Miami--A major Burger King franchisee, Westwind ALWA LLC, has decided to exit the Seattle market and recently closed 15 of the fast-food chain's eateries, but Burger King plans to reopen 11 of those units under new ownership. The reopened stores will be remodeled and upgraded to resemble the chain's newer restaurants, according to Burger King.

Burger King is hoping to reverse the shrinking of its store base in Seattle, which began in April 2002 when franchisee Great Northwest Foods closed eight restaurants. The chain hopes to end this year with 95 Seattle-area restaurants and plans to open several new units. --Puget Sound Business Journal