By Tony Parra
Portales residents will have to make an extended trip if they want it their way after Burger King restaurants in Portales and Clovis closed their doors on Wednesday.
White paper signs with “Closed” written in black marker were posted on the windows and on the drive thru menu. Corporate representatives hope that situation doesn’t last for long.
Martin Giardina, Chief Operations Officer for Trigild International of San Diego, Calif. said the reason for the closing is to place new Burger King restaurants in a different locations in each city. According to Giardina,
Trigild International manages the Burger King restaurants in Clovis and Portales. Giardina said Trigild International took over stock from the Melodie Corporation approximately one year ago to manage the Clovis and Portales restaurants.
“It’s very simple,” Giardina said. “(The) corporation felt they had to close both locations because they were in old locations. Because of the expansions in Clovis and Portales we want to go into better sites. We want to go into new areas in the community.”
Giardina said the corporation decided to make the move now so that they could begin a search for a franchisee, someone who would be willing to buy the franchise tag. Giardina said members of the corporation and the new franchisee of the store in Portales and the new franchisee in the store in Clovis would get together to decide where the new stores would be located. Giardina estimates this process could take between six months to one year.
Giardina said the company wants to make sure to find the best site available for the new restaurants. Giardina said the Burger King employees were informed of the closure.
“This was a decision recently made,” Giardina said. “Those who have Burger King experience can come back for their jobs once the new stores open.”
Giardina said the land where the Burger King restaurant is located will revert to the landlord, Melodie Marnell of Roswell.
During lunchtime on Thursday drivers cruised by the Portales location, popping their heads out of the windows and studying the signs to make sure it was closed.
Betty Moore parked her vehicle and was about to enter the restaurant when she found out it was closed. For Moore, who lives south of Elida, it meant driving back to her home south of Elida without one of her favorite meals.
“I eat here a lot,” Moore said. “It’s a good place to eat at. I was surprised it was closed. I was going to get a Whopper, but I guess now I’ll just drive home.”
The same disappointment was felt by other Burger King customers such as Seth Webb and Eric Irvin. Webb said he used to live a few blocks away from Burger King and enjoyed eating their taco specials.
“Change is good, but if it’s completely closed down then that’s (garbage),” Webb said. “If I was a worker and got no notice, I would be upset.”
Irvin, meanwhile said he didn’t understand the closure because he thought it was at least competitive with McDonald’s and other fast-food chains.