With its fast-food restaurants in over 15,000 locations worldwide, Burger King is one of the biggest fast-food chains in the world. But successful businesses have their share of secrets that most of us may not know.
These secrets not only revolve around the food they serve but also the changes in the brand, its ownership, and marketing strategies over the years.
You may be Burger King’s oldest customer, but I bet you will be surprised to learn about such details of Burger King. So, let’s find out some interesting facts about Burger King because there’s so much more to Burger King than its famous Whopper!
1. Burger King Was Inspired By McDonald’s
Burger King wasn’t an original idea. McDonald’s success story prompted Keith G Cramer to start a restaurant along the same lines.
That’s why, to date, Burger King is called the second largest hamburger chain in the United States, after McDonald’s. You can find out more about Burger King’s history here.
2. Burger King Has Been Owned By Different People
If you ask Google about the founders of Burger King, the first answer you will get is that it was founded in the 1950s by businessmen James McLamore and David R. However, Keith Kramer and Matthew Burns founded Burger King in 1953 as Insta-Burger King.
When it ran into financial difficulties, its two Miami-based franchisees, David Edgerton and James McLamore, purchased the company in 1959 and renamed it “Burger King.”
But Burger King’s ownership doesn’t stop here. This American multinational chain of fast-food restaurants was sold to Pillsbury in 1967.
It was further sold to Texas Pacific Group, Bain Capital, and Goldman Sachs Capital Partners in 2002, a consortium of private equity financiers.
In 2010, the company was taken over by an investment group controlled by the Brazilian billionaire Jorge Paulo Lemann, 3G Capital, in a leveraged buyout.
Burger King later merged with the Canadian doughnut chain Tim Hortons in 2014, and a new parent company called Restaurant Brands International was formed.
Thus, the success of Burger King is credited to different ownerships.
3. Burger King’s Logo Has Been Changed Several Times
A brand logo is one of the most important aspects of any business. But to find its signature style, Burger King took 16 years.
The company introduced its first logo in 1953, a bold wordmark with half a sun rising from it. From 1957-1969 the logo was redesigned and featured the tagline “Home of the Whopper.”
Between 1969-1994, Burger King unveiled the iconic bun logo prototype, which turned out to be successful. It further underwent some alterations to be what it is today.
4. You Can Find Burger King Around The World
Despite being an American brand, Burger King has made its presence the world over. Burger King outlets are present in over 100 countries.
So, one thing that you definitely don’t need to pack while traveling is food from Burger King’s delicious menu.
5. Burger King’s Mascots Have Changed Several Times
It’s hard to imagine Burger King without its mascot. But just like its logo, its mascots have also undergone several changes.
Burger King has had several different mascots over the years. Initially, like other fast food restaurants’ mascot trends, Burger King came up with the plastic king head, designed to give a magician’s look to entice kids.
The King was featured in a series of advertisements presenting children with small gifts or buying them some Burger King food.
By the late 70s, the King was replaced by a red-bearded, Tudor-era king, the “Marvelous Magical Burger King,” who ruled the Burger King Kingdom. He was accompanied by notable characters and children.
Fast-forward to the early 2000s, a new big-headed king was launched who remains the same to date.
6. World-Renowned Whopper Has Withstood The Test Of Time
Burger King introduced the Whopper as a response to other rival restaurants selling larger burgers in 1957. In his autobiography, McLamore said he chose the name because he knew it “would convey the imagery of something big.”
This burger has won the hearts of many and continues to do so. It was originally sold for 37 cents. Today you’ll get a Whopper for an average of $4.19.
7. Whopper Jr. Was An Accident
Luis Arenas-Pérez opened a Burger King restaurant in 1963 in the Puerto Rico municipality of Carolina. He discovered that the shipment of molds for the Whopper buns from the United States hadn’t arrived on time for the grand opening.
The opening without a Whopper would not have been complete. So, he used regular-size buns to make the Whopper and called the creation the “Whopper Jr.”
The name and the product stuck. Pérez’s genius idea and its success earned him a spot in the Burger King Hall of Fame.
8. The Whopper Could Not Be Called By Its Name In One U.S. City
When Burger King tried to expand into the San Antonio, Texas, area, it could not call its Whopper by its name. Wondering why? The same area has a chain called “Whopper Burger,” which holds all rights to the name “Whopper.”
