|Founded 1971, Schoten, Belgium||Headquarters Belgium|
CEO Cédric Dugardin (4 Jan 2013–)
Founders François Vaxelaire, Baron François Vaxelaire
Parent organizations Caisse des dépôts et consignations, Qualium Investissement, QSR Belgium SA
Quick Restaurants is an originally Belgian chain of hamburger fast food restaurants based in Bobigny, Seine-Saint-Denis, France. Founded in 1971 by veteran Belgian entrepreneur Baron François Vaxelaire, Quick is the first hamburger chain founded in Europe with around 400 restaurants.
Quick is similar in theme to McDonald's and Burger King. In 2007, it was taken over by the French government's investment holding company, CDC, which controls 94% of the shares as of November 2013 and was purchased by Burger King France in February 2016.
The chain was first established in 1971 by retail entrepreneur Baron Vaxelaire (Chairman of the GB/GIB Group) with two restaurants, one in Schoten, just outside Antwerp and another one in Waterloo, south of Brussels. The first Quick in France was opened in Aix-en-Provence on July 19, 1980. By December 31, 2010, it operated over 400 restaurants in Belgium, France, Luxembourg and the French overseas departments or territories of Réunion, New Caledonia, Guadeloupe and Martinique. 72% of these restaurants are operated as franchises.
Quick used to have a UK and Dutch presence in the 1980s and 90s, including a branch in London's Leicester Square and in Rotterdam, but these are long since closed. From around 2007-08 Quick also had restaurants in Morocco and Algiers, Algeria, as well as Moscow and Tula in Russia, but these have also closed. Although, as of January of 2017 one opened in Marrakech, Morocco and there are plans to reopen Tunisia and Russia.
As of July 2011, Quick's burger lineup included:
Quick does not salt its Belgian fries behind the counter, leaving it up to the diners to salt the fries themselves. The fry containers bear the phrases "Meer of minder gezouten, aan u de keuze" in Dutch, or "Plus ou moins salés: à vous de décider" in French, both meaning "More or less salted: you decide."
A vegetarian burger was available for a limited time in the 1990s, but was discontinued due to low demand in the Belgian and French markets. Quick did offer a grilled cheese sandwich as a meatless option.
In February 2010, Quick announced that eight of its French franchises would offer halal menus to cater to the Muslim population, a number that increased to 22 in August 2010, and only halal menus are being served since then. The move caused controversy from politicians across various parties, including Roubaix's mayor, Marine Le Pen of the National Front, and the UMP, France's ruling political party.
In 2011, Quick unveiled Le Double Mix, a two-in-one sandwich featuring a bread-bun done two different ways on each half, with each side having its own dressings. Available in hamburger or chicken varieties, Le Double Mix was sold as a limited-run sandwich, through April 18, 2011.
Death of Benjamin Orset
On January 22, 2011, 14-year-old Benjamin Orset died after eating two hamburgers at a Quick restaurant in Avignon, France. An autopsy report concluded that he died from food poisoning. Traces of staphylococci were detected in the boy’s body, as well as in five of the eight employees. Quick’s managing director, Jacques-Edouard Charret, refused to accept responsibility for the death of the boy. However, the investigation found that the death of Orset was a direct result of the meal he had eaten at Quick the day before. Admitting the possibility of a "local failure" rather than any problems with the products supplied centrally, Quick took control of the Avignon restaurant back from the franchisee. Quick also promised to "strengthen its controls and hygiene measures, which are already stricter than the legal standards".