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Why Didn’t Burger King Stop Doing Business With The New Jersey Gay Bashing Franchise?

The 2007 attack on gay couple Noel Robichaux and Peter Casbar by employees of a Union City Burger King in New Jersey landed the couple a $3.15 million settlement. But that was some four years ago when the couple was chased out of the place, beat up, and spat on. Why was the burger giant even still doing business with this franchise — when the employees accused of the attack confessed to their crimes, leaving no doubt of the restaurant’s liability — after such a gruesome attack?

The Miami New Times tried to figure out BK’s corporate ignorance.

BK allows the restaurant to continue to operate and, until yesterday, had made no formal statement on the crime that we could turn up. Short Order phoned Arianne Cento, external affairs officer at Burger King corporate offices. She declined to comment but forwarded the following statement to New Times: “The Burger King system embraces its diverse consumer base and strives to provide every restaurant guest with the highest level of service and respect, regardless of background or sexual orientation. In addition, the safety and security of Burger King guests and employees are a top priority. Because the incident took place at an independently owned and operated franchised restaurant, and involves litigation relating to the franchisee’s former employees, it would be inappropriate for us to comment on any specifics at this time.”

Indeed, Burger King Corporation was not named in the lawsuit. But the chain could pull the franchise license as other chains have done. Or it could at least distance itself from this sort of behavior. Better, it seems to blame Food Service Properties Corp. and Union City Restaurants Corp., which owned the Union City location and seven Burger King franchises at the time of the crime.

But none of those things have happened. The Union City location still proudly wears the BK name and is, as far as we understand, still owned by the same companies.

By:           Max Simon
On:           Mar 3, 2011
Tagged: , , , , , , ,

  • 8 Comments
    • Eric
      Eric

      Ugh, don’t tell me I have to start boycotting Burger King too. I already can’t shop at Walmart, Target, Best Buy, any other franchise, I have to routinely call my grandma and remind her that she’s a terrible person for voting for Reagan twice, I had to renounce all religions, all sports, pride parades, television shows, Hollywood movies and air (in-case that air was once used by a Republican). Following Queerty’s principled boycotts is becoming taxing.

      Mar 3, 2011 at 8:50 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Francis
      Francis

      This is very bad, and pretty much smacks as “This happened at a small independently-owned store between ghetto thugs, time to pretend this incident never existed.” Burger King I guess doesn’t want to sully their name, so instead of speaking out against this tragedy, they do nothing. Friends of ours do something, they aren’t friends of ours. So, we better hear some good explanations very soon.

      Mar 3, 2011 at 10:16 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Sean F.
      Sean F.

      I would imagine the guilty employees were fired. Much like Burger King doesn’t operate the actual location, the people who DO operate it don’t personally make and/or sell you the burgers. The crime was committed by those who DO do that, and it’s a pretty safe bet that wherever they are now employed, it isn’t there. Not really much else for the franchisee to do about it then is there? While I haven’t been in a Burger King in years anyway, I will certainly not be boycotting them over this. I was boycotting Target, but after the overwhelmingly negative reaction to the fact that Lady Gaga has managed to give us a #1 hit song that pretty blatantly says it’s okay to be gay it has dawned on me that this site, while still somewhat entertaining and informative, is also filled with whiny, pessimistic queens and should be taken with a grain of salt. Sure, Target donated money to Republicans, but they treat their gay employees very well, and if anyone really thinks every other business isn’t pro-Republican deep down, they’re fooling themselves. So what are we to do, boycott everyone? To hell with that. Shop where you want, and take what you read here with a grain of salt.

      Felt good to get all that out lol.

      Mar 3, 2011 at 10:34 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Hyhybt
      Hyhybt

      The culprits were (unless someone can show otherwise) not authorized to do what they did by the franchisee, and are no longer employed there. Why, then, SHOULD BK pull the franchise?

      Mar 3, 2011 at 10:42 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Benny
      Benny

      Why did Lady Gaga get into bed with Target after their donation to Tom Emmer? Clearly cos they are money hungry bithces!!!!!

      Mar 3, 2011 at 12:04 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ted B. (Charging Rhino)
      Ted B. (Charging Rhino)

      In New Jersey, the state franchising laws make it very difficult for a franchise to be pulled for something like this. In fact, if BK management attempted to distance itself from Food Service Properties Corp. and Union City Restaurants Corp. they might be corporately-liable for damages.

      Mar 3, 2011 at 2:53 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • hephaestion
      hephaestion

      Let this one rest. There is nothing to be gained here.

      Worry instead about the REAL threats: The Republican Party & Fox News.

      Mar 3, 2011 at 8:17 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jeffree
      Jeffree

      @Hephaestion: Agreed. Article said “litigation” is also ongoing, so it’s possible BK corporate still may take other measures.

      @TedB.: Thanks for the info on NJ franchise law. It’s good to have people like you & frequent poster “B” here to explain legal stuff to the rest of us !

      Mar 3, 2011 at 8:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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