As a result, it had to call its famous burger the “Deluxe.” The problem was solved when Whopper Burger’s owner sold the franchise to Pillsbury, who also owned Burger King.
9. The Whopper Became Available For Breakfast
Today if you look at the Burger King menu, you will find that its breakfast menu is entirely different from the lunch and dinner menu.
But in 2014, Burger King told CNN Money that it would expand its breakfast menus to include, among other items, the Whopper in 5,000 locations. But this idea didn’t work out.
10. There Once Existed An Angry Whopper
Burger King introduced the Angry Whopper in 2008 to delight its spice-eating customers. It was made with melted habanero cheese, hardwood-smoked bacon, fresh jalapeno slices, spicy onion petals, and Angry sauce.
Eight years later, they launched The Angriest Whopper, a variation of the Angry Whopper, made on a bright red bun and topped with jalapenos and Angry sauce.
11. Hands-Free Whopper Holder
In celebration of its 50 anniversary in Puerto Rico, BK created the Hands-Free Whopper Holder, which was given away to 50 lucky Whopper lovers.
It was a plastic burger holder that you could hang from your neck. You could eat your burger with your hands-free to do other things. Great for eating a burger while driving or studying, don’t you think?
12. A Whopper Wedding
Burger King made a fan’s wedding wish come true by paying for the event and gifting them BK-branded swag. When Joel Burger and Ashley King were getting married, they reached out to Burger King for permission to use the company’s logo on their wedding favors.
Burger King not only obliged but went ahead and gave them a “Whopper wedding.” Some highlights included Burger King crowns, shirts for the groomsmen, burger cufflinks, and gift cards. You can also plan a unique party with Burger King’s catering menu.
13. You Don’t Have To Choose Between Fries And Onion Rings
At Burger King if you can’t decide between fries and onion rings at Burger King, you don’t have to choose between the two. Place an order for “frings,” and you’ll be served half onion rings and half French fries.
14. You Can Customize Sides Too
According to a former employee, you can customize your milkshakes, frappes, and smoothies like your hamburgers. Just ask your server to combine your flavors, and they will happily do it.
Let your crazy out and make the drink flavors of your dreams. Does anyone know how to make a Unicorn milkshake? No? Ok.
15. Burger King Has Altered Its Menu
Burger King’s menu has offered many delicious items on its menu over the years and continues to do so. However, Burger King has also discontinued some items that are truly unique.
The Whopper has sure reigned supremacy. But some other incredible items Burger King offers are ribs, crown-shaped nuggets, cupcake shakes, poutine a la burger, and more. There’s never a lack of creativity in Burger King’s menu.
16. Burger King Has A Different Name In Australia
When in Australia, you won’t find Burger King. But you will find Hungry Jacks, which is actually Burger King. Burger King is known as Hungry Jacks in Australia due to a copyright infringement of an existing company.
When Burger King got to Australia in 1971, there existed a local restaurant called Burger King. Therefore, Burger King chose to go with the name Hungry Jack’s instead.
Despite a long fight to purchase the trademark from the local Burger King and have finally won the Burger King rights to all of Australia, Hungry Jack’s decided to keep the Hungry Jack’s name.
That’s because, after 40 years of its presence, Burger King had already made a name for itself in Australia as Hungry Jacks.
17. The Whopper WiFi
In 2014, Burger King launched wi-fi in all of its U.S. locations and named it WHOPPER Wi-Fi. “WHOPPER® Wi-Fi is about improving the in-restaurant experience for our guests.
Most of our guests carry smartphones or tablets, and this upgrade makes their time with us easier and more enjoyable,” said Alex Macedo, President of North America, BKC.
“We are committed to enhancing our digital platforms across the board, and having WHOPPER® Wi-Fi is just the beginning.”
18. The First Unusual Bun Introduced BY BK Was On Halloween
It’s common to see fast food restaurants making unique customizations to their menus during Halloween. But what surprised American customers was the introduction of Burger King’s Halloween menu special black bun in 2015.
This creation was called the “A1 Halloween Whopper“. It featured A1 Steak Sauce to spook-ify the bun. If you are in Japan, you can still buy black bun burgers.
