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Burger King ( ), often abbreviated as BK, is a global chain of hamburger fast food restaurants headquartered in unincorporated Miami-Dade Countymarker, Floridamarker, United Statesmarker. The first restaurant was opened in Miami, Floridamarker in 1954 by James McLamore and David Edgerton, and has since used several variations of franchising to expand its operations. Burger King Holdings Corporation is the parent company of Burger King; in the United States it operates under the Burger King Brands title while internationally it operates under the Burger King Corporation banner. It is a publicly traded company with investment firms of TPG Capital, Bain Capital and Goldman Sachs Capital Partners each owning about 25% of the company.

At the end of its fiscal year 2008, Burger King reported that there are more than 11,550 outlets in 71 countries; 66% are in the United States and 90% are privately owned and operated. The company has more than 37,000 employees serving approximately 11.4 million customers daily. In North America, franchises are licensed on a per store basis, while in several international locations licenses are sold on a regional basis with franchises owning exclusive development rights for the region or country. These regional franchises are known as master franchises, and are responsible for opening new restaurants, licensing new third party operators, and performing standards oversight of all restaurant locations in these countries; The largest example of a master franchise is Hungry Jack's, which exclusively owns, operates or sub-licenses over 300 restaurants in Australia.

The Burger King menu has evolved from a basic offering of burgers, fries, sodas and milkshakes in 1954 to a larger, more diverse set of offerings that includes several variations of chicken, fish, salads and breakfast. The Whopper, a sandwich that has since become Burger King's signature product, was the first major addition to the menu by Mr. McLamore in 1957. Not all introductions have had the success of the Whopper; BK has introduced many products which failed to catch hold in the marketplace. Some products that have failed in the US have seen success in foreign markets, where BK has also tailored its menu for regional tastes.

The company's "Golden Age" of advertising was during the 1970s when it introduced its mascot the Magical Burger King, a memorable jingle, and several well known and parodied slogans. Beginning in the early 1980s, its advertising began to lose focus; a series of less successful ad campaigns created by various agencies continued for the next two decades. In 2003, Burger King set about resuscitating its moribund advertising with the hiring of the Miami-based advertising agency of Crispin Porter + Bogusky (CP+B). They completely reorganized Burger King's advertising with a series of new advertisements centered on a resuscitated Magical Burger King character.

Corporate profile

History

InstaBurger King

The predecessor to what is now called Burger King was founded in 1953 in Jacksonville, Floridamarker as Insta-Burger King. The original founders and owners, Kieth J. Kramer and his wife's uncle Matthew Burns, opened their first stores around a piece of equipment known as the Insta-Broiler. The Insta-Broiler oven proved so successful at cooking burgers, they required all of their franchises to carry the device.

The rights to open stores in Miami, Floridamarker belonged to two businessmen named James McLamore and David R. Edgerton, both alumni of the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration. McLamore visited the original McDonald's hamburger stand belonging to Dick and Mac McDonald in San Bernardino, Californiamarker; sensing potential in their innovative assembly line-based production system, he decided to open a similar operation of his own. Their first Insta-Burger King's opened on December 4, 1954 in a suburb of Miami, Floridamarker, and by 1959 McLamore and Edgarton were operating several locations within the Miami-Dade area and growing at a fast clip when they decided to replace the Insta-Broiler with a mechanized gas grill they called a flame broiler.

Even though the company had rapidly expanded throughout the state until its operations totaled more than 40 locations in 1955, the original Insta-Burger King ran into financial difficulties and the pair of McLamore and Edgarton purchased the national rights to the chain and rechristened the company as Burger King of Miami. The company eventually became known as Burger King Corporation and began selling territorial franchise licenses to private owners across the US by 1961.

