Image for article titled Burger King will spend $1 billion buying its own restaurants

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At the Burger King nearest the Quartz offices in New York City, $1 billion will buy you 126,742,712 Whoppers before tax. Restaurant Brands International (RBI), the parent company of Burger King, instead announced today (Jan. 16) that it will spend that much acquiring its biggest US franchisee, Carrols Restaurant Group. The deal will yield more than 1,000 new company-owned locations.

The move is part of RBI’s turnaround plan announced in 2022, dubbed “Reclaim the Flame,” which will see the owner of Tim Hortons, Popeyes, and Firehouse Subs spend $400 million over two years revamping Burger King marketing, digital products, and refurbishing restaurants. (The Carrols purchase is separate from that spending.)

Tom Curtis, president of Burger King US and Canada, said in a news release that the Carrols deal will be an “accelerator” for Reclaim the Flame, and RBI said it would spend an additional $500 million over the purchase price on remodeling its new shops.

QSR M&A and IPOs

Here are a few other recent mergers and acquisitions and initial public offerings in the quick-service restaurant (fast food) industry:

🍪 January 2023: Frozen yogurt chain 16 Handles acquires DŌ Cookie Dough Confections

🥪 August 2023: Private equity firm Roark Capital buys Subway for nearly $10 billion (though the Federal Trade Commission is scrutinizing the deal because Roark also owns Jimmy John’s and Arby’s). Separately, Subway plans to open 4,000 locations in China over the next 20 years

🐔 August 2023: Authentic Restaurant Brands (Primanti Bros., P.J. Whelihan’s, Mambo Seafood) acquires Pollo Tropical for $225 million

🍔 November 2023: McDonald’s more than doubles its stake in McDonald’s China to 48%, acquiring shares from the Carlyle Group

🍞 December 2023: Panera files confidentially to go public after failing to join a previous wave of restaurant IPOs back in 2021


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