Financial woes hit Burger Ranch branches

Suppliers stop deliveries, employees go on strike.

burger ranch 224.88 (photo credit: Courtesy)
burger ranch 224.88
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Employees at the financially stricken fast-food chain Burger Ranch and its suppliers on Thursday staged a partial strike following non-payment of salaries, leaving a number of the branches across the country closed. "We have not received our regular salary for the month of July, due on August 10," Rami Ovadia, who works at the Burger Ranch in the Tel Aviv Central Bus Station, told The Jerusalem Post. "The chain is in some form of strike action. At our branch, however, we have decided to continue to work today. We are hoping that this will help, but we know that many employees and delivery service staff did not come to work, and many other branches remained closed today. As a result we had severe disruptions in our delivery-order services. Out of four orders we had to cancel two because of shortage of staff." Some of the chain's branches at central locations in Tel Aviv remained closed Thursday, including those at the Dizengoff Center Mall and the Azrieli Center Mall. At other branches, including the one at the Malha Mall in Jerusalem, there were long cues at the cash register due to staff shortages. In addition, the chain's suppliers temporarily stopped supply services. Burger Ranch, which was first opened in 1972 by a South African Jew on Ben-Yehuda Street in Tel Aviv, today operates 77 branches across the country and has more than 1,500 employees. On Wednesday, Paz Oil Company Ltd., which sold its ownership of the fast-food chain in 2006, filed a motion with the Tel Aviv District Court to put Burger Ranch under receivership. On fears that the chain could be on the brink of bankruptcy, Paz asked the court to appoint a receiver after Burger Ranch failed to make repayments of a NIS 15 million loan Paz granted the Hoshinsky family, the new owner of the chain, as part of the agreement to transfer ownership. When Paz sold its holdings in Burger Ranch to Yosef Hoshinsky in January 2006, it also granted the buyer with a NIS 20m. loan. Under the terms the agreement, the outstanding balance of the loan should have been repaid out of Burger Ranch's profits and ongoing operations, subject to it meeting the minimum profit targets that the two sides agreed on. In recent months, Burger Ranch has been struggling with financial difficulties, resulting in the cancellation of credit lines from banks. Meanwhile, Burger King Israel, which in the past has tried to buy its rival numerous times, is reportedly interested in snatching up the financially troubled chain.