Pillsbury Company

In 1967, after eight years of private operation, the Pillsbury Company acquired Burger King and its parent company Burger King Corporation. At the time of the purchase, BK had grown to 274 restaurants in the United States. Even though Pillsbury owned and operated the company, BK was still the object of a series of failed and successful acquisitions and divestitures. In 1973, Chart House, owner of 350 BK restaurants at the time and one of BK's largest franchise groups, attempted to purchase the chain from Pillsbury for $100 million (USD). When Chart House's bid failed, its owners, Billy and Jimmy Trotter, suggested that Pillsbury and Chart House spin off their respective Burger King holdings and merge the two entities into a separate company, an offer Pillsbury also declined. After the failed attempts to acquire BK, the relationship with Chart House and the Trotters began to sour; in 1979 BK successfully sued Chart House for improperly acquiring locations in Boston and Houston. In 1984, Pillsbury purchased Chart House's successor DiversiFoods for $390 million (USD) after a separate, independent $525 million DiversiFoods management-backed leveraged buy-out of the company failed.

Grand Metropolitan

BK, and former corporate siblings, Bennigan's, Steak and Ale, Godfather's Pizza (part of the DiversiFoods acquisition), Quik Wok and Häagen-Dazs ice cream shops, remained under the Pillsbury corporate umbrella until Pillsbury divested its restaurant holdings in 1989 and sold Burger King to British alcoholic beverage manufacturer and distributor Grand Metropolitan PLC. In 1989, under the ownership of Grand Met, Burger King acquired many locations of its major UK rival Wimpy when the parent company bought the Wimpy's brand from its previous owner United Biscuits and re-branded them as Burger King, giving it an even greater presence in that country. While other "Wimpy" locations are still in operation presently, they are now independent from BK and no longer have the presence they once did. In 1997, Grand Metropolitan merged with Guinness to form a company called Diageo. Diageo maintained ownership of BKC until 2001 when Diageo decided to focus solely on their beverage products and divest itself of the chain.

By the time of the sale, Burger King's revenues and market share had declined significantly, and the company had fallen to a near tie for second place with rival Wendy's in the US market for hamburger chain restaurants. For many years leading into the early 2000s Burger King and its various owners plus many of its larger franchises closed many under-performing stores. Several of its largest franchises entered bankruptcy due to the issues surrounding the performance of the brand.

New Owners: TPG Capital and Others

In 2002, a troika of private equity firms led by TPG Capital, L.P with associates Bain Capital and Goldman Sachs Capital Partners agreed to purchase BK from Diageo for $1.5 billion (USD), with the sale becoming complete in December of that year. The new owners, through several new CEOs, have moved to revitalize and reorganize the company, the first major move was to re-name the BK parent as Burger King Brands. The investment group initially planned to take BK public within the two years of the acquisition, this was delayed until 2006. On February 1, 2006, CEO Greg Brenneman announced TPG's plans to turn Burger King into a publicly traded company by issuing an Initial Public Offering (IPO).

On February 16, the company announced it had filed its registration for the IPO with the Securities and Exchange Commission. On May 18, 2006, Burger King began trading on the New York Stock Exchangemarker under the ticker symbol BKC and generated $425 million in revenue, the largest IPO of a US-based restaurant chain on record.

International expansion

While BK began its foray in to locations outside of the continental United States in 1963 with a store in San Juan, Puerto Ricomarker, it did not have a large international presence. This situation changed shortly after the acquisition when Pillsbury opened its first international restaurant in Canada in 1969. Other international locations followed soon after: Oceania in 1971 with Hungry Jack's and in Europe in 1975 with a restaurant in Madrid, Spainmarker. Beginning in 1982, BK and its franchisees began operating stores in several East Asian countries, including Japan, Taiwanmarker, Singaporemarker and South Korea. Due to high competition, all of the Japanese locations closed by the end of 2001. BK reentered the Japanese market in mid-2007. BK's Central and South American operations began in Mexico in the late 1970s. While Burger King lags behind McDonald's in international locations by over 12,000 stores, it has managed to become the largest chain in several countries including Mexico and Spain. To assist in its international expansion, Burger King has established several subsidiaries to develop strategic partnerships and alliances to expand into new territories; in Europe, Burger King's subsidiary Burger King Europe GmbH is responsible for the licensing and development of BK franchises in the that market, Africa and Western Asia. In Asia, the BK AsiaPac, PTE. Ltd. business unit handles franchising for East Asia, the Asian subcontinent and all Oceanic territories except Australia.

