In Brief

    • Burger King began with two, inventive cooking machines to make hamburger-making more efficient. The masterminds behind these devices rose Burger King to global franchise fame.
    • The franchisor offers potential entrepreneurs multiple franchise opportunities, a fantastic training program, and an established brand with an exceptional marketing strategy.
    • The standard franchise fee for a standard 20-year Franchise Agreement term is $50,000. The term, however, may be shorter for non-traditional restaurants.
    • Before the new restaurant can open, the prospective franchisee must complete BKC’s training program. The program consists of an In-Restaurant Training, which is held in various locations that are authorized as training locations.

Burger King Financial Summary

  • Initial Franchise Fee: $50,000
  • Startup Costs: $1,877,600 – $3,283,600
  • Royalty: 4.5%
  • Revenue Range: 148,060 – 4,317,979

Whoppers, Chicken Fries, Quarter Pounders, Crispy Chicken Sandwiches — all are staples to the Burger King menu and prove the franchise strives to make your food your way. Besides creating these delectable dishes, Burger King’s growing, prosperous franchise allows franchisees to find their success their way.

History of Burger King

When the fast-food chain was first founded in Jacksonville, Florida in 1953, the restaurant was called Insta-Burger King. Keith Kramer and Matthew Burns were inspired by the McDonald’s brothers and began searching for a concept that would set them apart from their competitors. The partners purchased two “Insta” machines and a cooking device called the “Insta-Broiler.” At the time, Kramer and Burns wanted their restaurant to efficiently produce hamburgers for customers and the machine proved to be successful.

In 1954, James McLamore and David Edgerton acquired a license to operate an Insta-Burger King franchise in Miami. They were also fascinated by the success of McDonald’s and their assembly-line-based production system. However, the partners noticed the original founders’ Insta-Broiler model had some issues. Their heating elements were prone to degradation from the drippings of the hamburger patties. To resolve this issue, the business partners created a mechanized gas grill that cooked the meat patties a different way inside the unit. This flame broiler moved the beef patties over the flame vertically on a chain link conveyor over the heating elements, which formed grill lines on the patties as if they were cooked on a charcoal grill. They replaced the Insta-Broilers with this new design.

Insta-Burger King was rapidly expanding throughout Florida, however, the founders were facing financial difficulties. In 1959, McLamore and Edgerton purchased the national rights to the chain and renamed the company like Burger King of Miami. The company eventually became known as Burger King Corporation and began selling territorial licenses to private franchisees across the US the same year.

Following the purchase, the company introduced The Burger King mascot, their staple burger, The Whopper, which has been enjoyed by millions for 60 years. In 1967, the company was purchased by the Pillsbury Company for $18 million. Following this major event, Donald Smith, of their McDonald’s rival, joined Burger King to help with their franchising system and stayed with the restaurant franchise for a couple of years before moving on to Pepsi Co.

3G Capital, a global multi-million dollar investment firm, purchased Burger King in 2010, making it a privately-held company. With that, there was a complete restructure of the company, including menu changes, selling the majority of corporate-owned restaurants in order to exclusively become a franchised operation, and replacing its ad agency. A partnership with Canada’s Tim Hortons made the combined restaurants the third-largest international chain of fast food restaurants.

Photo: Håkan Dahlström via Flickr/Creative Commons

Reasons to Join the Burger King Team

1. Be Your Own King

Burger King provides multiple franchise opportunities so franchisees can find the right fit for them and grow their business, successfully and quickly. The options are limitless and Burger King has the recipe for success.

2. Stellar Support Team

The company’s training programs are meant to create and maintain a bold, empowering, accountable, and fun culture for franchisees. Your success is their success, and their training process goes over the tools and franchisees need to grow their business and obtain “whopping” results.

