Photo: REUTERS file
business

Over 20% of Burger Kings in Japan suddenly vanishing this month

48 Comments
By SoraNews24

A strange phenomenon has been occurring in Japan this month as Burger King outlets nationwide have been mysteriously disappearing. According to the Burger King website, of the 99 stores known to exist in the country, 22 will be gone by the end of this month.

The chain’s management, BK Holdings Japan, has been quiet about the cause of this mass disappearance, leaving us to speculate the only possible reason: Ronald McDonald is in possession of the infinity stones.

Under the misguided belief that it would make the universe a better place, the megalomaniacal clown has long searched for its most powerful tools to kill off one fifth of Japan’s Burger Kings with but a snap of his white gloved fingers.

The official website of Burger King Japan has listed the toll this has taken and will take on its locations over the course of this month, listed by prefecture.

Ibaraki – 3 closures

Saitama – 2 closures

Chiba – 3 closures

Tokyo – 5 closures

Kanagawa – 2 closures

Gifu – 1 closure

Kyoto – 1 closure

Osaka – 4 closures

Hyogo – 1 closure

This disaster has left both Kyoto and Ibaraki without a single Burger King and Osaka has lost two thirds of its outlets. Citizens in all affected areas have taken to the internet to express their dismay over the news.

This isn’t the first extinction-level event for Burger King in Japan. When they first arrived in 1993, the chain lasted less than a decade before completely leaving in 2001. However, in 2007, the world’s second largest burger brand returned to Japan, this time under the helm of Korea’s Lotteria which also runs a successful fast food chain in Japan.

In the early 2010s, Burger King really started making headway into the Japanese market, with some novel campaigns that delighted the nation such as their red cheeseburgers and Pumpkin Bomb Burgers.

However, in 2017 the fast-food market had grown increasingly competitive and Burger King was forced to change ownership, being rebranded as a new corporation, BK Holdings Japan. During fiscal year 2017 it was reported that BK Holdings Japan suffered a net loss of 251,060,000 yen.

Burger King does appear to be facing hard times. However, McDonald’s was in even more dire straits a few years back, and after some widespread store closures, they made an amazing recovery.

Perhaps Burger King is taking a page out of that book and are poised to do something amazing in the coming years.

*Source: Money Plus, *My Game News Flash

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- 20 bizarre fast food items from Japan

-- Are you an avocaddict? Burger King Japan can help you get your fix with new avocado burgers

-- [Burger King has apple burgers (and cocktails) in Japan, and we’ve got them in our bellies](Burger King has apple burgers (and cocktails) in Japan, and we’ve got them in our bellies)

© SoraNews24

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

48 Comments
Login to comment

I’ll take a whopper over a Big Mac any day

31 ( +32 / -1 )

Burger King doesnt have the same brand value here in Japan. Also, the outlets, in many locations, at least here in Okinawa, are poorly located, and some have no drive thru's as well.

They do not advertise as heavily as Mac, they are more expensive, and their stores are exceedingly small and cramped. If they want to compete with Mac here in Japan, they need better advertising, better store locations, and better facilities overall.

Number one though, everyone knows Mac, but by comparison, few know BK.

14 ( +15 / -1 )

Maybe it has something to do with that free toy.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Agreed that lack of advertising may be their downfall. But i also wonder if the recent healthy eating fads are exacerbating the problem. Yoshinoya/Matsuya are cashing in on the low carb trend, perhaps the burger stores could as well?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Very flippant and strange attempt at humor in this article. I feel Burger King never could get firmly planted here in japan. The almighty power of McDonalds seemed to stymie that. But if you look around, other US/foreign companies are struggling. Subway are closing shops, as well as Crispy Creme Donuts. I see Shake Shack is popular but for how long?

12 ( +12 / -0 )

Marketing and seasonal menu.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Good news for people and particularly kids. They should eat healthy food not junk.

3 ( +9 / -6 )

Are you kidding?! Burgers are my passion. As far as fast food burgers good in the USA Burger King is top 5 easily. Much better than McDonalds. (Five guys is not only number 1, but one of the best burgers, period). Japan MOS Burger isnt even on my radar. Boring, nothing special about them at all. BK's. Who am I kidding, if taste and value where an issue 2/3 of Japan's restaurants would be gone. So many medicore tasting places are huge here, marketing and mass appeal is king. Breakfast is the only thing I will go to McD for. Mos, not even if it was free. Lotteria, good, but grease is main ingredient. Freshness? They are rarer than a albino dodo bird. But good if you have one near you. Wendy's, havent tried in Japan.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Forget the Internet. Go patronize BK. Their juicy.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Maybe another sign of kuudouka, hollowing out of the middle of the economy. What people want is cheap, e.g. McDs, or expensive but branded, like 2000 yen a set hipster burger. There is little in between.

fwiw, the deluxe one McDonalds does, a Grand Mac or whatever its called, the one with lettuce and tomato, isn't so far off a Whopper in the "feels like real food" stakes but is a couple of hundred yen cheaper.