Over the ten year period starting in 2008, Burger King predicted 80% of its market share would be driven by foreign expansion, particularly in the Asia-Pacific and Indian subcontinent regional markets. While the TPG-lead group has continued BK's international expansion by announcing plans to open new franchise locations in Eastern Europe, Africa and the Middle East, and Brazil, the company plans to focus on the three largest markets, India, China and Japan. The company plans to add over 250 stores in these Asian territories, as well as other countries such as Macaumarker, by the end of 2012. Its expansion into the Indian market has the company at a competitive disadvantage with other fast food restaurants such as KFC because the country's large Hindu majority's aversion to beef. BK hopes to use their recent non-beef products, such as their TenderCrisp and TenderGrill sandwiches, as well as other products to help them overcome this hurdle to expand in that country.

At the end of its fiscal 2008 year, Burger King is the second largest chain of hamburger fast food restaurants in the world behind industry bellwether McDonald's (31,000 locations) and the fourth largest fast food restaurant chain overall after Yum! Brands (34,000 locations), McDonald's and Subway (28,400 locations).

Key dates

Key dates include:

  • 1954: James McLamore and David Edgerton establish Burger King Corporation.
  • 1957: The Whopper is launched.
  • 1958: BK releases its first TV advertisement.
  • 1959: The company begins to expand through franchising.
  • 1967: Burger King is sold to Pillsbury.
  • 1977: Donald N. Smith is hired to restructure the firm's franchise system.
  • 1981: Norman E. Brinker is made head of Pillsbury's restaurant division, including Burger King.
  • 1982: Burger King claims its burgers taste better than its competition's (McDonald's and Wendy's) fried burgers.
  • 1989: Grand Metropolitan plc acquires Pillsbury.
  • 1997: The firm launches a $70 million French fry advertising campaign; Grand Metropolitan merges with Guinness to form Diageo plc.
  • 2000: Diaego investigates a possible IPO or sale of the company
  • 2001: A North American franchise group seeks to purchase the company
  • 2002: A group of investors led by Texas Pacific Group acquire Burger King.
  • 2006: BKC, with the same stock symbol, goes public in an IPO.


Industry innovations

  • In the early 1970s, Burger King was the first fast-food restaurant to offer an enclosed and air-conditioned seating area across its all of its locations.


Franchises

When Burger King Corporation began franchising in 1959, it relied on a regional franchising model where franchisees would purchase the right to open stores within a defined geographic region. These franchise agreements granted BKC very little oversight control over its franchisees and resulted in issues of product quality control, store image and design and operations procedures.

This model remained in place until 1978 when the company hired McDonald's executive Donald N. Smith to help revamp the company. Smith initiated a restructuring of all future franchising agreements, disallowing new owners from living more than one hour from their restaurants, preventing corporations from owning franchises and prohibiting franchisees from operating other chains. This new policy effectively limited the size of franchisees and prevented larger franchises from challenging Burger King Corporation as Chart House had. Smith also sought to have BKC be the primary owner of new locations and rent or lease the restaurants to its franchises. This policy would allow the company to take over the operations of failing stores or evict those owners who would not conform to the company guidelines and policies. However, by 1988 BKC parent Pillsbury had relaxed many of Smith's changes, scaled back on construction of new locations and stalling growth. Neglect of Burger King by new owner Grand Met, and its successor Diageo, further hurt the standing of the brand, causing yet more financial damage to BK franchises.

By 2001 and nearly eighteen years of stagnant growth, many of its franchises were in some sort of financial distress. The lack of growth severely impacted BKC's largest franchise, the nearly 400 store AmeriKing; by 2001 the company, which until this point had been struggling under a nearly $300 million debt load and been shedding store across the US, was forced to enter Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The failure of AmeriKing deeply affected the value of the BKC, and put negotiations between Diaego and the TPC Capital-lead group on hold. The developments eventually forced Diaego to lower the total selling price of BKC by almost three quarters of a billion dollars. After the sale, newly appointed CEO Bradley Blum initiated a program to help the roughly 20% of its franchises, including its four largest, who were in financial distress, bankruptcy or had ceased operations altogether. Partnering with the California-based Trinity Capital, LLC, the company established the Franchisee Financial Restructuring Initiative, a program to address the financial issues facing BK's financially distressed franchisees. The initiative was designed to assist franchisees in restructuring their businesses in order to meet financial obligations, focus on restaurant operational excellence, reinvest in their operations and return to profitability.