Before the new restaurant can open, the prospective franchisee must complete BKC’s training program. The program consists of an In-Restaurant Training, which is held in various locations that are authorized as training locations. Additionally, BKC provides a Franchisee Orientation course, which all franchisees must attend before opening or acquiring a Restaurant. Any franchisee that fails to attend the course may be declared in default of the Franchise Agreement.

Training materials may be in written, electronic, or other forms, such as manuals, workbooks, videos, and interactive computer training. The franchisee is responsible for all training costs, which includes lodging and transportation to and from training program locations.

BKC may require additional training for individual owners or Managing Directors of new restaurant locations in order to implement current standards and procedures. The franchisor also may require periodic workshops or seminars for employees in management positions.

3. Operations Excellence

The customer experience is of utmost importance and every consumer should have their own outstanding service. Burger King’s comprehensive operations manual and strong support provide franchisees with the guidance they need to achieve excellent restaurant service. The Burger King mission has not changed for six decades, and franchisees have the responsibility to uphold their operation at the highest level.

4. Quality Brand Through Innovative Marketing and Advertising

Burger King’s marketing and advertising strategy is effective and contributes to the prosperity of their business. Their overall brand is maintained by innovative social media campaigns and other marketing ideas. For example, Burger King began liking Twitter users old tweets from 2010. Odd right? Actually, it turned out to be a brilliant marketing idea to promote a 2010 menu item Burger King was bringing back. This supports Burger King’s fun and the bold environment they want to create, and franchisees will learn what is behind the Burger King logo and how to effectively convey that to their guests.

FDD Summary

Initial Franchise Fee: $50,000

The standard franchise fee for a standard 20-year Franchise Agreement term is $50,000. The term, however, may be shorter for non-traditional restaurants. The franchisor also notes that the franchise fee is prorated for terms of different duration.

The Burger King franchise offers programs under which they lower the standard franchise fee. However, these programs may be discontinued at any point.

Royalty: 4.5%

This percentage is out of monthly gross sales, which means all revenue related to the restaurant minus sales tax. This fee is payable on the 10th day of each month.

Estimated Initial Investment: $1,877,600- $3,283,600

This range is the franchise’s estimate of how much it may cost for a person to start their Burger King business.

Name of Fee Low High
Initial Franchise Fee $50,000
Travel and Living Expenses While Training $0 $25,000
Real Property/Occupancy Charge $400,000 $850,000
Civil & Architectural Drawings/Professional Fees $20,000 $45,000
Zoning Expenses $5,000 $25,000
Improvements/Construction $900,000 $1,100,000
Landscaping $25,000 $60,000
Equipment $199,600 $294,600
Decor Package $45,000 $95,000
Signage & Drive Thru $66,000 $166,000
Pre-Opening Wages $57,000 $61,000
Opening Inventory $6,000 $12,000
Cash, Inventory Control and Order Taking System $35,000 $110,000
Insurance $14,000 $25,000
Working Capital/Additional Funds $45,000 $90,000
Business Licenses, Utility Deposits, Lease Deposits, and Payments $10,000 $30,000
2-Story Interior Playground $0 $245,000
Total $1,877,600 $3,283,600

Revenue Range: $148,060 – $4,317,979

The revenue range reflects the highest and lowest annual sales for franchisee-owned traditional and non-traditional restaurants in 2018. Burger King stresses in the FDD that there is no assurance you will sell this much. All franchisees may have individual results that differ based on factors like location, operation, how the manual is followed, and so on.

The inspiring story of how Burger King came to fruition all started with two entrepreneurs and their experimentation with a new cooking design. Their unconventional thinking at the time led them to become one of the most recognized franchises in the world. They made a business their own and succeeded. Burger King welcomes innovation, so bring your ideas and they will help you prosper.

Disclaimer: The above information was derived from the year 2017 FDD of Retro Fitness. This data may not reflect the most current information. AskMrFranchise and affiliates are not responsible for any act or failure to act in reliance upon this report, article, data, and/or information. None of the information mentioned above should be used to substitute or replace consultation with legal or other professionals.


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