The story of Burger King goes back to 1954 when a son and his step-father opened the first Burger King restaurant in Florida. Little did they know that their burger joint would ignite a fast-food revolution. In this article, we are going to discuss how Burger King became the brand that it is today.
As I begin to tell you the story of Burger King, its journey has been a roller coaster ride. The company has experienced numerous ups and downs, marked by several changes in its ownership and marketing strategies.
Despite this, Burger King overcame all these challenges. But one thing has remained constant: their commitment to providing customers with delicious, high-quality, and affordable fast food. Burger King found a way to make its place in the market.
Today, Burger King is a global brand with over 18,000 restaurants in more than 100 countries. It appears in Hollywood movies, TV shows, and music videos – with its line of merchandise.
So, let’s unwind the history of Burger King and discover the story. It’s a fascinating story of how a small business went through hardships and became the world’s second-largest fast-food chain.
This blog post includes the evolution of Burger King, its continuous development as a fast-food brand, and its famous launched items. Below is the sequence of events in the history of Burger King. Keep reading to get familiar with some exciting facts.
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Burger King History Timeline
- 1953: Insta-Burger King, a predecessor of Burger King, is founded in Jacksonville, Florida, by Keith J. Kramer and Matthew Burns.
- 1954: McLamore opened the first franchise in Miami, Florida.
- 1957: The Whopper, Burger King’s signature sandwich, is introduced.
- 1959: James McLamore and David Edgerton purchased the Insta-Burger King franchise from the original founders and renamed it Burger King.
- 1963: Burger King introduces the character as its official mascot.
- 1967: Pillsbury Company acquires Burger King for $18 million.
- 1974: Burger King introduces its ‘have it your way’ slogan, allowing customers to customize their orders.
- 1977: Burger King brings Donald N. Smith to help restructure the company’s franchise system.
- 1979: Launched Burger King specialty sandwich line.
- 1982: Burger King released its first attack advertisement on other brands’ fried and unhealthy burgers.
- 1989: Grand Metropolitan acquires Pillsbury Company, becoming Burger King’s new parent company.
- 1997: A merger happened between Grand Metropolitan and Guinness, forming a new company called Diago.
- 2002: Burger King is acquired by private equity group TPG Capital at US $2.2 billion.
- 2004: The king character is introduced in a new advertising campaign.
- 2006: Burger King goes public on the New York Stock Exchange.
- 2010: 3G capital company acquired Burger King in a deal worth US$ 3.26 billion.
- 2011: Burger King revamped its menu and advertising strategies.
- 2014: Burger King merges with Canadian restaurant chain Tim Hortons to form Restaurant Brands International.
- 2019: Burger King introduces the “Impossible Whopper,” a plant-based burger made with Impossible Foods meat substitute. Burger King planned to close down 250 low-volume locations per year.
- 2020: Burger King requested the customers to order from McDonald’s when the restaurant was going through a rough patch.
- 2021: Burger King introduces a new logo and store design and continues to expand globally with over 18,000 locations in over 100 countries.
Early Days Of Insta-Burger King
It was in 1953 when both Keith J. Cramer and his step-father Mathew Burns thought of opening a burger restaurant. The idea was inspired by the McDonald’s brothers originally. They visited the McDonald’s in San Bernardino, California, and were blown away by the idea of selling grab-and-get burgers and their streamlined operations.
After returning home, the founders began trolling for a concept. They finalized insta machines to produce their burgers which would give a unique taste for their burgers.
They purchased the rights for two pieces of equipment and opened their first Burger King chain. The first restaurant was started in Jacksonville, Florida.
The Insta broiler machine was so successful at cooking burgers that the founders wanted to install the broiler machines in all their franchise outlets.
The duo released their first Burger King menu items including hamburgers, French fries, soft drinks, milkshakes, and desserts priced at around 18 cents.
When the new menu was introduced, people rushed to BK’s chains to grab their insta-broiled burgers and other items.
The First Insta Burger King Franchise In Miami, Florida
While the son and step-father were running the burger business for the past eight years,
David Edgerton got interested in the business. He was a young university graduate and was impressed with the quick fast-food meal service.
He recognized the potential of Insta Burger King. He met the original founders and requested to open the franchise outlets of the restaurant.
David requested the founders to assign him the entire Miami region so that he can open the outlets there as well.
As soon as his request was approved, he opened the first outlet in Miami successfully. However, he was still not equipped with a lot of capital to open more other outlets.
After days of research, he finally met James McLamore who was running his first restaurant named Buckell Bridge. David Edgerton convinced James to look at the bigger picture and sell his restaurant to invest in other Insta Burger King outlets.
