The fastfood restaurant chain Burger King launched legal proceeding against the Central Group yesterday (31 January), prompted by an alleged breech of contract following the closure of several Thai BK outlets.

One of two major local franchisees owned by the Central Group, Thailand International Fast Food Co (TIFF), explained that performance in the BK restaurants had simply not met expectations, and Central revealed that negotiations are currently being held with three other Western fastfood companies to replace the BK brand.

In a statement, BK meanwhile "rejects that there is any basis for TIFF taking this action," especially because it was not consulted about the decision. Also, the group will work to ensure that the outlets due to be closed remain up and running.

BK had worked on many plans to build its brand in Thailand, granting franchises for the development of new restaurants. Now, out of 14 BK outlets, nine will be closed immediately, and five are earmarked for closures when their rental expires.