Burger King (or BK for short) is a chain of fast food restaurants with headquarters in Florida, US. The company history began in 1953 and by 2011 it had over 12 000 locations over 73 countries. 66% of these locations are situated all over the US and 90% off all the locations are privately owned and operated.
The company evolved over 60 years of business and, naturally, so did the menu. Back in 1954, the menu was quite identical in every Burger King restaurant: they only offered French fries, sodas, milkshakes and burgers. In 1957, the company decided to expand the menu to make it more diverse and “the Whooper” was one of such major additions to the menu. This new menu item became so popular that it became the company’s signature product and is used today as a company logo.
Unfortunately, not all the new products could be held in the market, but when some of them failed in the US restaurants, they often found success in foreign countries.
The company was founded in 1953 by Matthew Burns and Keith J. Kramer in Florida and it was called “Insta-Burger King”. The idea of founding their own company came to them after visiting McDonalds in California. Then they purchased the rights to two “Insta” machines and opened their first restaurant, having only Insta-Broilers at their disposal. Apparently, the Insta-Broiler cooking technique became quite successful and it was decided to equip each franchise with this device.
The company faltered in 1959 and was purchased by David R. Edgerton and James McLamore (the company’s franchisees). They started to revive the chain by renaming it to “Burger King”.
J. McLamore and D. R. Edgerton ran the company for eight years, (during which they expanded to 250 locations in the US) and then sold it to Pillsbury Company in 1967.
The new management tried to restructure BK several times, but the most important changes came in 1978, when they hired Donald N. Smith – McDonald’s executive, who helped to revive the company. He created a plan, according to which the company had to change everything at all levels of the company: menu, franchise agreements, new restaurant designs and so on.
In 1980, D.N. Smith left the BK and Norman E. Brinker was assigned to improve the brand and strengthen the company position against the rivals. N. Brinker left BK in 1984, because he was planning to take over Chili’s. In 2003, the company hired Crispin Porter and Bogusky to reorganize Burger King Restaurants once more, but they were fired in 2011 by new owners in 2011, because the advertisements were accused for sexism and cultural insensitivity.