Individual owners also took advantage of the AmeriKing failure; one of BK's regional owners, Miami-based Al Cabrera, purchased 130 stores located primarily in the Chicago and the upper mid-west region, from the failed company for a bargain basement price of $16 million, or approximately 88% of their original value. The new company, which started out as Core Value Partners and eventually became Heartland Foods, also purchased 120 additional stores from distressed owners and completely revamped them. The resulting purchases made Mr. Cabrerra BKB's largest minority franchisee and Heartland one of BKH's top franchises. By 2006, the company was valued at over $150 million, and was sold to New York–based GSO Capital Partners. Other purchasers included a three way group of NFL athletes Kevin Faulk, Marcus Allen and Michael Strahan who collectively purchased 17 stores in the cities of Norfolkmarker and Richmond, Virginiamarker; and Cincinnatimarker-based franchisee Dave Devoy, who purchased 32 AmeriKing stores. After investing in new decor, equipment and staff retraining, many of the formerly failing stores have shown growth upwards of 20%.

Legal issues

Burger King has been involved in several legal disputes and cases, as both plaintiff and defendant, in the years since its founding in 1954. Situations involving these many legal topics have affected almost every aspect of the company's operations. Depending on the ownership and executive staff at the time of these incidents, the company's responses to these challenges have ranged from a conciliatory dialog with its critics and litigants to a more aggressive opposition with questionable tactics and negative consequences. The company's response to these various issues has drawn praise, scorn, and accusations of political appeasement from different parties over the years.

Controversies and disputes with groups such as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) over the welfare of animals, governmental and social agencies over health issues and compliance with nutritional labeling laws, and unions and trade groups over labor relations and laws. These situations have touched on legal and moral concepts such as animal rights, corporate responsibility, ethics, and social justice. While the majority of the disputes did not result in lawsuits, in many of the cases the situations raised legal questions, dealt with legal compliance, or resulted in legal remedies such as changes in contractual procedure or binding agreements between parties. The resolutions to these legal matters have often altered the way the company interacts and negotiates contracts with its suppliers and franchisees or how it does business with the public.

Further controversies have occurred during the company's expansion in the Middle East. The opening of a Burger King location in the Israeli-occupied territories lead to a breach of contract dispute between Burger King and its Israeli franchise; the dispute eventually erupted into a geopolitical conflagration involving Muslim and Jewish groups on multiple continents over the application of and adherence to international law. The case eventually elicited reactions from the members of the 22-nation Arab League; the Islamic countries within the League made a joint threat to the company of legal sanctions including the revocation of Burger King's business licenses within the member states' territories. A related issue involving members of the Islamic faith over the interpretation of the Muslim version of canon law, Shariah, regarding the promotional artwork on a dessert package in the United Kingdom raised issues of cultural sensitivity, and, with the former example, posed a larger question about the lengths that companies must go to insure the smooth operation of their businesses in the communities they serve.

A trademark dispute involving the owners of the identically named Burger King in Mattoon, Illinoismarker led to a federal lawsuit; the case's outcome helped define the scope of the Lanham act and trademark law in the United States. An existing trademark held by a shop of the same name in South Australiamarker forced the company to change its name in Australia, while another state trademark in Texas forced the company to abandon its signature product, the Whopper, in several counties around San Antonio. Legal decisions from other suits have set contractual law precedents in regards to long-arm statutes, the limitations of franchise agreements, and ethical business practices; many of these decisions have helped define general business dealings that continue to shape the entire marketplace.

Charitable contributions and services

Burger King has two of its own in-house national charitable organizations and programs. One is the Have It Your Way Foundation, a U.S.-based non-profit, 501 corporation with multiple focuses on hunger alleviation, disease prevention and community education through scholarship programs at colleges in the US. The other charitable organization is the McLamore Foundation, also a non-profit, 501(c)(3) corporation that provides scholarships to students in the US and its territories. Additionally, there is an optional literacy program that partners individual restaurants with community schools in the US.