James McLamore didn’t resent the idea and invested all the money to open a few more outlets of Insta-Burger King that were a huge success. He then became the famous protagonist in Burger King history.
Both James McLamore and David Edgerton not only were two graduates from Cornell University but also got along really well. Their partnership increased the number of sales of Burger King outlets in Miami.
Meanwhile, the son and step-father duo worked hard to run the business. The Jacksonville outlet was drowned in the losses. They wanted to offer more franchises and develop the business.
However, they struggled to manage their restaurants and faced extreme financial difficulties because of unorganized strategies.
That’s when James McLamore and his partner saw an opportunity to purchase Insta Burger King from the original founders. At the same time, Keith J. Cramer and Mathew Burns were in debt and had no other choice than giving away their own restaurant.
Finally, David Edgerton and James McLamore took over Insta-Burger King and started looking after the restaurant business.
McLamore was impressed by the assembly-line production system he saw at a McDonald’s hamburger stand in California. He also wanted to bring out some major changes to the entire streamlined operations of Burger King.
Slowly and steadily, they were increasing the number of outlets across the USA. They rebranded the name Insta Burger king and changed it to Burger King – the home of whoppers. The logo also got changed with a crown design.
The best part was that, both McLamore and Edgerton were on the same page and shared a similar vision which made Burger King a huge hit.
During their operations, McLamore examined the business and found a few things that could be improved. Such as their insta-burger machines were old-fashioned and they failed to give good quality burgers anymore. Moreover, the increasing number of competitors were selling burgers at a lower rate than Burger King.
Burger King sold their burgers at 18 cents, whereas other chains sold burgers at 15 cents. Lastly, their ordering system was confusing to many customers and customers placed their orders at one window and expected to pay in advance. Then they were handed tickets and directed to the second window, where they were again asked to repeat their order despite their order tickets.
Later, McLamore and David Edgerton decided to streamline their food ordering system and made it less frustrating. So, they changed the order system and let customers grab the food in seconds.
Furthermore, Burger King expanded under McLamore’s leadership. The company started hiring employees as young as 16 years old. They started providing job opportunities for young people across the country.
If I talk about the development, companies usually change brand names as they grow their business and expand to other countries. But that was not the case with Burger King. They didn’t change their logo or name in their Australian outlets.
Surprisingly, you won’t find a single restaurant by the name Burger King Australia. However, they are present under different names.
When Burger King arrived in Australia back in 1971, they found out that there was already a restaurant called Hungry Jack’s. It was an exact copy of the Burger King.
The person who owned the Burger King franchise in Australia chose to call his restaurant Hungry Jack’s.
If you walked into a Hungry Jack’s restaurant back then, it looked exactly like a Burger King restaurant, except for the name. Are you astonished to hear this? So am I! Find the most ironic story of Hungry Jack’s vs. Burger King here.
The Whopper’s Revolutionary Debut
McLamore brought many changes in to the restaurant, such as incorporating the assembly-line system and introducing new menu items.
After looking at competition with other brands’ large-sized burgers, he planned to introduce the whopper burger.
When whopper burger launched in 1957, people went mad over this big-size burger. They started comparing it with McDonald’s big mac burger and wanted to figure out which burger is the best.
Just to give you a scratch idea, both McDonald’s and Burger King are the two most giant fast-food chains. Each has something unique to offer to their customers for which they are big giants in the fast-food industry.
One of the main areas of competition between these two fast-food giants is their menu offerings. McDonald’s is known for its signature Big Mac, while Burger King offers its iconic Whopper burger.
To come up with new menu offerings, Burger King also served their fries in four options: spiral fries, waffle fries, curly fries, and regular fries. These menu offerings gained them huge popularity.
With more upcoming items, Burger King became the real king of introducing delectable items. They’ve expanded their menu by adding more burger options. So, they added chicken burgers, and fish sandwiches. Moreover, they also introduced tacos, salads and veg burgers.
However, Burger King doesn’t serve salads on their menu anymore. According to EatThis, ‘Salads are not coming back on BK’s menu anytime soon.’ Tap here to discover why salads are not on Burger King’s menu.
Out of all the menu items, fish sandwiches were people’s favorite. This tasty sandwich features a succulent White Alaskan Pollock filet coated in crispy breadcrumbs, then topped with crisp iceberg lettuce, tangy sweet tartar sauce, and zesty pickles.
The combination of savory fish, crunchy toppings, and a soft bun makes the fish sandwich a favorite menu item among seafood lovers.
