Beer King and Burger Beer Coming To The U.K.

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A Burger King restaurant in the U.K. can now server beer with a meal, which has local government officials and police worried about the possible ramifications, and rightly so. However, before we get too caught up in the possibilities of future implications, lets look at what might happen in the immediate “aftermath” of alcohol being served at a fast food joint.

First off, it should be pointed out that the local government or “council”, has granted a permit for the Burger King restaurant in Bury St Edmunds’ St Andrew’s Street to only serve beer, and the beer will only have an alcohol content of 5%, not bad. While I was looking through a few news articles about this I noticed that other Burger King restaurants in the U.K. will be trying to do the same, but from what I can tell this particular branch will only be allowed to serve beer between 10:00am and 11:00pm, but they will be allowed to do so on every day of the week.

Now this may not seem like such a big deal, and maybe it isn’t, but the biggest problem that may come from this probably has to do with enforcing these strict limitations that the council has put in place. As pointed out by The Telegraph, a British news site, other night-time social gathering spots like bars and clubs that serve alcohol have the training and equipment to manage the safety of their patrons. Not to mention they routinely communicate with the police as to prevent incidents related to over-drinking as well as preventing people below the legal drinking age from being served. So how does this apply to Burger King serving beer? They’re a big company and have a reputation to think of, so they wouldn’t be irresponsible now would they? To be honest, probably not. The problem is that some of the restrictions the council has put on the deal granting Burger King a license to serve beer will be very difficult to enforce inburger-king the short-term. One of them being that any beer bought at a Burger King must be consumed while still at the restaurant, so no drive through beer runs. Not bad, but how are you going to stop someone from buying a burger and a beer from walking out of the restaurant with the unfinished beer? Is Burger King going to hire a doorman or bouncer (like the bars and nightclubs do) to demand that someone throws out their half finished plastic bottle of beer? I doubt it. It’s a business, after all, and hiring someone for that specific task would be costly to the individual restaurant.

The other argument against allowing Burger King to serve beer is that fast food is already a go-to meal for people who have had quite a bit to drink already after a night out. Luckily the cut-off is 11:00pm at Burger King, but having been to the U.K. twice myself, there are quite a few people that don’t stay out as late as we do here in Montreal and consume most of their drinks much earlier than we do, and lets face it, it’s hard to turn down a pint once you’ve already had a few.

Now that my objections are out of the way, it should be noted that in parts of Europe there are many fast food restaurants that serve alcohol. As to the restrictions and guidelines they follow, I’m in the dark, but I see the legitimate objections that government officials in the U.K. have with this idea, as it will be very tricky to manage the potential anti-social behaviour that could result from this.


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Sobriety Foundation

Beer King and Burger Beer Coming To The U.K.

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