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Quick pays shut-down pubs €500 to advertise in their windows
Fast-food chain Quick has offered Belgian bars and cafes closed by the pandemic €500 each to rent their windows for advertising.
The burger chain wanted to support bars in this difficult time while also advertising its new burger called Le Patron (the boss) which is made with a beer sauce.
However, what they thought was a marketing coup has not played out as smoothly as they expected.
Some 100 cafe owners received the proposal but some immediately took umbrage. Goulven Dedonder, who operates Le Ram Dam and Le Murmure, both in Ixelles, said: "I was outraged. They are taking advantage of our current situation.
"They talk about helping us but they are offering us peanuts. If we go bankrupt it will be the big operators like them who will take over our businesses."
Several bars contacted by RTBF last week were quick to complain that they had still not received the money despite the posters being posted since mid-February and for a period of 29 days.
Burger Brands Belgium, which operates the Burger King franchise in Belgium, replied: "As indicated in the contract, the amount is deposited one month after the poster was placed.
"The poster placement took place between 15-18 February. Everyone will therefore receive their payment on time."
Lawyer Tanguy Vandenput raised the question of regulations when it comes to advertising in public spaces: "There are advertising sizes to be observed which range from 20% of the area to a maximum of two-thirds of the area of the window.
"In some streets of the historic district in Brussels, these advertisements are even prohibited. The penalties can range from €250 to more than €1,000."
Burger Brands Belgium said it had "examined the rules applicable in the Flemish, Walloon and Brussels regions. The posters delivered comply with these rules."
Not everyone was complaining. In La Louvière, Mehdi Mrakha who manages three bars, Pilsor, Forst and The Flanagan’s is thrilled.
He agreed to put up the posters on the windows of the first two because for him, €500 is not nothing. "It's been eight months that we are closed," he said, "so to receive €1,000 is a plus, it will help me pay my bills."