San José, Costa Rica, since 1956
Business closures

A whopper of a decision: Burger King closes its operations in Costa Rica

Burger King Corporation U.S. (BKC US) ordered the immediate closure of all 29 restaurants in Costa Rica as of today, Oct. 5. The closures mean 434 employees will lose their jobs, the owner of the local franchise BK Costa Rica said in a news release.

BK Costa Rica attributed the decision to “a disagreement on how to run the business with BKC US, which also is a shareholder of local operations.”

The statement added that BK Costa Rica guarantees the payment of severances to all employees as established by Costa Rica law, “even though BKC US is refusing to provide any funds for these payments.”

The franchise owner said the company made every effort to avoid the move, but a conflict with the parent company made that impossible.

In a separate news release, Miami-based BKC US apologized to its Tico customers:

Costa Rica has always and will always be an important market for us, and we hope to reestablish our business in the country soon. We apologize to our loyal customers for any inconvenience this may cause, and look forward to serving them again soon. We thank the communities we serve for their understanding and continued support for the Burger King brand.

BK Costa Rica also thanked the Costa Rican government for mediating in the dispute, “especially the Trade Ministry for its negotiations with BKC US to try to avoid the closing of our operations.”

Rumors of the popular burger chain leaving the country began earlier this year following the closure of several restaurants and the accumulation of debts with the Social Security System. The company denied on several occasions it would close here, instead announcing the opening of new restaurants this year and the next.

BK Costa Rica opened its first restaurant in Costa Rica on Apr. 1, 1990, across the street from the La Hispanidad roundabout in San Pedro, east of the capital.

Contact L. Arias at

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Arthur Hinty

I have never had a subpar meal at a locally managed/staffed restaurant in Costa Rica, from roadside eateries to finer dining. On the other hand, I took one bite out of a BK burger and that was the end of that.

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Burger King was terrible in Costa Rica. THe food quality was very low and the restaurants were not clean–especially bathrooms. When McDonald’s opened in Liberia, it was well run, clean, hot food and although I am not a big fast food fan, it was good… I would bet that the parent company was not satisfied with the quality here in CR and feared ruining their brand.

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Laura Schway

So happy they’re closed, I hope McD is next. I am very sorry for the people that lost their jobs and I will be putting their needs on my intentions and be prying they get a good job to care for their families.
On the other hand Costa Rica need more small, local businesses especially on the food industry. We need to stop giving our money to international franchisees that come here with their disgusting and unhealthy food, we don’t need to become the next USA with fast foods stores on every corner.
Less vote with our colones and buy local and organic food.

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Exactamente …Me being a Tica living in the US ,I hate seeing that they have these fast food chains there when I go home .

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The BK food in USA was much better quality fresh and clean. Here in la Uruca BK was disappointing I believe stale bread , meat way over cooked and seemed “different” I never ate there again it is closed and now a car lot. I also find McDonald’s quality lacking. They cook the meat patty and then put it in a steam drawer for later to make the burgers faster. YUCK! Making a beefburger at home is easy… Johnny Rockets so far seems about par with the USA quality and actually had a good taste one downtown on the 4th floor of Universal building.

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Ed Harold

I’ve always preferred BK over McD but they have had a lot of owners who were true screwballs. So Long.

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