In various regions across the United States, Burger King and its franchises have aligned themselves with several charitable organizations that support research and treatment of juvenile cancer. Each year these coalitions hold a fund raising drive called A Chance for Kids, in which Burger King restaurants sell lottery-style scratch cards for $1. Each card produces a winning prize that is usually a food or beverage product, but includes (rarer) items such as shopping sprees or trips. In the Northeast, BK has affiliated itself with the Major League Baseball team the Boston Red Sox and its charitable foundation, the Jimmy Fund. The group runs the contest in Bostonmarker. In the New York city area it operates the contest in association with the Burger King Children's Charities of Metro New York and the New York Yankees. Funds raised in these areas go to support the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute located in Boston. In Nebraska, the company is affiliated with the Liz's Legacy Cancer Fund BK Beat Cancer for Kids program at the UNMC Eppley Cancer Center at the University of Nebraska Medical Centermarker in Omahamarker. In the Pittsburghmarker region it funded the establishment of the Burger King Cancer Caring Center, a support organization for the families and friends of cancer patients.

Products

When the company began, its menu consisted predominantly of hamburgers, French fries, soft drinks, and desserts. In 1957, BK added its signature item, the Whopper. This quarter pound hamburger was created by Burger King founders James McLamore and David Edgerton as a way to differentiate BK from other burger outlets at the time. The sandwich became famous enough that BK eventually adopted the motto "Home of the Whopper".

One of Donald N. Smith's first changes to the menu was the addition of the Burger King Specialty sandwich line in 1979, which significantly expanded the breadth of the BK menu with many non-hamburger sandwiches including new chicken and fish offerings. The new specialty sandwich line was one of the first attempts to target a specific demographic, in this case adults 18-34, members of which would be willing to spend more on a higher quality product. One of Smith's other significant contribution to the menu was the addition of a breakfast product line, which until this time was not a market Burger King had entered. Besides the addition of the Croissan'Wich in 1983, the breakfast menu remained almost identical to the McDonald's offerings until a menu revamp in 1985. This expansion introduced BK's Am Express product line which added new products such as French toast sticks and Mini-muffins.

As the company expanded both inside and outside the US, it introduced localized versions of its products that conform to regional tastes and cultural or religious beliefs. International variations add ingredients such as teriyaki or beetroot and fried egg to the Whopper, beer in Germany, Italy and Spain, and halal or kosher products in the middle East and Israel. To generate additional sales, BK will occasionally introduce limited time offers (LTOs) that are versions of its core products or new products intended for either long or short term sales. Items such as the Texas Double Whopper and various sandwiches made with mushrooms and Swiss cheese have been rotated in and out of its menu for several years while products such as its 1993 offering, a Meatloaf Specialty Sandwich and limited table service along with special dinner platters, failed to generate interest and were discontinued.



In order to appeal to as many demographic groups as possible and better compete with its fast food restaurant competitor Wendy's, Burger King added a multi-tiered value menu in 1993 with items priced at 99¢, $1.99 and $2.99 (USD). The project, called Operation Phoenix, was an attempt to add not only a value menu but a line of value meals. The tiered menu was replaced with a more standard value menu in 1998, while the value meals were separated into their own menu segment. This value menu featured seven products: Whopper Jr., 5 piece Chicken Tenders, a bacon cheeseburger, medium sized french fries, medium soft drink, medium onion rings and small shake. In 2002 and 2006, BK revamped its value menu adding and removing several different products such as chili and its Rodeo Cheeseburger. Many of these items have since been discontinued, modified or relegated to a regional menu option. To better appeal to a more adult palate and demographic, BK introduced several new products to its menu in 2003, including several new or revamped chicken products, a new salad line and its BK Joe brand of coffee. Some of the new products, including its Enormous Omelet Sandwich line and the BK Stacker line, brought negative attention due the large portion size, amounts of unhealthy fats and trans-fats. Many of these products feature higher quality ingredients like whole chicken breast, Angus beef, natural cheeses such as cheddar and pepper jack. Again, not all these products, such as the BK Baguette line, have met corporate sales expectations.

