Burger King Officially Serving Beer in the UK

By Valerie Tejeda 03/23/16

Burger King's newest menu item begs the question—should alcohol really be allowed at casual family-friendly fast food restaurants?

Burger King Officially Serving Beer in the U.K.
Photo via Shutterstock

If you live across the pond or plan on visiting sometime soon, you may just hear the phrase, “I’ll take a beer with my Whopper,” if you visit a Burger King in England.

The fast food franchise has been giving the okay to serve beer along with burgers, fries, and the rest of its menu at its Bury St. Edmunds and Waterloo Station locations. However, the new change does come with some limitations—the brew can’t be stronger than 5%, must be consumed in the restaurant, and will be served only from 11 a.m. until 8 p.m. And though Burger King has yet to announce the draft of choice, it’s rumored to be an American brand. 

While mixing fast food with booze doesn’t seem like the craziest idea, many are not thrilled about the new change, worrying that serving beer at fast food restaurants will give people a more convenient and quicker opportunity to get drunk. Many UK law enforcement did not approve of the venture, and in doing so, Burger King got a thumbs down to sell beer at locations in Paddington and Victoria.

"It’s fast food, fast service, fast alcohol and fast drunkenness, as a result of that," PC Bryan Lewis told licensing officials. "People consume alcohol and have a desire to eat fast food on the way home. At this point, they have had enough to drink but then they will be offered more [alcohol] at the station."

Burger King isn’t the first junk food joint to begin serving alcohol at its restaurants. Taco Bell announced back in 2015 that they would be serving beer, wine, and frozen drinks with tequila and vodka at a location in Chicago as part of a rebranding effort to compete with its locations in the UK, Seoul and Tokyo.

But don’t count on McDonald’s getting on the booze bandwagon anytime soon. A McDonald's spokesperson explained that serving alcohol is not in the cards for the company in the UK and presumably the U.S. as well, saying, "This is not something that we have experienced customer demand for or something that fits with the family-friendly focus of our restaurants in the UK." However, several other European locations of McDonald's already serve alcohol.

And therein lies the argument—should alcohol really be allowed at casual family-friendly fast food restaurants? Regardless, Burger King seems to be thrilled about the venture and is looking forward to having the UK locations serve as guinea pigs, so to speak, in this alcohol/fast food experiment. 

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Entertainment journalist and author Valerie Tejeda spends her days reporting on books, television, and all things pertaining to pop culture, and spends her nights writing novels for teens. Her stories have appeared on a variety of different publications, including but not limited to: VanityFair, MTV, The Huffington Post, TeenVogue, She Knows, Latina, The Fix, Salon.com, Cosmopolitan, and more. You can find Valerie on Linkedin and Twitter.