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Burger King getting ready to break ground in Havre


August 8, 2018

Burger King is all set to come to Havre, with ground-breaking for construction happening next week, Meridian Restaurants Marketing Director Vy Trinh said Tuesday.

Havre Public Works Director Dave Peterson said the building permit request was submitted Monday and the city will be issuing the company a building permit soon so it can begin construction.

Meridian Director of Construction Jason Wolff said he had received the information about the permit Tuesday and is working to align the contractor.

Meridian Restaurants is based out of South Ogden, Utah, and is franchise owner of Burger King, El Pollo and Chili’s restaurants.

Peterson said he was unsure when the company had purchased the property, the lot between West Fifth and Sixth avenues south of First Street West, but the city had received plans last week for the project. The company had been in contact with the city before that asking questions, he said.

Wolff said the building will be 4,600 square feet and will include state-of-the-art equipment. He added that the building will be made with the “latest and greatest” Burger King design with a significant play area.

The design is a combination of corporate guidelines and private design, Wolff said, adding that Meridian Restaurants has built many Burger Kings.

Wolff said it is too early to tell when the grand opening will be. He added projects of this size generally take 100 days to build.

Trinh said she is hopeful that the construction will start next week and finish within 90 days.

The Burger King will be the newest building in town with a very modern look, Trinh said. It will have a play area for the kids with digital games and two or three automatic kiosks where customers can order their food themselves and customize their meals, she said.

The play area will be one part of the restaurant the company will be proudest of, she said, with a completely updated area for kids with touch-screens booths for kids to play games and a touch-screen table for kids to play with.

Trinh said the Burger King will have 50 to 70 team-member positions with the total of 60 to 80 job opportunities brought to Havre.

“We love Montana,” Trinh said, adding that the company has been planning to build in Havre for a long time, and this project is part of the company’s 2018 development plan.

The company had looked into the demographic the size of the town, Trinh said, and Havre had good potential to Burger King to do business.

She said that last week the company had done $3.3 million in sales and is very excited to bring Havre into the company.

Meridian Restaurants has 114 restaurants in 11 different states with 22 restaurants already in Montana, Trinh said.

Havre City Council member Ed Matter said that any time a business comes to Havre it is excellent. He said the company may have some problems hiring the amount of staff that they are planning on, like many other businesses in Havre do, but he wished the company good luck.

Council member Caleb Hutchins said that, as a member of the community, having the new business is great.

“I think it’s great and I’m happy that they thought Havre was a place to come and add a new business to, and I think that’s wonderful,” Hutchins said.

“I am skeptical that Havre’s economy is going to be greatly sustained by a bunch of national chain businesses,” he added. “I think the strongest parts of Havre’s economy are the locally owned businesses and properties and industries. Like the breweries or the local hardware store or the locally owned restaurants that are not part of national chains.

“I think it’s great that Burger King is here and I think it’s great that they are adding more entry level jobs in Havre, but that’s not the kind of thing that makes and breaks a community like Havre,” he said. “It’s locally owned businesses that have a bigger impact on our economy, on our culture, in my opinion.”

Council member Karen Swenson said she thinks Burger King coming is wonderful. Any new business is an asset to the community, she added. She said that with the other businesses leaving — Herbergers, Sears and Kmart — it is good to have some entry level jobs coming to town.

Council member Lindsey Ratliff said it is exciting to have a new food option available in Havre.

Council member Sarah McKinney said the new business was very exciting and it is a positive thing to see a company believe Havre has potential. She added that it is great to see job creation, and if Burger King can really bring 60 to 80 new jobs to Havre it is very exciting.


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