Therefore, Burger King always continued their fish sandwich. If you are wondering whether they still offer fish sandwiches, it’s worth checking out.
In the past, BK’s marketing campaign was applauded by the people. They marketed their whopper sandwich in a first-ever television ad where they mentioned: Burger King – home of whopper.
In terms of the menu, they started offering a tasty breakfast menu with a variety of beverages such as Icees, juices, and bottled water. They made sure there was everything for everyone at BK. They were doing well and expanding at a fast pace.
However, they needed help with their cooking equipment. The beef drippings would need to fix the heating elements in their insta-broilers. So, they came up with a new machine called a flame broiler.
This new grill machine gave them flame-grilled burgers. It worked so well that they decided to replace all their old insta-broilers with the new flame broilers. All their burgers were introduced and marketed as flame-grilled burgers. Checkout if Burger King still offers flame-grilled burgers or not.
In 1955, Burger King’s iconic mascot was launched. Since then, it has been a part of their advertising for over sixty years.
Burger King also expanded their outlets outside of the United States. They embarked on a creative marketing approach, which helped them grow the restaurant chain to over 250 locations across the United States. After the duo ran the BK for eight years, they sold it to the Pillsbury company in 1967.
Pillsbury Acquires Burger King
When Pillsbury acquired BK, it had grown to 274 restaurants in the United States and had an estimated value of US$18 million.
To generate more sales, BK introduced localized versions of burgers. They would reflect the traditional and regional taste of the local area in their burgers. So, they introduced burgers like ham, Italian sausage and pulled pork burgers.
Under the Pillsbury management, Burger King introduced the whopper college In 1963. It was opened just after two years when McDonald’s started their Hamburger University. In addition to this fact, Burger King has other fun facts that you can discover right here.
Have It Your Way Slogan Launch
Burger King was facing stiff competition from other fast-food chains. So, the brand was looking for a way to differentiate themselves and appeal to consumers who loved the idea of customization.
So, they came up with the idea of letting customers customize their orders, allowing them to choose their own toppings, sauces, and other ingredients.
To promote this new approach, Burger King launched a series of TV ads featuring the “Have it your way” slogan. These ads showed customers ordering their burgers just the way they liked them, with extra pickles, no onions, or whatever other combination of toppings they desired.
The slogan proved to be a hit with customers, and it quickly became a key part of Burger King’s branding.
With the Burger King acquisition, Pillsbury faced various problems in handling the franchise model of the restaurant. There were many contracts done by James McLamore which needed to be done correctly.
Eventually, Pillsbury made much effort to get maximum franchise agreement control. Their primary focus was on making formal contractual agreements.
In that case, BK’s creativity and the expansion of its menu were avoided. So, Pillsbury hired McDonald’s executive Donald N. Smith to help revamp the company.
Donald Smith’s Magic On Burger King
Donald Smith was hired by Burger King because he already knew a lot about the fast-food business. Previously, he worked in McDonald’s as a senior executive vice president. He was called to Burger King to increase sales and make new marketing strategies.
He first started with restructuring all future agreements for franchisee business and worked hard on product offerings. Many fast-food chains were also growing at speed, like Wendy’s, during that time.
Introduced New Sandwich Line
In 1979, he added many non-hamburger sandwiches, including chicken and fish sandwiches items. These new menu items were a success, increasing company sales by 15%.
Out of all those non-hamburgers, they also introduced breakfast sandwiches. These Croissan’wich sandwiches were spotlight products on their breakfast menu.
Most of those product lines are discontinued today, but the Croissan’wich sandwiches are still open for BK fans. Burger King’s breakfast menu now includes waffle sandwiches, pancakes, biscuit sandwiches, hash browns, and burritos. You can order all these items during breakfast time.
The time came when Smith departed from Burger King to Pepsi & Co. Burger King again faced a decline in sales. Pillsbury made all the efforts to revive the brand through marketing and stand against its competitor – McDonald’s.
Burger Wars And Controversial Advertisement
One such advertisement that made headlines was Burger King highlighted the size of the burger being bigger than its rival’s burgers.
For that, McDonald’s sued Burger King. However, despite all the lawsuit issues, this particular ad stunt helped Burger King with increasing sales.
While Pillsbury was in total charge of running the business, it made a mistake by not walking on the footsteps proposed by previous directors. This resulted in Burger King losing millions of dollars.
During that time, a British alcoholic beverages company called Grand Metropolitan PLC tried to take over Pillsbury. Finally, after negotiations, troubles, and legal lawsuits, Pillsbury was sold out to Grand Metropolitan for $5.7 billion in 1988.
