Burger King Opens For Business in 1954

Burger King logo from 1966 (Image via Logopedia)

Burger King logo from 1966 (Image via Logopedia)

On this date in 1954, the first Burger King restaurant opened in Miami, Florida.

Here are some things you may not have known about the fast-food chain.

It was the successor to the failed Insta-Burger King chain of restaurants founded a year earlier in Jacksonville, Florida. The original chain was created after its founders visited the original McDonald’s location in San Bernardino, California. The company was purchased by its Miami franchisees, who dropped “Insta” from the name. In 1967, the owners sold the chain to the Pillsbury Company. During the time it was owned by Pillsbury, the company had little control over its franchisees, which resulted in problems with quality and consistency between outlets.

In 1963, the company expanded outside the continental United States for the first time with a location in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Its first international location opened in Windsor, Ontario in 1969. Its first European location opened in Madrid, Spain in 1975. The only country in which the company operates under a different name is Australia, where it is known as Hungry Jack’s. The name Burger King was already taken by a restaurant in Adelaide.

The company’s signature burger, The Whopper, also produced its share of issues for the company. Because of another restaurant called “Whopper Burger,” Burger King was unable to open any locations near San Antonio, Texas, until 1985.

In 1981 Burger King ran a commercial campaign claiming its burgers were bigger and better than those of McDonald’s. The ads, which featured a young Sarah Michelle Gellar, later of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” fame, prompted McDonald’s to sue everyone involved in the ad, including Gellar. As a result, Gellar was prohibited from eating at McDonald’s.

By the early 2000s, Burger King had fallen behind Wendy’s in the battle to be the number-two burger chain in the U.S. behind McDonald’s. It has since passed Wendy’s to reclaim the second spot on the list. Among all fast-food companies it ranks sixth in number of locations in the United States with more than 7,000 outlets.

Our question, which restaurant chain has the most outlets in the United States?

Today is Navy Day in India, and Environment Day in Thailand. It’s unofficially National Cookie Day, National Dice Day and Faux Fur Friday. It’s the birthday of former Spanish dictator Francisco Franco, Academy Award winning actor Jeff Bridges and Academy Award winning actress Marisa Tomei (that’s not a mistake, look it up).

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