19. You Can Also Dig Into A Pink Burger
While you can get black bun burgers in Japan, Burger King locations in Thailand sold pink bun burgers in 2021 in honor of Valentine’s Day.
They were also launched to capitalize on the success of the K-pop supergroup BLACKPINK. This burger featured a fried breaded salmon filet, cheese, and a rich sauce.
20. They Once Advertised A Moldy Whopper
Burger King launched a strange advertising campaign showing its iconic Whopper covered in mold. This unappetizing stunt was pulled out to show that their burgers contain no artificial preservatives. Burger King certainly broke many advertising rules for this one.
21. The Launched A “Left-Handed” Whopper
Burger King released a full-page ad in the print version of USA TODAY in 1998, advertising a new creation: the Left-Handed Whopper.
They told the readers that the sandwich was identical to the original Whopper, but the ingredients were placed to suit left-handed customers.
People actually believed it, and thousands of them started asking for the “left” Whopper. Little did they notice that the offer began on April 1, 1998 — April Fool’s Day.
22. Burger King Is Known To Make Deals With Big Budget Films
If we look at fast food restaurants, many teams up to sell their products by teaming with big-budget films. But Burger King is the first fast food brand to crack this deal with big-budget films.
During the pandemic years, Burger King became the most valuable quick service brand around the world.
23. Horse Meat Burgers
Burger King mentions that their burgers are made with 100% beef. This information is provided under each burger description because Burger King admitted in 2013 that some beef patties in Ireland and the United Kingdom contained horse meat.
This news was reported by The Guardian. After a test conducted at the production plant showed small traces of horse DNA, the company ended its contract with the plant.
24. Getting A Free Whopper Encouraged Unfriending Sprees
One controversial promotion by Burger King in 2009 led to 234,000 people being unfriended. Burger King launched a Whopper Sacrifice promotion asking customers to unfriend 10 Facebook friends for a free burger coupon.
While the campaign worked, it was banned by Facebook after just ten days. Facebook stated that the ad campaign violated their users’ privacy.
Apart from its food, Burger King is famous for its unique deals and promotions. Don’t forget to take their benefit.
25. Burger King Patties Are Still Flame Grilled
The war between the best fast-food burgers continues to stay. But cooking technologies have a significant impact on its taste. Burger King has managed to keep the flavors the same and the uniqueness of their products ever since its inception.
Burger King has been flame-grilling since the day it started in 1954. They use real fire to cook their beef patties to provide a distinctive taste and their signature grill marks.
26. Burger King Launched A Whopper-Scented Fragrance
The idea might sound strange, but Burger King went a step ahead to give you an experience that is unlikely to be thought of. In 2009, it launched its own fragrance called Flame.
The scent was supposed to smell like the restaurant’s flame-grilled burgers. It was described as “the scent of seduction with a hint of flame-broiled meat .” The fragrance was only available for a short time and was completely sold out.
27. Burger King Crown Card
Just like McDonald’s Gold Card, Burger King has a “Crown Card .”It is owned by celebrities like Hugh Laurie, Jennifer Hudson, George Lucas, Robert Downey Jr., and Jay Leno. These cardholders never need to pay for a Whopper, fries, or anything at Burger King for their lifetime.
However, don’t confuse the Crown Card with a regular crown card, which is just a gift certificate. This card is owned only by individuals having a solid history with Burger King.
28. You Can Get A Burger King Crown
With the onset of the pandemic, social distancing became the new norm. To reinforce the rules of high safety and hygiene standards, Burger King released what it calls ‘social distance crowns.’
These crowns look like regular Burger King crowns but are much larger. They help maintain 6 feet of distance between people.
29. Burger King Also Sold Hot Dogs
Burger King tried something new in 2016 and introduced hot dogs. They could also be modified by adding or removing toppings. However, the hot dogs were not able to impress customers, and they were subsequently discontinued.
30. The Suicide Burger
If you enjoy experimenting with dangerous food items, take a look at Burger King’s secret menu item – The Suicide Burger. It is also known as the “Quad Stacker” at some Burger King restaurants.
This burger features four beef patties, four cheese slices, bacon, and a special sauce, all jammed in between two sesame seed buns. With all this, you are looking at 800 calories, 175mg of cholesterol, and 2,430mg of sodium.