I'm a meat eater but would happily order an Impossible burger-type vegan thing if some chain would bring it to Japan.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I’ll take a whopper over a Big Mac any day

ABSOLUTELY!!

As far as fast food burgers good in the USA Burger King is top 5 easily. Much better than McDonalds.

Hell yeah!! I haven't eaten at MC in almost 20 years. HATE MC. LOVE LOVE BK!!

They do not advertise as heavily as Mac, they are more expensive, and their stores are exceedingly small and cramped

This!! ESPECIALLY the price. I don't know why, but BK here is VERY expensive compared with other burger joints. You get your value for sure, but if you think about it, you could drop 1000 yen easily there per person. Many people will just prefer to go to MC instead. I will go out on a limb and say that the price is why they are feeling the pain. When I was in Canada, BK there was much cheaper than it was here, and Canada is far more expensive than japan. Drop the prices considerably and you will see BK expand. But they will have to compete with MC on prices or they just won't last

3 ( +3 / -0 )

It is ll the effect of deflation, people don't have money yet this fast foot are creating their own downfall by raising prices on the contrary macdo has burger for as low as 100yen coupled with the free toys for kids , some even have play space for kids and while kids are playing mama tomos are conversing over a drink.

No sympathy for companies that cannot read the market trend and adapt accordingly.

Would surprise me if KFC, mos burger, misdo close stores as they have gotten too expensive.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I love BK here, it tastes just like the States but that fast food is just too unhealthy these days and I can't eat it with any regular basis. Even as much as I love it, I can't help but compare it to what else I could be eating for the same amount of calories/fat and the burger will be much less appealing. But yeah, it always seemed like a minor thing here in Japan, barely and advertising and the stores aren't common enough to be in people's minds when they're looking for some burgers.

Also what stores are closing? The article says to visit the site but I couldn't find the information on it.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Can't believe there are even more people lining up at Mcdonald these days. Although Burger King is far better, i have avoided both for long time, swapping over to pure local burgers.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

More proof that the Japanese economy is tanking even though the opposite fact is suddenly being parroted everywhere!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

More proof that the Japanese economy is tanking even though the opposite fact is suddenly being parroted everywhere!

I think you're mixing up 'proof' and 'evidence'.

This most definitely does not prove the conclusion you stated, but does provide some evidence that may indicate that conclusion is true.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It is ll the effect of deflation, people don't have money yet this fast foot are creating their own downfall by raising prices

That's in-flation, not de-flation. If we had deflation, and BK burgers cost less, I'd probably go out of my way to buy them from time to time. Thanks, inflation-obsessed Bank of Japan!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Roppongi branch is still open B1 at Hibiya line exit, if that closes, me won't be happy

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Whopper King Box Sets are great

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Well... the Carl's Jr. in Yokosuka is better, by far, than any of them.

Even though a bit pricey...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I never eat McDonald's hamburger until I can't remember how bad the last one tasted

5 ( +5 / -0 )

According to the Burger King website, of the 99 stores known to exist in the country, 22 will be gone by the end of this month.

Is the writer of this article suggesting that there may be some rogue, secret Burger King locations whose existences are in dispute? What an odd sentence.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I worked at BK in high school in Florida. We actually made YOUR burger fresh by putting the frozen patty on the grill machine when ordered. The meat was hot and juicy. It was worth the money.

Since then, every time I have ever gone to a BK in Japan or the States, the burger is already made under the heat lamps. Totally different and negative experience.

If I will pay that much for a burger as BK is rather expensive, then I will go to Kua Aina in Japan and get a burger set with fries and a drink for 900 yen. Now that is a deal and very good every time.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

BK is rather expensive

Burglar King.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

McDonalds is just gross and it causes me indigestion problems. It is also a very good laxative! Though eating one gives me the feeling of being punched in the stomach. I would go to Yoshinoya before eating the clowns poison! Burger King is so much better!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Went once in a BK, then I saw how they threw the meat in the microwave for my supposedly fresh burger...

Never went back to a BK again yuck

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

One burger lunch would consume my entire daily calorie allowance of 1500.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

well BK lately have been a bit not good i mean the quality of their meat i felt it's going down rapidly, also Mc is way worst than BK LUL

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Acording to the Burger King web page a Whopper is 650 calories. Not good everyday but once in a while is fine. A large Yoshinoya Beef Bowl is 1050 calories.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

There's a gourmet burger boom happening in Tokyo right now, with plenty of higher end places. I wonder if that's got something to do with it.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

YuriOtani

Acording to the Burger King web page a Whopper is 650 calories. Not good everyday but once in a while is fine.

But when I add in french fries large, milk then I'm hitting my daily max target of 1,500 calories.

Baconking 1150 calories + french fires 300 calories + milk

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If you are calorie counting, you really shouldn't be eating out at all. Processed food is not good for you, and will always contain more calories. Better to cook for yourself, much more nutritional.

But if you're going to eat out, a whopper is some yummy stuff.

But when I add in french fries large, milk then I'm hitting my daily max target of 1,500 calories.

Always skip the fries. Always. Unless you don't care about being fat.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If you are calorie counting, you really shouldn't be eating out at all. Processed food is not good for you, and will always contain more calories. Better to cook for yourself, much more nutritional.

