In 1952, Keith Cramer owned a carhop restaurant in Daytona Beach, FL. He flew out to California, on the advice of his stepfather, Matthew Burns, to find out the latest advancement in restaurants at that time — McDonald’s.
Cramer was impressed with the speed and automation and he and Burns acquired the rights to George Read’s Miracle Insta-Machines. These were Rube Goldberg-type devices designed to make fast food really fast. One of the models made multiple milk shakes as the other, referred to as Insta-Broiler, could cook twelve burgers simultaneously. Four hundred burgers could be cooked in an hour with one machine.
In 1953, Cramer opened his burger king breakfast menu in Jacksonville and named it right after the cooker — Insta-Burger King. His burgers sold for 18 cents apiece (McDonald’s burgers at the time were 15 cents each) and they also were a great success.
Two franchisers, James McLamore and David R. Edgerton, Jr., liked the concept and launched several Insta-Burger King restaurants in Miami in 1954. Fortunately — because you will see — they failed.
So McLamore and Edgerton started to experiment. Soon they got rid of the Insta-Broiler and created
a comparable flame broiler — which made their renamed Burger King famous. In addition they introduced a significantly larger burger, the Whopper, needless to say, and sold it for 37 cents. It was considered a very risky business move at the time but, as you may know, it paid back handsomely. It became their signature product along with their tag-line became “Burger King, Home of the Whopper.”
They soon acquired the Insta-Burger Kings, renamed them and refitted them for new items. They begun to massively franchise in 1961 and very soon their new restaurants were around Florida and the rest of the nation.
Burger King was the first fast food hamburger joint to put in indoor eating areas at their outlets — in 1967, per year before McDonald’s did the identical. Pillsbury acquired the chain in 1967 and began a tremendous promotional campaign. The slogans and jingles — including the recognized “Have it Your Path” — were a huge success and Burger King grew to the number 2 burger restaurant in the world. By 2004, Burger King had greater than 11,000 outlets in 61 countries and territories worldwide, including 7,000 in the usa.
The ownership of Burger King however changed hands again and also the strict policies were not followed which resulted in financial ruin and straining associations in between the franchises. After almost 18 years without financial growth, the skloxs of the company began feeling the results of the stagnating franchises. AmeriKing declared bankruptcy in 2001 which caused the depreciation from the fast food chain by nearly $750 million during its sale.
The newest CEO, Bradely Blum began a restructuring program that was aimed to revive almost 20% of franchises undergoing financial hardships. It was an initiative that encouraged individual owners who took benefit from the circumstance buying the failed stores and turning them into profit makers. Most of the once failing stores are growing and at the conclusion of the 2010 fiscal year, Burger King menu claimed to have a lot more than 12,200 outlets in 73 countries. 90% of the outlets in the US are privately operated and operated.