FAST-FOOD giant Burger King is lining up a return to Princes Street – six years after it disappeared from the historic thoroughfare.
The chain has lodged a planning application to erect its famous logo at the old Ann Summers outlet near Primark and Gap.
Burger King vanished from Princes Street in March 2011, to make way for the new Apple store, with its only current city centre branch inside Waverley Station.
Burger lovers today told of their excitement at the restaurant’s return – as retail experts warned it would have to adopt a smart appearance to fit in amongst the ever-changing city centre.
Graham Birse, a city business consultant, said large fast-food chains have been adapting to compete with other restaurants.
But he said the firm would have to focus on attractive interior design and ensure a healthy offering on its menu.
He said: “Large fast-food chains such as Burger King and McDonald’s have been challenged recently by individualistic businesses.
“They’ve changed their direction and McDonald’s especially, have updated their menu and introduced healthier options.
“However, Burger King tends to focus more on its price and quality.
“They offer quality at affordable prices.
“They know their customers well and know what they want.
“The dining expectation is often just as important as what is served and most places take this into consideration now.
“That includes shops too. For example, when Primark opened on Princes Street, it made sure the highest quality of railings etc were on display inside.
“I think Burger King will do the same in terms of its dining area.”
He added: “There’s sometimes no substitute for a good burger.”
Kerry Teakle, blogger for the Edinburgh Foody, said the new Burger King would do well – even if she won’t be visiting herself.
She said: “I think there is a time and place for fast food.
“I’m not really a fan of it and I think Edinburgh has so many wonderful alternatives.
“Not only does the city have a range of restaurants, it also has a large selection of street markets and street food.
“I think the location Burger King has selected is a prime spot and will probably do well commercially.
“However, you wouldn’t find me eating there.”
Alasdair Rankin, a local councillor, said he was in two minds about the restaurant’s return to Princes Street.
He said: “We’ve had Burger King on Princes Street before and it was always popular.
“I am sure a lot of people will welcome its return, but then others may not, due to obesity issues and other reasons.
“I think if more healthy options were introduced in these restaurants, that would make it better.”
Due to the status of the planning application, the city council declined to comment.
No-one at Burger King was available to discuss the chain’s Princes Street plans.