The fast food wars have been going on for a number of years now. Some companies are bigger than others and it’s easy to tell who they are because they advertise constantly. The two biggest giants have been McDonald’s and Burger King for quite a long time. They both have some good food, although most of it isn’t good for you. They both also have plenty of secrets and shocking and/or disturbing facts about them. That goes with the territory for any large company.
Today we are focusing on Burger King and there are plenty of things that you may not have realized about them. There are plenty of things that they don’t include in their advertising. Things like how it may not be a good idea to complain about your food in New Mexico, or the customer in Vermont that found a little something extra in his burger.
One thing they will never tell you is how they actually went head to head with their very own restaurants in Australia, got sued, and eventually lost. That move was not only shocking and disturbing; it was pretty stupid as well. They ended up costing themselves nearly $50 million. Read on and learn things about the King that you probably never knew!
15. They Copy McDonald’s
A burger is a burger is a burger. There really aren’t too many ways you can dress them up or change them. If you compare the McDonald’s menu to the Burger King menu however, you’ll see a lot of the same things, or at least very similar items.
If you look on the BK menu you’ll find the Spicy Chicken Sandwich and the Big King Sandwich. Both are great but they are pretty much the same thing as the Spicy McChicken Sandwich and the Big Mac. It goes that way throughout the entire menu and McDonald’s is the one that usually comes out with a product first. It’s the very rare occasion that BK releases an item first.
14. The Black Whopper Exits Green
Anyone that talks about health will always say that eating fast food in large amounts is just not good for you. There is no doubt that those statements are correct. In 2015 though, Burger King unveiled a new product that made things look a lot worse.
The A1 Halloween Whopper is a limited time burger that has a black bun on the top. It gets that color from having A1 Steak Sauce baked into the buns. There is also a lot of food coloring that goes into making the bun so black.
It looks like it might be tasty but when it comes out, it is no longer black. Once it goes through the digestive system it actually comes out green. It doesn’t hurt you it just surprises you a bit. At least that’s what people have reported. Personally I have never seen one of these burgers and I doubt I would eat a black bun if I ever came across one.
13. They Used Allah Ice Cream Covers
Not all decisions are good ones and sometimes things don’t go as they had been planned. In 2005 the UK versions of Burger King faced a major issue when someone said their ice cream lids looked just like the Arabic inscription for Allah. As you can imagine, that caused all kinds of problems, even though the restaurant said that the picture was actually a spinning ice cream cone.
The issue was dubbed “My Jihad” and people started to boycott the restaurants, believing that they were trying to get across some kind of message on their ice cream packaging. Eventually they came up with a new design but the mistake has never been forgotten.
12. Burger King Is Known For Stealing Ideas
Burger King is clearly a company that follows and not one that leads. That’s ok as long as the food is good and they have some pretty tasty stuff. One of the more famous events of BK stealing an idea was when they robbed one from the Billy on the Street comedy show on television. It’s a stupid show that sees the host, Billy Eichner, approach people on the street in an aggressive manor.
In 2014 the restaurant released an ad campaign that had someone that looked just like Eichner yelling at some kids walking down the street to go and buy some chicken nuggets. It didn’t take long for followers of the comedy show to see it and tell Eichner about it. He went head to head with the restaurant on Twitter with most people in his corner. Burger King never commented on it but the ads went away quickly after they were called out.
11. The Secret Menu
The secret menu that exists at Burger Kings all over the world is a great thing. That is unless, of course, you are trying to watch your weight. The menu is filled with enough calories, sodium and fat that only one not concerned with their weight could sincerely appreciate.
The Rodeo Burger is probably the most normal thing on there and one of the tastiest. However things like The Suicide Burger, which happens to be fantastic, is not very healthy for you. Most of the items on there aren’t. Frings, a combination of fries and onion rings, and the Rodeo Burger are probably the best items on the secret menu and they aren’t that bad for you. The rest of the items though you might want to stay away from.
10. The Crown Card Is As Good As It Gets
Only a few precious people are in possession of the coveted Burger King Crown Card. As a matter of fact there are only twelve of them, making it a super exclusive club to be a member of. The card allows the holder to unlimited free Burger King food for life. Now that’s what I’m talking about!
Some of the member holders are Hugh Laurie, Jennifer Hudson, George Lucas, Robert Downey Jr., and Jay Leno. Leno once told a story about presenting his card to a BK employee once. He said “So I order my food and the guy says, ‘That’s $11.’ 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.”
9. In 2009 You Could Trade Friends For Whoppers
Doesn’t that sound like a great deal? It wasn’t exactly how it sounds but it was just as lucrative for some people. It was called the Whopper Sacrifice promotion and it was conducted on Facebook. If you unfriended ten friends using this BK app on Facebook, you got a free Whopper.
The app though notified those that were unfriended because they wanted everyone to know about the promotion. Facebook quickly shut it down because their policy is that anyone who is unfriended is not notified of the move. This keeps things hush hush, private and drama free. BK’s goal was to do the complete opposite and to sell more food so Facebook had to put a stop to it.