Grand Metropolitan Takes The Throne
Under the Grand Metropolitan’s leadership, Burger King added chicken tenders to their menu in 1988. They wanted to offer customers chicken-based finger food similar to McDonald’s chicken McNuggets.
Initially, the chicken tenders were made with sliced filets of chicken. But they had to remove chicken nuggets from the menu due to the limited availability of chicken meat.
Later, Burger King changed the recipe and prepared it with shredded chicken. They reintroduced chicken nuggets in the market. Do you wanna know one amazing fact – Burger King once offered 10 piece chicken nuggets at only $1? Discover the truth behind why Burger King nuggets are so cheap.
Further, in 1987, BK introduced burger bundles, mini burger sliders similar to White Castle. They were later brought back as burger buddies.
Then, in 1989, BK expanded its menu further by adding fish tenders, a second-like option to chicken tenders. The new fish product came in the same container as the chicken tenders and included Tartar sauce for dipping. However, the fish tenders were discontinued in 1990.
Later, BK introduced their first-ever broiled chicken sandwich. It was called the BK broiler, featuring a delicious dill-ranch mayo and an oat-bran roll.
But then, in 1998, they created a sandwich with a giant chicken patty and mayo served on a whopper bun to target male customers. They even changed the name to the chicken whopper.
They added a smaller version called the chicken whopper Jr for females to improve things. If you want to know which is better – whopper or whopper jr., click here.
In 2002, Burger King revamped the menu and renamed the sandwich to the chicken whopper. However, it lasted for a short period of time, as they switched things up in 2003 with the BK baguette line.
These sandwiches featured low-fat ingredients and were served on a freshly cooked baguette roll. Unfortunately, they were only available in the European market.
Fast forward to today, you can now enjoy their grilled chicken sandwich, and tender grill sandwich, in North America. It’s popular among customers; we’re sure you’ll love it too!
People loved BK’s chicken sandwiches and often compared them with Popeyes. They made videos on Burger King chicken sandwich vs Popeyes chicken sandwich – which one is better.
One of the key reasons why people compared them is because of the similarity of ingredients. The crispy chicken, mayonnaise, pickles and sauce were offered in both the sandwiches. The comparison sparked a debate among the fast-food fans and has even led to some funny memes.
Besides, Burger King has also catered to religious groups, especially in countries where religion significantly influences food choices. For instance, in India, most people abstain from eating beef and pork for religious reasons.
The food chain has removed these items from its menu and replaced them with chicken, vegetarian patties, and fish options.
Moreover, Burger King also introduced some new milkshakes on their menu. The company wanted to offer its customers a sweet and refreshing drink to accompany its signature flame-grilled burgers. Initially, the milkshakes were only available in chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry flavors.
Later on, Burger King expanded its milkshake menu to include a variety of new flavors, such as oreo, and chocolate oreo shake. These flavors became popular among people, especially young adults and families, who enjoyed the taste of Burger King’s milkshakes. Know the status of if milkshakes are still offered at Burger King.
Apart from milkshakes, Burger King also developed its dessert menu by adding ice creams, sundaes, and other sweet treats such as Hershey’s sundae pie, and Reese’s peanut butter cup. However, the company faced some challenges in promoting its dessert menu, as burgers were the most popular items on its menu.
Moreover, Burger King’s main competitor, McDonald’s, was already well-known for its milkshakes and desserts, making it difficult for Burger King to gain market share.
To address this challenge, Burger King launched a series of marketing campaigns to promote its dessert menu, highlighting the quality and variety of its products. The company also introduced new desserts, such as the cinnamon toast crunch shake during Christmas time, which became a fan favorite.
Over time, people began to recognize Burger King as not only a place for burgers but also for desserts. The company’s efforts to expand its dessert menu paid off, as it became a profitable addition to its menu offerings.
Moreover, Burger King has regional favorites burgers too such as teriyaki whopper in Japan and the LTO Canadian whopper. These menu offerings were clearly targeting the local taste of the particular country.
Similarly, in Muslim countries like the UAE and Pakistan, Burger King has tried to offer its customers halal meat options. Halal meat is prepared by Islamic dietary laws and is considered permissible for consumption by Muslims. By offering halal meat options, Burger King can cater to the food preferences of its Muslim customers.
To keep the BK menu impressive, Burger King introduced limited-time offers like the windows 7 whopper in Japan, which had seven stacked beef patties. It was a 5 inches tall burger and had over 1,000 calories!
