Burger King has long been at odds with its rival burger chain, McDonald's. And whether you have a favorite or not, there's no denying that the Whopper is a beast of a burger on its own. And even if you consider yourself a BK fanatic, there's so much more to know about those blue-roofed restaurants than you can imagine. Here are the inside details.
1. It all started in 1954.
Keith G Cramer, who owned Keith's Drive-In Restaurant in Daytona Beach, FL, partnered with his father-in-law to start the company.
2. It was originally called Insta-Burger King.
Although McDonald's technically started the trend of super-speedy burger flipping, the original Burger King put the "Insta-" theme front and center.
3. The Whopper has been around since 1957.
After Miami-based franchisees James McLamore and David Edgerton bought the company, they renamed it simply Burger King and created its signature patty, the Whopper.
4. In Australia it's called Hungry Jack's.
Due to copyright laws that protect the Burger King name with another Australian company, BK had to go with Hungry Jacks (named after one of its franchisees) Down Under and it's still called that today.
5. There's a totally insane, 800-calorie secret-menu burger.
It's called the Suicide Burger and it's completely over-the-top. Including four burger patties, four slices of cheese, bacon, and special sauce, it contains 800 calories, 175mg of cholesterol and 2,430mg of sodium.
6. A Burger King Crown Card = endless supply of burger and fries.
Celebrities like Hugh Laurie, Jennifer Hudson, George Lucas, Robert Downey Jr., and Jay Leno all have the coveted gold card. Both Laurie and Leno have commented on the gravity of its perks-and the respect it garners. "So I order my food and the guy says, 'That's $11'," Leno told AdAge in a 2008 interview. "I say, 'Fine, here you go' and hand him the card. His reaction was amazing. 'Whoa, where'd you get this?' He was not impressed that I was on The Tonight Show or even that I was driving a Porsche Carrera GT. He was more impressed with this piece of plastic."
7. Sarah Michelle Gellar promoted Burger King as a kid.
Check out her commercial from 1981, where she's-gasp!-not blonde, but looking super cute. And a little sassy. What's more, it seems this was one of her very first gigs before debuting in 1983's An Invasion of Privacy, so she might have BK to thank for her long-standing Buffy stardom.
8. It started serving-of all things-hot dogs.
The monarch of burgers decided to expand its reign over hot dogs as well, offering a line of grilled franks topped with Whopper fixings, chili and cheese, and more.
9. Snoop Dogg helped train Burger King employees.
Don't believe us? Watch the employee-training video for yourself. See also, Snoop's tweet where he asked, "Where my dogs at?" once it debuted.
10. They deliver!
Well, a number of locations in 13 states will deliver, including Alabama, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Utah, Virginia, and Wisconsin.
11. It inspired a meme-worthy Dane Cook joke.
If you don't remember the infamous 2006 stand-up set, you've got to listen to it right this second. In it, Dane Cook explains one of his first job was at Burger King, but that he called it the BK Lounge instead-making it seem like a night club. At the drive-thru he'd get the most hilarious yell- and whisper-orders.
12. BK has pulled a LOT of stunts.
From Angry Whoppers that are flaming hot to scarily odd black-bun burgers and now, most recently, the Whopperito, Burger King proves time and time again that we can never guess just what it'll do next.
13. There's a sick loyalty program.
When you download the app, you get access to $30 in coupons-plus you get a free item with every fourth order on the regular when you use the loyalty program on purchases.
14. It has expanded to 79 countries.
With 13,000 locations worldwide, BK can be found in France, Germany, Sweden, Spain, South Africa, Russia, Malaysia, Fiji, Vietnam, Colombia, Trinidad, Nicaragua, and more. You know, so you can stop up on Whoppers while you're abroad.
15. The logo has drastically changed over the years.
From a hokey hand-drawn king in 1955 to the blue-encircled, bun-capped text of the '90s and today.
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