For almost 60 years, the Burger King Corporation has brought smiles to millions of consumers with their fine line of hamburgers, chicken sandwiches and sides. This customer loyalty has been rewarded through the years with a wide range of coupons, deals and in-store promotions. Here is an online guide that can help consumers learn more about the history of this fun company and the great deals that they have offered through the years.
The guide is broken into three parts. The first part includes a brief company history that outlines Burger King’s rise to one of the leaders in the American fast food industry. The second part of the guide includes a brief listing of their most popular products, famous marketing campaigns, as well as a brief history of its most popular deals and programs. Finally, the third part of the guide describes how to find various deals online and through traditional marketing campaigns.
Part I: Burger King’s history
The Burger King Corporation has a very interesting history. It all started back in 1953 when Kieth J. Kramer and Matthew Burns opened the first five stores in Jacksonville, Florida. They called their stores “Insta-Burger King” and promised customers that their food would be served within 5 minutes after they ordered it.
Business was so bad that Burns and Kramer had to give up the ship. So in 1954 the duo sold their interests to two men named James McLamore and David Edgerton. Edgerton and McLamore re-named the floundering restaurants “Burger King” stores and they established a new menu that they thought would be more consumer-friendly to the new generation of young people growing up in the area.
The new menu included flame-broiled hamburgers that were cooked over a charbroil grill. It also included yummy treats such as onion rings and milk shakes. These new changes helped Edgerton and McLamore turn the company’s fortunes so well because they started to take advantage of young Baby Boomer’s interests in burgers, shakes and other fast food items by using advertising that was especially targeted to them.
The first major change to the new menu was the invention of the “Whopper” in 1957. It was called a Whopper because it was H-U-G-E! It weighed over 1/3rd of a pound and it included large slices of juicy tomatoes, onions and pickles. Patrons could also add ketchup, mayo and other condiments as they wished. This burger proved to be so popular that it became the signature dish of the restaurant chain.
In 1959, Edgerton and McLamore capitalized on the Whopper’s success by selling their first franchises. By the end of 1964, they established franchises from coast to coast to become a nationwide hamburger chain. They also offered innovations such as an indoor dining room area, condiment stations and a hand-held menu.
These innovations allowed Burger King to expand into other areas of the country as Edgerton and McLamore sold regional franchises to investors throughout the country. Edgerton and McLamore did so well selling these franchises that the Pillsbury Foods Company purchased the firm from Edgerton and McLamore in 1965.
The Pillsbury Foods Company almost ruined the company because it attempted to create a more consistent product by insisting that every Burger King have the same menu and the same atmosphere. This caused many franchisees to bolt from the company because they felt that they were doing just fine without any outside interference. As a result, for the next 13 years Pillsbury had difficulty establishing a consistent brand image in US.
This meddling became so bothersome that Pillsbury changed its leadership in 1977. For the next 12 years, this leadership tried hard to improve Burger King’s sagging image by creating new slogans, better restaurant interiors and improved customer service. This didn’t help much as McDonald’s and Wendy’s fought for the lead in the fast food industry in the US.
What saved Burger King during this time was an expanded sandwich menu that included the first chicken sandwiches, steak sandwiches and fish sandwiches. These foods were first tried out in the late ’70s in the East Coast in a pilot program. Many people thought this would be a short-term program. However, we still have the chicken and fish choices at Burger King because of this pilot program.
In 1989, Pillsbury sold off its Burger King holdings to the Grand Met Company. This set the stage for some of the best innovations in the company’s history.
These innovations included the firm’s first 99 cent menu in 1993, an increase in the size of the Whopper, the new Whopper Junior burger in the mid 1990s and smaller versions of their chicken sandwiches. These innovations helped the company increase market share and visibility.
Today, Burger King is an independently-owned corporation that has expanded to over 50 countries around the world. It has expanded its Dollar Menu offerings to include chicken dishes and it also has increased its market share with new products and slogans that seem to be working well. As a result, Burger King’s future looks bright!
