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Wed 6th Jul 2016 - Gourmet Burger Kitchen buys back Irish franchise rights
Gourmet Burger Kitchen buys back Irish franchise rights: Gourmet Burger Kitchen (GBK) has bought back its Irish franchise rights from local businessman Graeme Beere. GBK will spend €3.5m on refurbishment of the five sites operated by Beere and plans to open more. The five existing sites are in Dublin – in South William St, South Anne St, Temple Bar, Liffey Valley and Swords.  The restaurant in Temple Bar will be the first to be refurbished and is set to close until the end of August. According to a press release from the company, the overall Irish refurbishment project will stretch over nine months “until every restaurant is at the new standard”. The company said that the restaurants will continue to be managed by Ken Gilbride, who has been the operations manager for the restaurants for almost five years. In a statement, Gilbride described the transaction as “very exciting for our teams and will allow customers to enjoy their burgers in beautiful surroundings”. Keith Bird, the chief operations officer at the UK parent of GBK, said that they were “also actively looking for more sites in Dublin and further afield, with a view to growing by one or two restaurants a year over the next five years”. Beere owned the franchise rights through a company called Master Burger Investments, which was a subsidiary of Abrakebabra Investments, which owns franchises for Abrakebabra, Bagel Factory, Chick King, Yo Sushi, and O’Briens Sandwich Cafés. His fellow directors in Master Burger Investments were David Zebedee and Sinead Reid. Master Burger investments had losses of €4.8 million to the end of December 2014. The broader Abrakebabra Investments group has around 180 food outlets across their different brands. Beere bought the franchise rights for Gourmet Burger Kitchen in 2008 and at the time had plans to create more than 600 jobs and claimed there was scope for more than 40 Gourmet Burger Kitchen outlets in Ireland.

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