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Burger King

Burger King (BK for short) is a large international food corporation that sells fast food in chain stores. Its first store opened in 1954, in Miami, Florida by James McLamore and David Edgerton, who were both alumni of the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration. Burger King has more than 11,350 outlets in 57 countries and territories worldwide. 75% of them are located in the United States. In fiscal year 2002, the firm had $11.3 billion in total sales. Around 55.3% of its business is drive-thru, and 20% is take-out. It has more than 340,000 employees.

One of Burger King's worldwide favourite specialties is a hamburger called a "Whopper". The company sells about 2.4 billion hamburgers a year. Burger King has now extended the "Whopper" brand to include grilled chicken sandwiches.

When Burger King decided to expand their operations into Australia, they found that their business name was already trademarked by a man running a small takeaway food shop. Resultingly, the first Australian franchise of the Burger King Corporation, established in Perth, was aptly titled Hungry Jack's, echoing the name and sentiment of the franchisee, Jack Cowin. Hungry Jack's sells the usual range of burgers, but also an Australian specialty, the Aussie Burger. This burger is based on the traditional Australian fish and chips shop favourite, including fried egg, bacon, onion and beetroot with the traditional meat, lettuce and tomato.

When the existing Australian trademark for Burger King lapsed the American parent company wanted Cowin to change the Hungry Jack's outlets to the Burger King. Cowin resisted the change preferring to keep the Hungry Jacks name. The disagreement ended in a court case. In 2001, Hungry Jacks won the court case and Burger King was ordered to pay $75 million to Hungry Jack's for breach of its franchise agreement.

Burger King opened several outlets in Australia under the Burger King name. In some cases Burger King outlets were located very close to existing Hungry Jacks outlets. Cowin has begun negotiations with Burger King to buy up these outlets and rename them to Hungry Jacks.

On Friday, December 13, 2002, Burger King was purchased from Diageo for $1.5 (US) billion by a group of investors led by the investment firm Texas Pacific.

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