Yes that is true, and that's what we do but sometimes you have to eat out, like the other day, we were out shopping for the entire day so needed lunch. Passed the sushi bar, passed the burger bar, passed the ramen bar, and went to a good food store for some ready made bento, with the calorie count on each box. They also had a nice sitting area to eat. Chicken salad, (398) beer, (158) fresh made coffee, 550 calories and also less than ¥500.

PS I'm not strong enough to skip the fries.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Myself, I do not understand the appeal of Burger King. There are many other places here with better burgers at the same price......In n out, Habit Burger, Five Brothers, Sizzlers, and even our local Mexican restaurant makes a really good burger.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This disaster has left both Kyoto and Ibaraki without a single Burger King and Osaka has lost two thirds of its outlets. 

This is a disaster of epic proportions.

Ronald McDonald is in possession of the infinity stones. Under the misguided belief that it would make the universe a better place, the megalomaniacal clown has long searched for its most powerful tools to kill off one fifth of Japan’s Burger Kings with but a snap of his white gloved fingers.

Burger King dumped their creepy King mascot. McD's should dump that megalomaniacal clown.

One burger lunch would consume my entire daily calorie allowance of 1500

How much do you weigh, zichi? 50 kg?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

BK always seems to fail in marketing and management. And, as Yubaru, some of the locations are just bizarre for a foreign brand trying to crack the Japanese market. The 2 nearest me are both in obscure locations with little foreigner foot traffic to give them the kick-start they need.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Serrano

How much do you weigh, zichi? 50 kg?

I wish, no the double and so I'm on 1500 daily calories until I reduce my weight to at least 90kg. BMI 32.7. Walking 5 km at least 3 times a week.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Very flippant and strange attempt at humor in this article. I feel Burger King never could get firmly planted here in japan. The almighty power of McDonalds seemed to stymie that. But if you look around, other US/foreign companies are struggling. Subway are closing shops, as well as Crispy Creme Donuts. I see Shake Shack is popular but for how long?

It’s a fad and the Japanese love something new and different and quickly jump on the bandwagon, hype it up for a few years and a months and then they go bust. We just had one of my favorite places “Eggs and Things” close down, no reason whatsoever just gone and a thank you letter. But yes, I agree, the marketing here for most things is just horrible and it shouldn’t be. BK is obviously way better than Miki Dees and it shouldn’t even be a contest.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

RIP Burger King. I don't eat burgers but I used to enjoy his majesty's chocolate sundaes before the location close to me shut down.

If you are calorie counting, you really shouldn't be eating out at all. Processed food is not good for you, and will always contain more calories. Better to cook for yourself, much more nutritional.

I agree on eating out, but not sure about processed foods always containing more calories. The inconvenient truth is that mass manufactured foods, say frozen microwave meals from the supermarket, will usually contain far fewer calories than if you were to attempt to recreate the exact same meal with fresh ingredients. The reason being that huge food manufacturers have access to all sorts of commercial grade cooking oils, flavouring agents, unusual substitute ingredients and manufacturing techniques to maximise taste with minimum calories. That said, I'm in no way claiming that processed foods are healthy.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I agree with others here, BK is way better than Mc D. But my goodness BK is expensive.

I always think of BK first when I'm in the mood for junk food, but never go though with it because of the cost.

By the time I TRAVEL to a BK I could have gone to supermarket to make something healthier and just as delicious myself at home anyway...so I guess, who really cares? LOL!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

They serve the Whaler (Fish Sand), don't they?

MOS Burger's fish sandwich is great. Used to be much bigger in the early 80's. That's right! I was here when it wasn't easy to be a non-ponjin. You ef's have no idea what it was like back then.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I jokingly used the BK trademark slogan as a pickup line in the 70's...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

200questionsjoe

That's right! I was here when it wasn't easy to be a non-ponjin. You ef's have no idea what it was like back then.

Ah ah lol so u think u are oldest here.

Then what are u going to say to those who came here in the 70s ?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

They're owned by hedge fund 3G capital. Bad management here in America.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I like Whopper.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Burger King merged with the Canadian company Tim Hortons some years ago, as Restaurant Brands Int'l Inc.

A Brazilian company, 3G Capital, owns 51% of the operation.

Tim Hortons recently announced a major expansion into Asia, particularly China, with a goal of expanding to 5,000 shops there. If Tim Hortons is also going into Japan, it would not make sense to compete with themselves in BK. (But Tim Hortons doesn't sell burgers, so does target a different market than BK.)

It would be a simple matter to convert a Japanese BK location into a Tim Hortons location...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Strangerland

I think that you are failing to concede what is simple economic fact.

BK has a far superior product at a higher price. McDonalds is inferior.

No business closes a business due to higher sales.

You are smart enough to fill in the dots, aren’t you?

Lack of customers must mean, In the light of any conflicting evidence that consumers are not buying the superior product and that the inferior product wins at a low price because of poorer customers

Proof enough for me!!!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

What? I think you’re replying to the wrong poster. I have no clue what you’re talking about.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites