Burger King Among UK Businesses Set to Default On Rents

Burger King, Carluccio’s and Yo! Sushi are among hundreds of businesses in the UK planning to withhold rents this week as they battle to conserve cash to survive the coronavirus outbreak, the Financial Times reported. Alasdair Murdoch, chief executive of Burger King UK, said he would skip rent payments due on the chain’s more than 500 British restaurants to free up funds to pay staff, after the government announced that those who did not pay would not forfeit their lease. Landlords are locked in frantic negotiations with shops and restaurants ahead of Wednesday — when quarterly rents are due across British high streets — after the government ordered pubs, restaurants and many other businesses to close at the end of last week. Many retail and leisure companies, which typically operate on thin margins, said that with no revenue coming in, paying rent would mean they could not pay staff until the government’s support for wages came through. UKHospitality, the trade body, warned rents owed amounted to “billions of pounds”. Read more