31. Keep The Receipts For Free Food
Don’t toss away the receipts right after receiving your order. If you take a look at the back of your receipt and go online to do the survey, you can get a free sandwich—a Whopper or Original Chicken.
Free food for saved receipts? That sounds like a great deal to me! These Burger King hacks are truly amazing!
32. Burger King Launched The Whopper Wine
Spanish people love a good glass of red wine. Keeping this in mind and with its roots in Spain, Burger King launched Whopper Wine in 2015.
This wine was a Spanish vino aged in flame-grilled wooden barrels. It supposedly paired perfectly with the chain’s hallmark burger.
33. Cheetos Chicken French Fries
Burger King is known for pushing its creativity. Amongst its several experiments, BK introduced the Cheetos chicken french fries, which were a hybrid of chicken strips and french fries. They turned out to be a major hit.
According to marketing speak (and reported by Business Insider), these Chicken Fries are “cooked to crispy perfection so that they have a dangerously cheesy outside and are made with juicy white-meat chicken inside.”
34. Burger King Has The Cheapest Nuggets
If you love Burger King’s chicken nuggets, I’m going to give you another reason to fall in love with them all over again. Burger King has the cheapest nuggets amongst other fast-food restaurant chains.
In 2018, Burger King announced they would sell 10 pieces of chicken nuggets for just $1. Whatever the mathematics behind it, we totally love the idea!
35. Burger King in Helsinki Provide Sauna Service
In Helsinki, Finland, you can pair your meal with a sauna. Yes, that’s true! The sauna is an integral part of Finnish culture.
While re-launching its stores in Finland, Burger King noticed Finns often eat or have a cold drink after a sauna, sometimes even inside the sauna.
That’s how they came up with the idea of providing a dining experience that would get them to sell more burgers and drink. Burger King’s in-store sauna room in Finland features lockers, shower rooms, and Burger King-branded towels.
Moreover, food orders can be taken from within the sauna. Burger King sauna can be booked online for €250, which is available for three hours.
This innovation has also won an award for New Concepts in Food Service by Euromonitor, who called it “a powerful example of localization.”
36. Burger King Gave Ellen DeGeneres A Break Into Comedy
Ellen DeGeneres is a big name today. But back in the day, she wasn’t sure about her talent. Ellen’s friends had been urging her to take the stage.
She nervously obliged her friends by bringing a Whopper, shake, and fries onstage with her that she had just purchased.
As Per Huffington Post, DeGeneres told “Oprah’s Master Class” that “people enjoyed me eating onstage and not talking.” From there she was invited to several places and made a big name for herself as a comedian.
37. Burger King Has Had Other Celebrities As Its Employee Too
We all know that Burger King has celebrity meals, but Oscar winner Jennifer Judson had her first job at Burger King. She worked alongside her sister at age 16. Hudson would supposedly sing while flipping burgers and working the drive-thru.
When she won her Oscar, Simon Cowell called her out for not thanking American Idol. She responded by asking if she should thank Burger King as well. Hearing this, Burger King awarded her free burgers for life.
Similarly, Queen Latifah too flipped burgers at her local Burger King. The rapper-turned-actress told Parade Magazine, “If my brother and I wanted money in our pockets, we had to get jobs—my first was at 15, at Burger King.”
38. Sarah Michelle Gellar Was Part Of A Lawsuit Against BK
Burger King launched a campaign in the ‘80s criticizing McDonald’s and Wendy’s burgers. They claimed their competition offered smaller patties that were fried and didn’t taste great.
The ad for the campaign featured Sarah Michelle Gellar, who was only four years old at the time.
In response to the campaign, McDonald’s sued Burger King. As a result, the lawsuit even included the young actress who had to testify in court. She subsequently avoided eating at McDonald’s for fear of getting recognized.
“It was tough because, when you’re a little kid, McDonald’s is where all your friends have their birthday parties,” Gellar recalled. “So I missed out on a lot of apple pies.”
39. Burger King Has Great Benefits For Employees
Burger King makes sure that its employees who work hard to run the show are provided with great benefits. If you are a Burger King employee or plan to be one, you get free food and drinks.
You also get discounts, paid holidays, paid sick leave, health insurance, and financial and retirement benefits.