The company not only expanded its halal menu, but it also made a significant switch in its drink supplier in 1990. Burger King switched its soft drink supplier from Pepsi to Coca-Cola. The chain has been selling Coca-Cola in the US, but Pepsi won the contract in 1983.
However, three years later, Burger King returned to Coca-Cola. Along with the switch, it introduced its BK Broiler chicken sandwich, which was popular among health-conscious customers and quickly became a top seller.
The ’90s was a glorious time for Burger King. In the 90s, Burger King signed a deal with Walt Disney for movies like The Lion King, Toy Story, and ten others Disney movies.
This was when Disney was very popular, and Burger King wanted to amp up their advertising move with them.
With these deals, Burger King got a chance to hit the kid’s market easily. They found that about 40% of the market comprised kids. During that time, they also started a new program called the BK kids club for kids.
Burger King Kids Club was a program where children would get perks. The program allowed children to sign up and receive a membership card, a free meal on their birthday, and additional promotional items such as magazines and calendars via mail. It was very successful; over a million kids joined in just two months.
There was again a big shift in gear when Grand Metropolitan merged with Guinness. In 1997, Grand Metropolitan merged with Guinness to form a company called Diageo in a deal worth US$22 million. The merger saved the company from various problems, such as hurricane Andrew’s hit.
Merger Between Grand Metropolitan And Guinness
The newly formed Diageo focused primarily on alcoholic beverages, but it also had this big fast-food chain under its umbrella. It turned out that Burger King wasn’t exactly a great fit for Diageo.
They were more interested in growing their portfolio of alcoholic beverages, which included brands like Johnnie Walker, Smirnoff, and Baileys.
After a few years, Diageo realized that Burger King wasn’t really in line with their core business, so they decided to sell it off. In 2002, they reached a deal to sell Burger King to a group of investors led by the private equity firm TPG Capital.
This move allowed Diageo to focus on its alcoholic beverage business and helped Burger King find a new home with owners who were more invested in the fast-food industry.
By the same time, Burger King headquarters in Florida was impacted by the hurricane In 1992. It incurred damages worth $20 million due to the devastating winds of hurricane Andrew.
The company was in a tough spot due to a natural calamity. The merger was only the option for the company to save itself from shutting down. After the major shift, they again came into a tough competition and this time, the competition tied with Wendy’s which was an emerging fast-food chain in the US market.
Burger King had to close many of their outlets which were not incurring profits. Some of the company’s biggest investors even went bankrupt as they were not able to cope up with the tough competition.
However, the story of the Burger King was still not an end. The chain found another king for the throne and TPG capital came to rescue the brand.
TPG Capital Came Into The Picture
TPG Capital, known as Texas Pacific Group, bought Burger King for US $1.5 billion in 2002. It was one of the largest and most successful private equity firms. The investment group started revitalizing the brand once again.
Soon, they released the IPO of Burger King. The IPO got sold out and generated 425 million dollars in sales. It accounts for one of the largest IPO of a fast-food chain in history.
When Diago was operating, they launched a King supreme burger to compete with McDonald’s big mac. Later, TPG changed the name and introduced an all-new BK stacker sandwich line.
When Burger King launched stackers, many customers protested against these stacker lines. These sandwiches were high in fat and calories. There were questions from everyone, including people with diabetes, ‘can they eat at Burger King?’
To retain the customer’s trust, Burger King revamped their menu and moved towards offering healthy options. They published nutritional value for each menu item to let the customers know what they consume.
Burger King started offering low-carb burgers in 2004. They launched bunless burgers. They experimented with lettuce-wrapped burgers and bunless cheeseburgers.
The popularity of high-protein, low-fat, low-carb food drove them towards launching these bunless burger concepts. However, buns are a crucial ingredient for a hamburger business, so it was a fluke and didn’t go so far.
A King Character Launched
In 2002, Burger King launched a major advertising campaign featuring ‘the King’ character. A man dressed in a plastic Burger King mask and royal robes.
The campaign was meant to be humorous and grab attention. It featured the King character in a variety of situations and settings unexpectedly showing up and promoting BK products.
The campaign was initially successful and grabbed attention, but it was criticized by some as being too weird or creepy. So, Burger King eventually removed the King character from its add and moved to other campaigns.
Burger King Goes Public On New York Stock Exchange
Going public on the New York stock exchange was a major milestone achieved by Burger King. The company went public in 2006 and was listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the stock symbol BKC. Things were going pretty well for a while.
The company was expanding rapidly, opening new stores around the world and introducing new menu items to keep up with changing consumer tastes.
However, by the late 2000s, the global financial crisis was starting to take its toll on the fast-food industry. Burger King’s sales were declining, and investors were becoming increasingly concerned about the company’s long-term prospects.
