Burger King, the globally recognized fast-food chain, has a rich history behind its name. As one of the most successful brands in fast-food history, Burger King has become synonymous with flame-grilled burgers and quick, convenient meals. But have you ever wondered why it is called Burger King?
Burger King was initially named “Insta-Burger King” after an oven called the “Insta-Broiler” used in the restaurants. When the company faced financial difficulties, two franchisees, James McLamore and David Edgerton, bought the company and dropped the “Insta” part of the name, rebranding it as “Burger King” in 1959. The name reflects the brand’s focus on burgers and suggests superiority in the burger market.
The Birth of Insta-Burger King
The story begins in 1953 when Keith J. Kramer and his wife’s uncle, Matthew Burns, founded a restaurant in Jacksonville, Florida, known as Insta-Burger King. Inspired by the original McDonald’s restaurant in San Bernardino, California, Kramer and Burns opened their first stores using “Insta-machines” and an oven known as the “Insta-Broiler”.
The name “Insta-Burger King” was derived from this innovative piece of equipment, which was highly effective at cooking burgers. However, the company soon ran into financial difficulties.
The Transition to Burger King
In 1954, James McLamore and David Edgerton, two Miami-based franchisees, purchased a franchise in Miami, Florida. When Insta-Burger King faced financial troubles in 1959, McLamore and Edgerton took the opportunity to buy the entire company.
In the process of restructuring the company, the duo replaced the malfunctioning Insta-Broilers with flame broilers. As a result, the “Insta” part of the name was dropped and the company was renamed “Burger King”. The new name was registered as a state trademark in Illinois in 1959.
The Impact of the Name “Burger King”
The name “Burger King” reflects the brand’s identity and offerings by emphasizing its focus on hamburgers. The “King” part of the name suggests a sense of authority and superiority in the burger market, reinforcing the brand’s commitment to providing high-quality, delicious hamburgers.
The Burger King logo, featuring the brand name sandwiched between two bun halves, visually represents the company’s focus on hamburgers and strengthens its identity. The brand’s mascot, The Burger King, has been used in various advertising campaigns to create a playful and memorable image for the company.
The Evolution of the Burger King Brand
Over the years, Burger King has undergone significant evolution. The company introduced its signature sandwich, the Whopper, in 1957 and expanded internationally in 1963 by opening a store in Puerto Rico.
The Burger King logo has also gone through several changes, with the most recent one introduced in 1998. In 2021, the company underwent its first rebrand in 20 years, focusing on the restaurant’s food and its past. The comprehensive redesign included the creation of a retro logo that closely resembles the logo used by the brand in the 1970s, 80s, and 90s.
Burger King’s Influence on the Fast-Food Industry
Despite its smaller market share compared to some competitors, Burger King’s influence on the fast-food industry is undeniable. The company operates in nearly 100 countries, with about 14,000 stores worldwide. The name “Burger King” has become a symbol of innovation and adaptation in the fast-food industry.
The name “Burger King” has a rich history and a significant impact on the fast-food industry. From its humble beginnings as Insta-Burger King to its current status as one of the leading fast-food chains in the world, the company’s journey is a testament to its resilience and commitment to serving high-quality, delicious hamburgers. Whether you’re a fan of the Whopper or enjoy the company’s creative advertising campaigns, there’s no denying the power and influence of the Burger King brand.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who are the current owners of Burger King?
Burger King is currently owned by Restaurant Brands International, a Canadian multinational fast food holding company formed in 2014 by the $12.5 billion merger with American fast food chain Burger King and Canadian coffee shop and restaurant chain Tim Hortons.
When was the Whopper first introduced?
The Whopper was first introduced in 1957, four years after the establishment of Burger King.
How many countries is Burger King present in?
As of 2020, Burger King operates in nearly 100 countries.
What is the significance of the “King” in Burger King?
The “King” in Burger King symbolizes authority and supremacy in the burger market, aiming to highlight the brand’s commitment to quality and delicious hamburgers.
What was the main reason for the rebranding in 2021?
The primary reason for the rebranding in 2021 was to focus on the restaurant’s food and its history. The comprehensive redesign included the creation of a retro logo resembling the logo used by the brand in the 1970s, 80s, and 90s.