Burger KingBurger King remains one of the world’s biggest fast food chains, but it had humble beginnings back in 1953. Two men inspired by the McDonald’s prototype, Keith Kramer and Matthew Burns, bought the Insta-Broiler that cooked hamburger patties much faster than an open grill and opened the Insta-Burger King in Jacksonville, Florida. Two new owners purchased the chain when it was failing in 1959. Their careful restructuring of the restaurant’s system, and the subsequent name change to Burger King, gave the chain enough power to grow to 250 locations by 1967.

Burger King floundered for many years during the 70s and 80s under the ownership of the Pillsbury Company. Despite numerous attempts to revitalize the menu and create more attractive franchising agreements, the chain stagnated until it was purchased by investment firms and returned to independence in 2002. While a public offering in 2006 and a massive chain re-design campaign did breath new life into Burger King, it has been struggling to compete against other giant chains and was sold once again earlier this year. It also upset many franchise owners by forcing them to sell a double cheeseburger that cost chains more than it made by selling them. Innovative and controversial advertising campaigns aiming to appeal to young adults have brought the chain some extra business.

Burger King WhopperThe original Insta-Burger King specialized in flame broiled burgers made by the Insta-Broil, and modern burgers from the chain are still cooked in much the same way. The Whopper is the main base burger of Burger King. Jr., Double and other Whopper variations offer more or less meat. Premium burgers include the Jalapeno Steakhouse Burger with jalapeno slices cooked in the patty and the Smoky Cheddar Burger. The BK Stacker is another popular burger with multiple size options based on a single, double or triple patty topped with a special barbeque sauce and bacon.