3G Capital Bought Burger King
In 2010, Burger King was acquired by 3G Capital, a private equity firm, in a deal worth $4 billion. At the time, 3G Capital stated that they planned to take Burger King private and focus on turning the company around.
This meant that Burger King was no longer a publicly traded company, and its stock was delisted from the New York Stock Exchange. For the next two years, Burger King operated as a private company, with 3G Capital working behind the scenes to try to improve its financial performance.
Then, in 2012, Burger King made a surprise announcement – they were planning to go public once again! This time, they would be listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the stock symbol BK. The move was seen as a sign that Burger King was confident in its ability to turn things around and return to growth.
The relisting was a major success, with Burger King’s stock price rising by more than 7% on its first day of trading. Since then, the company has continued to expand its business, introducing new menu items and new marketing campaigns.
In 2012, Burger King launched a campaign to remove 120 artificial ingredients from their menu items. The campaign was created to target the younger crowd. It was a massive move in the fast-food industry.
As part of this campaign, they also launched three celebrity meals featuring famous young celebrities like Lil Huddy, Nelly, and Anitta. Disclose all the details related here.
These celebrity meals were marketed for a younger audience, leading to a significant sales increase for Burger King. Know more about celebrity meals here.
To celebrate the holiday season, Burger King launched unique holiday menu specials. In 2012, the restaurant launched a gingerbread cookie sundae. This sweet treat was made with creamy vanilla soft serve, topped with crumbled gingerbread cookie pieces, and drizzled with a delicious gingerbread sauce.
Then in 2013, Burger King expanded its holiday menu with the addition of the gingerbread cookie shake, followed by the cinnabon minibon rolls.
Fast forward to today, Burger King’s holiday menu remains popular. You can order holiday items and also get exciting holiday deals too. The deals are specifically available during the holiday season for specific days. Burger King runs holiday deals for twelve days.
Every day, they have different deal bundles and offerings to excite customers and have them returning for more. You can know holiday operating hours right here.
Apart from these holiday offerings, Burger King also offers some secret menu items. That’s right! These menu items that are not listed on the regular menu. To name a few, there is suicide burger, Burger King BLT club, ice float, and many other items. All these secret menu items are delectable and appeal to customers.
The BK Menu Got Revamped Again
Under 3G capital, Burger King Revamped their menu and implemented new advertising strategies to promote their offerings. If you look at BK’s menu, they have many options in the low-carb section and low-sodium menu items. For example, Quaker oatmeal, cinnamon rolls, French toast sticks, whopper junior, and hamburgers average 270 mg to 350 mg of sodium.
The easiest way to order low-calorie menu items is not to order any fried food. You can choose small burgers without ketchup or any sauce. Also, you can avoid cheese and enjoy the low-calorie and low-carb fast food at Burger King.
To make a perfect menu, Burger King always did change their menu time by time. Their goal was to remain relevant to the times and their customers.
So, in 2005, they discontinued many burger items such as shroom and swiss steak burgers, Italian chicken burger sandwiches, and chicken parm sandwiches. To know more about such discontinued items at Burger King, click here.
Many meatless menu creations contain wheat gluten, which could be better for those on a gluten-free diet. The popularity of this type of diet has led Burger King to launch gluten-free menu items. You can find most of these burgers in the healthy section.
Burger King has been known for its variety of menu offerings, including options for kids, lunch, dinner, and event catering. In 2008, Burger King introduced a new kids’ meal with various offerings.
Some of the famous menu items from kid’s menu includes kraft macaroni & cheese, BK fresh apple fries with low-fat caramel dipping sauce, and Hershey’s 1 percent low-fat white milk.
This meal provides 350 calories to meet strict nutritional guidelines as part of Burger King’s health and nutrition initiative. The price of the kid’s meal menu starts at $3.49.
As far as the lunch and dinner menu is concerned, both are served at Burger King after breakfast hours. The lunch menu starts serving around 11.00 a.m. To check the recent hours of opening and closing times of Burger King, tap here.
Burger King offers an extensive lunch menu. It includes burgers, burritos, chicken fries, Oreo pies, and other chicken sandwiches. To know the complete lunch menu, browse here.
As Burger King grew and expanded, the company offered new menus to entice its customers. In recent years, the restaurant has included adding a catering menu, which allows customers to order large quantities of Burger King food for events and gatherings.
Most of what is served on a regular menu can be catered to, whether it’s a famous whopper burger or a double cheeseburger.
