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When Was Burger King Founded? A Brief History

Unveiling the Origins: Burger King’s Founding Date and Its Remarkable Journey

One of the most well-known fast-food franchises in the world is Burger King. It’s renowned for its flame-grilled hamburgers, crunchy fries, and decadent milkshakes. But few people are aware of its founding date. Insta-Burger King was the original name of the 1953 establishment that Keith J. Kramer and Matthew Burns launched in Jacksonville, Florida.


Their initial stores were built around an appliance called the Insta-Broiler, which was excellent at cooking hamburgers.

In order to compete with McDonald’s, which was already a well-known brand at the time, Burger King’s founders Kramer and Burns had a vision for their new restaurant.

They desired to build a restaurant that provided rapid and effective service with delicious meals.

They cooked their burgers on the Insta-Broiler, which made it possible for them to provide hot, juicy burgers in a hurry.

They gained notoriety and increased their revenue because of this invention. They had already surpassed McDonald’s to become the second-best selling corporation by 1967.

The Early Years

One of the biggest fast-food companies in the world, Burger King, dates back to the first half of the 1950s.

Two businessmen started the company with the goal of opening a fast-food restaurant that provided good cuisine quickly and effectively.

The Founding of Insta-Burger King

Insta-Burger King was started by Keith J. Kramer and Matthew Burns, the uncle of his wife, in Jacksonville, Florida, in 1953.

The Insta-Broiler, a device that could swiftly and effectively cook hamburgers, inspired the restaurant’s name.

After the restaurant’s early success, Kramer and Burns quickly opened a number of additional sites.

But despite its early popularity, Insta-Burger King ran into financial problems.

Two Miami-based businessmen named James W. McLamore and David Edgerton spotted a chance to invest in the company in 1954.

For $50,000, they bought the rights to the Insta-Burger King brand and the Insta-Broiler appliance.

McLamore and Edgerton understood right away that there was room for improvement in the Insta-Burger King idea.

They revamped the kitchen appliances and came up with a new menu that included the Whopper, a bigger burger.

The Whopper was an instant sensation when the first Burger King restaurant opened in Miami, Florida, in 1957.

Through the 1960s and 1970s, Burger King grew and expanded despite initial difficulties.

The brand is well-known for its flame-grilled burgers and memorable advertising campaigns, and it currently has more than 17,000 restaurants across more than 100 countries.

The Rise of the Whopper

The Whopper, a staple of Burger King’s menu, has established itself as one of the most recognizable burgers in the annals of fast food.

James McLamore, who is also a co-founder of Burger King, first introduced the Whopper in 1957.

After observing that a competing eatery in Gainesville, Florida was selling a larger burger and prospering, McLamore came up with the burger.

He created the Whopper and gave it the name Whopper because he thought it conveyed a sense of “bigness,” which he claimed was the secret to the success of the competing product’s size.

The Whopper became Burger King’s signature item as it became an instant hit. A fan favorite, the burger’s flame-grilled trademark patty is topped with lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, ketchup, and mayonnaise.

The Whopper has undergone a number of alterations over the years, including the addition of cheese, bacon, and other toppings, but its basic components have not changed.

The Whopper remains one of Burger King’s most well-liked menu items today, and the business has continued to innovate and broaden its selection.

In order to appeal to customers who choose a vegetarian or vegan diet, Burger King recently introduced a plant-based Whopper built with a meatless patty.

The Whopper is still a treasured classic and a monument to Burger King’s dedication to quality and innovation despite the competition from other fast food restaurants.

The Whopper has established itself as a cultural icon and a representation of American fast food culture thanks to its distinctive flavor and recognizable logo.

Global Expansion

When Burger King established its first international location in Puerto Rico in 1963, the firm officially began its global development.

Since then, the business has grown to include more than 17,000 eateries in over 100 different countries.

Burger King has partnered with local business owners to open additional outlets as part of its franchising-focused international growth plan.

Burger King has been able to quickly create a foothold in new markets because of this strategy, which also makes use of local knowledge and skills.

Burger King has concentrated on growing its market share in developing nations recently, including China and India.

In addition to growing its footprint in other Asian nations, the firm announced ambitions to open 1,000 additional restaurants in China over the following ten years in 2014.

Additionally, Burger King has made an attempt to modify its menu to suit regional preferences and tastes.

For instance, the firm offers a vegetarian variation of the Whopper burger in India, along with other menu options like the Chicken Tandoor Grill and the Veg Chilli Cheese Melt.

Overall, Burger King’s international expansion has been a major factor in the company’s development and growth, enabling it to forge a significant presence in markets all over the world and connect with a wide variety of customers.

Innovation and Controversy

Burger King is renowned for its cutting-edge menu items and advertising initiatives, but over the years, it has also been linked to several contentious occurrences.

Burger King distinguished itself from its rivals by being one of the first fast-food companies to provide flame-grilled burgers.

The 1957-debuting Whopper is still among the most well-liked menu items today.

Burger King has also experimented with novel menu items such the Impossible Whopper, a plant-based burger, Mac n’ Cheetos, and Chicken Fries.

The advertising campaigns at Burger King have also been creative and even divisive. Burger King first used the catchphrase “Have it Your Way” in 1974 to highlight the flexibility of its patrons’ ordering.

A website where visitors could enter commands and watch a person in a chicken suit execute them was part of the “Subservient Chicken” campaign’s online presence in 2004.

Both the campaign’s originality and its sexual overtones drew praise and criticism.

Burger King has also been involved in other contentious episodes in addition to these advancements.

For a commercial effort that included a cartoon figure named “Herb” who had never eaten at Burger King, the business received criticism in 1997.

The advertising campaign received flak for being vindictive and focusing on individuals outside of the “Burger King demographic.”

Recent criticism of Burger King stems from a tweet it sent out in support of International Women’s Day in 2018.

While the tweet’s intention was to highlight the dearth of female representation in the culinary world, many people found it to be rude and tone-deaf. It said, “Women belong in the kitchen.”

In general, Burger King has a history of both controversy and innovation. Although the business has launched numerous well-liked menu items and marketing initiatives, it has also come under fire for a few of its decisions.

Frequently Asked Questions

What year was Burger King founded?

Burger King was founded in 1954.

Who founded Burger King?

Burger King was founded by James McLamore and David Edgerton.

Where was the first Burger King restaurant located?

The first Burger King restaurant was located in Jacksonville, Florida.

How many Burger King restaurants are there worldwide?

As of 2023, there are over 14,000 Burger King restaurants in 98 countries.

What is the history of the Burger King logo?

The Burger King logo has undergone several changes throughout the years. The original logo featured a cartoon king sitting on a burger with a banner that read “Burger King.” In 1969, the logo was updated to feature a more realistic king. In 1999, the logo was changed again to feature a more modern and streamlined look.


We need to go back in time to 1954 in order to comprehend how Burger King came to be.

This turning point paved the way for a culinary revolution that would enthrall palates everywhere.

With its unique menu options and dedication to quality, Burger King has grown from its modest beginnings into a well-known brand.

The path from that momentous day to the present is evidence of Burger King’s continuing popularity and serves as a reminder of the strength of passion, tenacity, and, of course, the charm of a well constructed burger.

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Written by Brian Nagele

Brian has over 20 years experience in the restaurant and hospitality industry. As a former restaurant owner, he knows about running a food business and loves to eat and enjoy cocktails on a regular basis. He constantly travels to new cities tasting and reviewing the most popular spots.