Part II: Burger King’s most famous products and ad campaigns are still with us today in some form
Here’s a list of Burger King’s most famous products:
–The Whopper Jr.
–The Double Whopper
–The BK TenderGrill chicken sandwich.
— 6 and 10 piece orders of Chicken Tenders
–Chicken tender sandwiches
–BK Big Fish Sandwich.
–Burger King’s two most famous slogans and marketing campaigns are an interesting look at pop culture.
Ads & Promos
Perhaps the most famous slogan that’s ingrained in our culture is the “Have it Your Way” slogan that was used as part of a similarly named marketing campaign that started in 1973 and 1974. It first featured very silly (but catchy!) TV commercials of people thinking up of ways of dressing up their Whoppers. Later commercials and ad copy tells consumers that there are at least 1,020 ways to dress a Whopper.
Today’s viewers and consumers are also told that the eaters have a “Bill of Rights” that lets them have anything on the menu “Their Way.” This extension ties the campaign back to the early 1973-1974 commercials that have people complaining that they can’t have it “their way” everywhere else– Does t this sound familiar?
–Another famous marketing campaign was the first successful cross-promotional campaign in 1977 that featured the new Star Wars movie. Patrons could receive free posters, glasses and stickers with the purchase of a Whopper or a combination of foods. It was so successful that today’s mega-promotions that tie movies or large sporting events to fast-food offerings are based in large part on this campaign.
–Furthermore, Burger King has offered several interesting deals over the years.
For example, in the early 1960s the earliest national promotions included 10 cent Whopper sandwiches on Wednesdays. This was only available to consumers who brought flyers that were distrusted in local restaurants.
–In the early 1970s, many local burger kings offered “One Dollar Meal Deals.” These deals included a hamburger (or cheeseburger), small fries and a small drink. This offer was adjusted for inflation throughout the 1970s until it became the “One Dollar and Seventy-Five Cent Meal Deal.”
–In 1993, Burger King introduced the first 99 cent menu offerings.
These offerings included small sodas, cheeseburgers, hamburgers and chicken sandwiches. Some local Burger Kings also offered 99 cent Whoppers as part of a summer time promotion that featured coupons that were distributed in the mail.
–Finally, in the early 2000s, Burger King also offered $1.99-$2.99 value meals.
These value meals included double cheeseburger meals, chicken sandwich meals and Whopper meal deals.
Part III: Burger King offers several promotional campaigns that allow consumers to save money on fantastic menu items
Here’s a look at how Burger King offers coupons and deals to consumers online and through other media outlets.
One place to look for coupons and deals is online at ValPack’s official website.
It’s located at /www.valpak.com/coupons/. This is a great place to find coupons for Burger King menu items because Burger King does not actively use its website to post deals or coupons. This is the case because Burger King still allows its franchisees to do local promotions based on real-time market conditions.
Therefore, patrons can use Valpak’s website to find coupons that feature coupons good for a $2.99 Whopper Value Menu and a coupon good for a $1.39 Whopper sandwich.
Another place to try online for Burger King coupons is Yahoo!’s new local coupon site.
It’s located at http://deals.yahoo.com/local-store-coupons/. Local Burger King franchises will post coupons on this site on occasion during the year. For example, one local store posted a coupon good for 2 Whopper sandwiches for just $3.00. Other coupons have included a coupon good for a $1.99 BK Kid’s Meal and a coupon good for a Double Whopper value meal for $3.29.
Burger King still relies heavily on mail and newspaper promotions to offer coupons and discounts to its customers. As a result, be sure to check your mail and local newspaper for coupons. This is true because you can often find many valuable coupons such as a coupon good for two double cheeseburgers for $2.00 and a coupon good for a $1.99 double cheeseburger meal. Other coupons have included coupons for 99 cent Whoppers and coupons good for 2 Whoppers and 2 medium French fries for $4.00.
Another place you can look for coupons offline is at your local BK restaurant. Many local franchises offer coupons on the tray liners we often throw away. Finally, you can also find coupon flyers on many counters at many local stores too.