In 2013, Burger King launched another low-calorie menu item called Satisfries. The menu item was a substitute to their traditional fries which contained 40% less fat and 30% less calories. They achieved this by frying the chips in less porous batter. So, they would absorb less oil.
Eventually, the fries failed to impress customers because they were not as tasty as traditional fries and also they were priced higher. But customers weren’t ready to pay because of the price point of view. So, after a year, they discontinued the fries.
Burger King And Tim Hortons Join Forces
In 2014, Miami-based Burger King announced an $11 billion merger agreement with Tim Hortons. It’s a famous Canadian restaurant and coffee shop chain. They formed a new company, restaurant brands international incorporation.
The merger between Burger King and Tim Hortons was largely motivated by tax considerations. This move allowed the company to take advantage of Canada’s lower corporate tax rate, which was about 26.5% at the time, compared to the United States’ corporate tax rate of 35%.
In this case, Burger King merged with the Canadian brand Tim Hortons to create a new holding company, called Restaurant Brands International.
While tax savings was a significant factor in the decision to merge, the companies also cited other reasons for the merger, such as the opportunity to expand Burger King’s respective brands globally.
The deal became quite successful for the brand. After the merger, the sales grew exponentially, placing Burger King second after McDonald’s. Later on, Burger King expanded their drinks menu as well. They added five types of milkshakes to their menu.
Moreover, they also introduced an extensive line of specialty drinks, including coffee drinks, fruit smoothies, and milkshakes, to compete with McDonald’s McCafe.
Soon after launching drinks offerings, Burger King surprised the public with a crown card. Members get a special card that guarantees them a free meal at any Burger King restaurant for their whole life! This means the membership lasts a lifetime.
But did you know that it’s an exclusive card and hard to get? Currently, it is with only 12 known celebrity members. Some of them are Jennifer Hudson, Greg Garcia, and Robert Downery Jr. These celebrities got their crown cards and could enjoy a free meal anytime. To know if you can get a crown card, click here.
In 2009, Burger King launched the BK whopper bar. Their unique and fancy fast food concept is competing with casual dining restaurants. The whopper bar is similar to McDonald’s McCafé and can be found at malls, airports, and other small spaces.
During their commencement at the bar, they also proposed to launch beers. But the management denied the idea and said customers would need clarification. It’s a fast food chain and not an alcohol seller.
The 2009 time was all about the internet era. Most of the businesses went digital. Burger King is no exception. The chain introduced a mobile app for online ordering. To prompt customers to download their app, they started a new ad campaign.
It said, “every home can be a home of whoppers.” It aims at people using smartphones by inspiring them to order online from BK’s app without leaving their homes. The Burger King app’s delivery makes it easy to get delivery faster.
Your favorite Burger King also supports EBT card payments. It is also known as food stamps, running under the RPM program led by the government.
The card is provided to low-income family groups to provide them with meals at participating restaurants. At Burger King, you can use an EBT card as a payment method. Check which states accept EBT card payment here.
BK Launched First-Ever Plant Based Impossible Burger
Nowadays, many customers have become aware of the plant-based diet. The burgers are not an exceptional item that cannot be included in a plant-based diet. It can be completely vegan and will suit those who want to cut down on meat products or follow a vegan lifestyle.
For the first time, Burger King added the plant-based impossible burger to its menu in 2019. The impossible whopper quickly became a fan favorite, and it can be ordered vegan without mayonnaise. Since then, Burger King has expanded its vegan menu globally and introduced it to many countries.
For those following a low-carb, high-fat diet, Burger King offers a variety of keto menu items. That’s right! Suppose you are on the road and with no ketogenic food in sight. Go to the nearby Burger King and manage your keto diet.
Although, you have to make certain modifications to your meals and let go of the high-carbs items such as buns and French fries.
Burger King offers an allergen menu as well. It has taken utmost care regarding allergic food and mentions all the information on its website under “BK Care.”
They have listed the ingredients in their menu items that may cause allergic reactions. The allergens included on this menu are milk, egg, soy, wheat, tree nut, peanut, fish, and sesame.
The information about allergens that any menu item contains are clearly stated on their website. This makes it easy for customers to choose what they can eat with specific food allergies.
For example, the whopper sandwich contains wheat, soy, and sesame out of 9 allergen ingredients, while the plant-based burger is free from milk, egg, fish, and shellfish allergens. This makes people choose their burgers wisely.
Burger King During COVID-19 Phase
The COVID-19 pandemic significantly impacted the US economy, making many people struggle to make ends meet. The year 2020 was full of unexpected events, specifically lockdowns. Burger King outlets in England needed to be more restrained from fulfilling the order at their outlets.
