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Burger King scraps contracts in Germany

Burger King has terminated its contracts with its biggest franchisee in Germany, Yi-Ko Holding, after reports of poor hygiene and working conditions emerged earlier this year.

All contracts with Yi-Ko Holding, which had run more than ten percent of Burger King's 700 restaurants in Germany, were terminated without notice on Tuesday, November 18, Burger King Europe announced Wednesday in Munich.

The company had managed 89 Burger King restaurants with a total of 3000 employees. In Spring 2014 its restaurants were the subject of an investigative TV documentary, which showed abuses of food safety standards.

Andreas Bork, head of the fast food chain in Germany, told the German daily newspaper "Bild" that Burger King had drawn a line under its cooperation with the former franchisee.

"After the hygiene scandal in May, there were a lot of improvements at first. But since summer, there have been repeated breaches of the agreements made," Bork said of Burger King's decision to end the relationship with Yi-Ko Holding.

Bork told the "Bild" that as well as concerns about poor hygiene, Yi-Ko Holding had breached employees' contracts by withholding holiday pay and bonuses and paying sick leave late.

The future of the franchisee's 3000 employees and 89 restaurants remains uncertain. "We will do everything we can to keep as many of the restaurants and protect as many jobs as possible," Bork said.

lw/nz (dpa, AFP)