40. Burger King Has Faced Lots Of Legal Battles
Burger King has made runs to the court for various legal matters. These include lawsuits for advertising products as larger than they appear when served in real life.
It has also faced legal repercussions for food contamination and controversial marketing strategies.
41. Burger King Has Special Menus For Every Country
Burger King has outlets in over 100 countries. They offer a variety of international menu items that aren’t available in the US. You can order alcoholic drinks in Morocco and get rice with your meal in Vietnam. South Korean BK serves coconut shrimp, whereas, in Japan, you can enjoy a spicy shrimp burger.
If you are a vegetarian, visiting BK India will be a fun experience. While you can get only one veggie burger option in most countries, BK India offers 8 varieties.
That’s not all. If you have a sweet tooth, you must visit Burger King in Switzerland to dig into brownies, blondies, and warm Belgian waffles.
Moreover, it also serves bacon sandwiches with buns loaded with bacon!
42. Say Hello To Burger King Catering
To enjoy a Burger King party, you don’t have to visit the restaurant every time. You can opt for Burger King catering for get-togethers, home parties, and office parties.
You can choose from their hamburgers, sides, desserts, drinks, and combo packs. You can also avail of discounts and offers.
43. The Pandemic Affected Burger King’s Sales
With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses suffered losses. One of the significant impacts was felt by the food industry.
As a result, many Burger King stores were also closed due to virus restrictions. Half of its locations were closed in China and many other countries.
44. Burger King Restaurants Will Soon Look Different
The COVID-19 pandemic changed the way we interact with retail businesses. Burger King is trying to keep up with changing trends.
As per CNN, the chain unveiled two new restaurant designs for the future. They include features such as triple drive-thrus, pickup lockers, and takeout counters.
45. Burger King’s Coupons And Rewards
Burger King’s deals and promotions are quite impressive. But if you didn’t know, Burger King has offered paper coupons for many years.
But they were discontinued in exchange for digital deals (coupons) and promotions, which are easily accessible through their official website and app.
Additionally, Burger King also introduced its rewards as a loyalty program. The benefits of becoming a member include redeeming BK crowns for free food and beverage, which you earn through every dollar spent on a purchase.
46. Burger King Food Can Be Reheated
Did you get some extra food stored from Burger King? Don’t bother to eat it right out of the refrigerator because Burger King’s food can be reheated at home.
You can enjoy an absolutely fresh and delicious burger along with crispy nuggets and fries from Burger King just like you have it at the restaurant. All you need to do is find out how it’s done by clicking the link above.
47. You Can Make Burger King’s Food At Home
Can’t get enough of the irresistible food from Burger King? Well then, why not make it at home? You can make Burger King’s lip-smacking menu items at home using these recipes that give you similar results. They are easy to make and oh-so-delicious.
48. Some Burger King Outlets Are Open For 24 Hours
If you tend to crave your favorite meals from Burger King at odd hours, you would be happy to know that some BK stores are open 24 hours. Yes! You read that right. So, you can visit them and order a special meal any time of the day.
Whether you like Burger King or not, Burger King has made an impact in the fast-food industry with its amazing food and some downright strange ideas. I’m sure you must have been surprised to know the above facts.
If you are a Burger King die-hard, you can find out more information about what it serves, its menu prices, nutritional information, and history on our website. Burger King always tries to push the boundaries in the fast-food game. Be ready to be surprised by them with their future plans.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Who founded Burger King?
Keith Kramer and Matthew Burns founded Burger King in 1953 as Insta-Burger King. It was renamed Burger King in 1959 after being purchased by David Edgerton and James McLamore.
Is Burger King present in countries other than the US?
Burger King is present in more than 100 countries.
Where does Burger King have saunas?
Burger King Helsinki, Finland, has a sauna.
Is Burger King bigger than McDonald’s?
Burger King is not as big as McDonald’s.
Can we get gluten-free options at Burger king?
Yes, you can get gluten-free options at Burger King.
Does Burger King have vegan options?
Yes, Burger King has vegan options.
Does Burger King serve an all-day breakfast?
No, Burger King doesn’t serve an all-day breakfast.
What is Burger King called in Australia?
Burger King is called Hungry Jack’s in Australia.