So, they tweeted and told customers to order from McDonald’s. It was a bold move by Burger King to ask to help out the competition.
One other thing happened during the pandemic at Burger King. All the outlets became smarter by adding self-service machines where you can place the order.
Today, you won’t find those huge computer screens to place your orders. With that, BK leveled up their outlets in terms of customer service as well.
The year of pandemic was also the year of new ways to market the brand to be in the competition. Therefore, Burger King launched the ‘whopper detour’ campaign. This campaign used geolocation technology to encourage customers to download the Burger King app and visit McDonald’s locations.
By doing so, customers could unlock a deal for a one-cent whopper at a Burger King location nearby. The campaign was a massive success, with Burger King’s app downloads increasing by 37% and sales increasing by 18%.
Due to the campaign, their app users increased. Today they have over nine million users who are using the BK’s app. After the promotion, Burger King continued to sell twice.
Burger King also capitalized on the popularity of the hit TV series “Stranger Things” by launching the ‘upside down whopper’ campaign. This campaign offered a limited-time Whopper that was served upside down, just like the world in the show. The campaign generated a lot of excitement among fans of the show and helped to boost sales for Burger King.
The same year, Burger King also announced a value menu to provide relief. Yep, you heard that right!
The menu included favorite items like bacon cheeseburgers, chicken jr. sandwiches, fries, and soft drinks for just one dollar! It was a successful deal at Burger King, giving them many new customers. This deal is still present to date.
Chewboom reported that Burger King recently launched a 5-dollar menu. They offer whopper jr, chicken jr., or bacon cheeseburgers paired with chicken nuggets, small fries, and small drinks.
Regarding BK’s other top deals, did you know that Burger King has a fantastic customer rewards program called royal perks? It launched in 2021, packed with over 70 redeemable menu items, great promos, and generous offers. After knowing about the reward program, you can also check out current deals at Burger King.
Burger King got huge success on their dollar menu and they were astonished by the response of their customers. Customers also started exploring ways to save their money at Burger King. So, they found a few hacks and shared them on the internet.
Moreover, for app users, BK offers weekly free French fries. They also provide many other deals and promotions on their app for exclusive members. These app deals keep the customers engaged with the brand.
You will be surprised to know that your fast-food chain Burger King celebrates national cheeseburger day. The brand values America’s love for the burger and to celebrate this day, they thought there is nothing better than offering a free cheeseburger.
Recently, Burger King introduced a national day deal in which they offered a free cheeseburger on the purchase of $1 through BK’s app or website.
Apart from this, Burger King leveraged upon their breakfast deals too. The chain understands that Americans are so fond of their breakfast. So, they started offering many breakfast deals to inspire customers to go to BK during breakfast hours.
BK Continued Expanding
Today, Burger King has come a long way. Today, Burger King has more than 18,000 outlets in more than 100 countries.
Burger King has been around for over 60 years, and it has evolved with time to cater to the changing needs and preferences of its customers.
One of the secrets to its success is its focus on providing high-quality food at affordable prices. They’ve managed to create a loyal customer base by consistently delivering delicious food that’s value for money.
Burger King’s journey to success has been a result of numerous dedicated efforts that have transformed the brand over the years. One of the key factors that have contributed to Burger King’s success is the diversity of its menu offerings.
The other factor is their strategic marketing campaigns and those wittiest advertising moves. They have always focused on improvement and offering attractive deals to keep the customers excited for the brand.
Burger King’s history is a fascinating story of perseverance and evolution. From its beginnings in Florida to changing ownership and expansion of the chain, Burger King has come a long way. We’ve discussed how the company got inspired to start its journey through the years.
Nowadays, Burger King continues serving some of the best fast-food menu items. You can try their classic whopper, chicken sandwiches, and crispy fries, as well as their holiday menu, kids menu, and vegan and healthy options.
Today, many Burger King locations operate 24 hours a day, providing customers with a quick and convenient dining option around the clock. However, some areas may have limited hours due to local regulations or staffing constraints. To check which locations of Burger King are open 24 hours, click here.
While Burger King has faced criticism and ownership problems, it has become a fast food king. Today, people call Burger King their favorite spot to hang out with friends.
Some of their menu items have become so popular that people want to replicate them at home. We’ve even covered many Burger King copycat recipes you can try!
As we look into the future, Burger King will continue to grow and thrive with its unique advertising campaigns and exciting menu offerings.
I hope you enjoyed the complete history of Burger King. Tell me in the comments what you found so fascinating in BK’s history. Thank you for stopping by.