition for a range of potential buyers and, as such, we expect and welcome contact from interested third parties.”

On Facebook, Gazette readers reacted to the news.

Patricia McMahon Maher posted: “I think if this story is true it’s a shame that people are losing their jobs. I’ve never been to this one as the reviews have always been poor – the Whitemare Pool BK is fab though.”

Janet Graham-Russell added: “It was pretty bold to open up next to a well established McDonald’s. But if you do that, you have to pull out all of the stops and cut your competitor off at the knees. They simply didn’t have the ooomph to do it.”

Lee Jones wrote: “It’s always been empty every time I’ve gone past. McDonald’s on the other hand is still always busy.”