8. The McWhopper Was Only A Pipe Dream
It almost happened in 2015 and the only reason it didn’t was beyond Burger King’s control. It was actually McDonald’s that didn’t allow it to happen. Can you imagine how good that would have been?
BK made a peace offering to McDonald’s in full page ads on September 21st in the Chicago Tribune and New York Times. They said that in observance of United Nations’ International Peace Day the two should put aside their differences and come together for the day. They offered a joint restaurant with employees from both companies working, while serving a mixture of both companies’ food, including a special McWhopper sandwich. The money raised would all go to charity but McDonald’s said no.
7. The King Is Actually A Canadian Donut
Burger King seems like it would be a major part of Americana. Until 2014 it actually was, but that year it changed. With the company facing financial difficulties, the Canadian based Tim Hortons stepped in and bought BK. Hortons is a long time iconic Canadian coffee and donut shop franchise.
Together they became the Restaurant Brands International holding company with headquarters based up in Canada. Many other restaurateurs in the US were, and still are, very upset with this deal. That’s because being based in Canada means that Burger King no longer has to pay taxes. They now save over $1 billion a year in taxes. Amazing.
6. Offering Better Service Cost Millions, So They Stopped
In 1992 Burger King started offering table service at its restaurants. It’s a practice that a few places still do today and it’s a nice thing if you are a consumer. You go up to the counter and place your order and then go sit down and wait for someone to bring your food out to you. Quite the step up from your average fast food experience.
BK spent millions of dollars implementing this new service, only to find out that it drastically slowed down production in the store. That decrease in production cost them millions of dollars more and after a few months the idea was totally scrapped. So much for taking better care of your customers.
5. Burger King Screwed Over Their Own Restaurants
This one may be a bit difficult to follow along with so try to keep up. There was a time that Burger King wanted to expand into Australia, but they couldn’t do so because there was already a restaurant there bearing that name. So Jack Cowin, the franchisee who wanted to bring Burger King to Australia, was given names to choose from that the company had already trademarked. He chose Hungry Jack’s and they still exist today, serving BK food.
In 1991 when the franchise agreement was renewed, Burger King put requirements on them for opening a certain amount of stores in certain time frames. In 1996 BK wasn’t happy with the number of new openings so they opened up their own Burger King stores in direct competition. The original restaurant had gone out of business paving the way for the Burger King name to be used. Eventually Hungry Jack’s sued BK and won $47 million and exclusive rights to the country. So BK created direct competition for their own restaurants, and lost. Wow.
4. It’s Nearly Impossible To Own A Franchise
If you have any dreams of owning a Burger King franchise you can forget about it right now. The fact of the matter is if you can actually afford to own one, you are probably already doing better things with your time and money.
The qualifications are tough to meet to get a franchise. First of all you have to be worth more than $1.5 million. You will also need liquid assets of $500,000 and $50,000 to pay the franchise fee. Once all of that is done you’ll spend 84 days training in a classroom before moving on to seven weeks of training in an actual restaurant. See what I mean? If you have that kind of money you probably have better things to do.
3. Burger Kings In New Mexico Are Dangerous
Burger King has always found itself in the middle of some sort of controversy. That’s because they aren’t afraid to take risks and they are always looking for that groundbreaking event in promotions and marketing. Sometimes they work out really well and sometimes they don’t work out at all.
The BK’s that are located in New Mexico though aren’t part of some kind of promotion. They just happen to have some really bad employees. In June of 2013 in one store a man complained that his onion rings were cold. This was a huge mistake as the manager lunged at him with a taser in one hand and a switchblade in the other. Talk about being touchy about your cooking!
2. They Had Male Enticing Sandwiches
Early in the 2000’s Burger King was targeting males that were between 18 and 24 years old. How did they try to get these young men through the door you might ask… by offering some of the best sandwiches that had ever been made, that’s how.
Who can forget the Enormous Omelet Sandwich or the BK Stacker that contained four cheeseburgers? Oh my! Those were good times weren’t they? The problem is they had very high calorie counts as well as absurdly high amounts of fat and other bad things, leading to some of the public to cry foul. When new ownership took over in 2010 all of these types of fantastic sandwiches went away. Those were sad days for sure.
1. Condoms Included
Back in 2007 a man named Van Miguel Hartless, of Fair Haven, Vermont, got more than he bargained for when he stopped into a Burger King. He purchased a Southwestern burger, which are normally very good, and took it home to eat. The surprise came on his third bite into the sandwich.
He said that he tasted something that was sour and foreign. He pulled the burger apart and found an unwrapped, unrolled condom as one of the special ingredients. He sued the company and in 2010 a settlement was reached. No terms were ever disclosed and there is a lot of legal jargon talk that really doesn’t say much about the solution. It’s a good guess that he got paid though. Why else would he keep his mouth shut?
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