Burger King is one of the leading brands in the world and the second most successful fast food chains after McDonalds. Burger King was founded by David Edgerton and James McLamore in Miami, Florida way back in 1954 when they opened “Insta Burger King” based on the continued success of McDonalds. They would never have imagined that it would grow to become the second most popular burger palace in the world with 11,200 stores in 65 countries and its restaurants spanning the globe. One big reason for their success is the franchise model in which separate Burger Kings were sold to different private owners. The company has more than 37,000 employees serving about 11.4 million customers per day
Growth: In 1959, Burger King grew to five stores in the Miami area. McLamore and Edgerton used the franchise system to sell the licenses across the U.S. It was taken over by the Pillsbury Company in 1967 to fuel further growth. Soon the chin had 274 stores throughout the country. In 1969, Burger King ventured into the international market using their franchise business model and opened up restaurants in Canada, Mexico, Madrid, Taiwan, Japan, Korea and Singapore. In 1971 the Franchise model for Australia was adopted by a Jack Cowin but instead of the Burger King name he used “Hungry Jacks” as Burger King brand name was already registered. Till today “Hungry Jacks” is the brand for Burger King in Australia.
Challenges: Pillsbury sold Burger King to Grand Metropolitan, a British manufacturer and distributor of alcoholic beverages. Burger King was owned by Grand Metropolitan until 1997 when a new company called Diageo was formed by merging Burger King and Guinness. Diageo held Burger King until 2001 and then sold it to Texas Pacific Group. After the sale, revenue and market share of Burger King fell significantly and the fast food chain Wendy’s grabbed the number two position behind McDonald’s. But strong advertising ensured that Burger King again came back to the number two position. In 2006 Burger King became a public organization.
Controversies: There have been many controversies surrounding Burger King. Animal right groups forced them to use only open range animal products. Burger King came up with many healthier food choices after accusations that its food is contributing to the obesity. Burger King was forced to redesign the wrapper of its new ice cream treat sold in UK when Muslims protested that the wrapper looked like the Muslim word for God.
Menu: When Burger King opened in 1954, its first menu contained burgers, sodas, fries and milkshakes. Thereafter, they have included many new items in their breakfast meals. They have also started offering salads to satisfy the health conscious customers. Their other choices include fish sandwiches, chicken and desserts. The Whopper which was first introduced in 1957 is still a choice at Burger King. In 2004, the company renewed the “Have It Your Way” advertising campaign where customers are given the choice to put whatever topping they want to on their burgers thus offering them custom-made burgers.