QLD_CM_BIZ_BURGERURGE
QLD_CM_BIZ_BURGERURGE

Food court fury over Westfield Chermside $335m ‘killer’ blow

TRADERS at a forgotten food court say their businesses have been killed by a redevelopment at Queensland's largest shopping centre.

Several businesses have already closed at the Westfield Chermside food court near Woolworths, with workers at remaining outlets fearing they'll be next.

Burger Urge founder Sean Carthew has been hit hard by Westfield Chermside's $335 million redevelopment. Picture: Courier Mail
Burger Urge founder Sean Carthew has been hit hard by Westfield Chermside's $335 million redevelopment. Picture: Courier Mail

Among those sounding the alarm is major tenant Burger Urge, which has suffered a brutal 50 per cent drop in turnover at their Chermside outlet since 2017.

"It's killed us," one worker, who wished to remain anonymous, said of the new redevelopment.

"We just get the stragglers."

"I'm honestly worried once the lease is up we'll close for good."

Workers at several outlets say the $335 million, two-storey food and dining precinct redevelopment at the opposite end of Westfield Chermside, completed in June 2017, was the cause.

"Now we're lucky to break even most days," the worker said.

"Before the new end went in, it was busy all the time."

 

Burger Urge managing director Sean Carthew at the chain's outlet at Westfield Chermside.
Burger Urge managing director Sean Carthew at the chain's outlet at Westfield Chermside.

Other workers at several outlets said foot traffic had fallen by half.

Many claim they weren't told of the scale of the new precinct, which has over 30 dining tenants, including popular anchors such as Cafe 63 and Betty's Burgers.

Scentre Group, which owns and operates Westfield Chermside, has been contacted for comment.

Burger Urge managing director Sean Carthew, who opened the outlet in 2015, said he wasn't told about the scale of the nearby redevelopment and the amount of competition it would provide.

"We were never advised of the number of, and the concentration of restaurants being introduced into the top floor," Mr Carthew said.

Workers say the food court area's foot traffic has been halved. Picture: Thomas Morgan
Workers say the food court area's foot traffic has been halved. Picture: Thomas Morgan

He said turnover today was 40-50 per cent down since the redevelopment.

"We were told that revenue would be increasing overall in the centre to over $1 billion, and that we would benefit as a result of that," Mr Carthew said.

"I don't believe any retailer at our end has benefited."

The neighbouring Scuzi Caffe and nearby sushi restaurant also went out of business, while a kebab restaurant survived less than six months.

Westfield Chermside’s recent extension included a new dining and food precinct with 30 tenants. Picture: AAP Image/Mark Calleja
Westfield Chermside’s recent extension included a new dining and food precinct with 30 tenants. Picture: AAP Image/Mark Calleja

He also said a new tyre service centre which took 90 car spaces away from shoppers near the food court also impacted foot traffic.

Mr Carthew said he was currently in discussions with Westfield "in the hope to find a long-term solution to this."

Have a similar story? Email: thomas.morgan1@news.com.au


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