Advertising

Burger King has employed varied advertising programs, both successful and unsuccessful, since its foundation in 1954. During the 1970s, output included a memorable jingle, the inspiration for its current mascot the Burger King and several well known and parodied slogans such as Have it your way and It takes two hands to handle a Whopper. Burger King introduced the first attack ad in the fast food industry with the help of then unknown Sarah Michelle Gellar in 1981. The television spot, which claimed BK burgers were larger than competitor McDonald's, so enraged executives at McDonald's parent company, they sued all parties involved. Starting in the early 1980s and running through approximately 2001, BK engaged a series of ad agencies that produced many unsuccessful slogans and programs, including its biggest advertising flop Where's Herb?.

Burger King was a pioneer in the advertising practice known as the product tie-in with a successful partnering with George Lucas' Lucasfilm, Ltd. to promote the 1977 film Star Wars (later renamed Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope) in which BK sold a set of glasses featuring the main characters from the film. This promotion was one of the first in the fast food industry and set the pattern that continues to the present. BK's early success in the field was overshadowed by a 1982 deal between McDonald's and the Walt Disney Company to promote Disney's animated films beginning in the mid 1980s and running through the early 1990s. In 1994 Disney switched from McDonald's to Burger King, signing a ten film promotional contract which would include such top ten films as Aladdin (1992), Beauty and the Beast (1991), The Lion King (1994) and Toy Story (1995). A partnership in association with the Pokémon franchise at the height of its popularity in 1999 was one of the most successful in the industry, rivaled only by McDonald's/Ty Beanie Babies cross-promotion in 1999–2000.

Shortly after the acquisition of Burger King by TPG Capital, L.P. in 2002, its newly hired CEO Bradley Blum set about turning around fortunes of the company by initiating an overhaul its flailing advertising programs. One of the first moves by the company was to reinstate its famous Have it your way slogan as the corporate motto. BK handed the effort off to its new advertising agency, Miami-based Crispin Porter + Bogusky (abbreviated as CP+B). CP+B was known for having a hip, subversive tack when creating campaigns for its clients, exactly what BK was looking for. One of CP+B strategies was to revive the Burger King character used during BKs 1970s/1980s Burger King Kingdom children's advertising campaign as a caricatured variation now simply called "the King". The farcical nature of the Burger King centered advertisements inspired an internet meme where the King is photoshopped into unusual situations that are either comical or menacing, many times followed with the phrase Where is your God now?.

Additionally, CP+B created a series new characters like the Subservient Chicken and the faux nu metal band Coq Roq featured in a series of viral web-based advertisements on sites such as MySpace and various BK corporate pages to compliment the various television and print promotional campaigns. One of the more unique promotions that CP+B devised was the creation of a series of three advergames for the Xbox 360. Featuring company celebrity spokesman Brooke Burke, the games sold more than 2 million copies, placing them as one of the top selling games along with another Xbox 360 hit, Gears of War. These innovative ad campaigns, coupled with other new promotions and a series of new product introductions, drew considerable positive and negative attention to BK and helped TPG and its partners realize about $367 million in dividends.

Headquarters

Burger King is headquartered in a nine-story office tower by Miami International Airportmarker. Elaine Walker of the Miami Herald stated that the headquarters has a "Burger King" sign that drivers on Florida State Road 836 "can't miss." In addition the chain planned to build a neon sign on the roof to advertise the brand to passengers landing at the airport. 130 employees began working at the Burger King headquarters on Monday July 8, 2002, with the remainder to move in phrases in August 2002. Prior to the moving to its current headquarters in 2002, Burger King had considered moving away from the Miami area; Miami-Dade County politicians and leaders lobbied against this, and Burger King stayed in the area.

The company's previous headquarters were in a southern Dade County campus described by Walker as "sprawling" and "virtually hidden away." The former headquarters were located in the Cutlermarker census-designated place; since then the area incorporated into the Village of Palmetto Baymarker. The former Burger King headquarters as of 2007 houses rental offices for several companies.

By 2006 Burger King had announced that it planned to move its headquarters to a proposed office building in Coral Gablesmarker. By 2007 Burger King instead renewed the lease in its existing headquarters for 15 years. Burger King planned to consolidate employees working at an area near Miami International Airport and at a Dadeland Mallmarker-area facility into the current headquarters by June of that year. Instead Bacardi USA leased the headquarter complex, a 15-story building.

Logos

Evolution of the company logo

Image:Original BK Logo.png|Original Burger King text logo from 1958Image:Sitting king logo.png|Vintage Burger King "sitting king" logo (1957–1960)Image:Sitting king.png|Alternate version of the Sitting King logo used until 1968Image:Original Burger King logo.png|Original "bun halves" logo (1969–May 31, 1994)Image:Burger king logo 2.png|Revised "bun halves" logo (June 1, 1994–July 31, 1999)Image:Burger King Logo.svg|Current "blue crescent" logo (August 1, 1999–present)

The first logo that Burger King used is identified simply as the Sitting King logo; the first version of the Burger King character is shown sitting atop the of the sign holding a beverage. The sign has several versions, with the King either sitting atop a hamburger or on an inverted trapezoid with the company name along the top and its motto Home of the Whopper below it; some signs did not include the King and only had the inverted trapezoid. This logo was used in one form or another until 1969 when the famous Burger King "bun halves" logo made its debut, and has continued in one form or another until the current day. As implied by its name, the logo is meant to resemble a hamburger; the logo had two orange semi-circular "buns" surrounding the name, which was the "meat" of the logo. On June 1, 1994 BK updated the logo with a graphical tightening, replacing the aging "bulging" font with a smoother font with rounded edges. In addition, all secondary signing, such as roof and directional signs, was also updated with new rounded font.

On August 1, 1999, BK again revised its logo. The new Burger King logo is a stylized version of the original "bun halves" logo. BK changed the color of the restaurant's name from red to burgundy, while leaving them sandwiched between two yellow bun halves. The new logo also tilts the bun halves and the font on an axis, has a smaller "bun" motif and wraps the burger with a blue crescent, giving it a more circular appearance. Most restaurants did not acquire newer signs with the new logo, menus, and drive-thru ordering speakers until 2001. Again all secondary signage was updated with the new logo and sharp type face, and all sign posts were repainted to match the blue coloring of the new crescent from their original black.

International variations

Image:Hungry Jack's.svg|Hungry Jack's revised and current "bun halves" logoImage:Burger King Arabic logo.png|Current logo in Arabic. The logo is read from right to left.

The Hungry Jack's logo is based on the Burger King "bun halves" design. HJ currently uses a variation of the second generation "bun halves" logo, featuring the smoother font used in the Burger King logo from 1994. Currently, the only region that BK uses a non-Latin text logo is in the Middle East. In those Arabic speaking countries the logo is mirrored and uses Arabic characters; otherwise the logo is identical to the "blue crescent" logo used in the west.

International operations

Countries with Burger King restaurants

Key:

Red: Current BK countries

Orange: Former BK countries

Yellow: Hungry Jack's countries



Burger King has a longstanding presence at U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force installations worldwide, dating back to the 1980s under a contract with Army and Air Force Exchange Service. Today, while other chains such as Taco Bell, Popeye's and Subway have a presence on military bases, virtually every major Army and Air Force installation hosts a BK restaurant.

Countries currently with Burger King locations:




  •  (AAFES)
  •  (later in 2009)


  •  (Franchised by Ibersol Group)
  •  (برغر كينغ)
  •  (漢堡王)


Countries formerly with Burger King restaurants:
  • - Burger King branded restaurants operated 1997–2003 violating franchise agreements, sold and rebranded to Australian Burger King franchise Hungry Jack's following legal action
  • - Burger King operated in Helsinkimarker for a short period in 1980s
  • - Burger King decided to leave France in 1997 and closed their 39 French outlets in 1998
  • - Burger King operated in Greece for a short period in the early 1990s
  • - Burger King left both St. Croixmarker and St. Thomasmarker in 1997
  • - Burger King operated in Kievmarker for a short period in 2006.
  • - Burger King decided to leave Omanmarker in 2001 (Returning back by early 2009)


See also

Franchisees



References



External links




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