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William C. Altreuter
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Monday, August 25, 2014

Funny about Burger King: it seems to exist as much as a sort of a corporate investment vehicle as it does as a hamburger chain. This latest thing-- merging with Tim Horton's and moving to Canada-- is just one more complex maneuver, and it makes me wonder if that's not why it's never a place I feel like getting a burger. I guess the first Burger King I ate at was when the company was owned by Pillsbury. That would have been in the late 60's, and by that time it was already on its third set of owners. Pilsbury was purchased by Grand Metropolitan, which was then merged with Guinness in 1997, which sold it three years later to TPG Capital. Apparently Bain Capital was or was supposed to be part of that deal. TPG sold it to 3G Capital, which took it private after it was acquired in 2010. What I guess this means is if a restaurant is seen more often in the Transactions section of the Wall Street Journal than in the food section of local newspapers the chances are the burgers in that restaurant are going to taste like the Transactions section of the Wall Street Journal. Or, in the case of Burger King, like the burnt Transactions section of the Wall Street Journal.

| Comments:
Does Tim's do poutine? Does this mean I can get cheese curds and gravy on my fries at BK? At last, globalisation doing good in the world. Too bad about all the corporate tax the US misses out on.
 
If I'm not mistaken the Oz BK is a different operation. (Ha! A quick Google shows that in Australia Burger King is known as Hungry Jack's. Looks like the same menu though: http://www.hungryjacks.com.au/images/pdf/NutriGuide2014.pdf). Timmy's is coffee and doughnuts mostly, although apparently it is about to unleash this horror on the world: http://www.fastcompany.com/3034931/fast-feed/would-you-eat-this-buffalo-crunch-donut-from-tim-hortons)
 
My boss swears up and down that Hungry Jacks burgers in NZ are different, and better, than in Aus, and I think she may be right, but only insofar as the pickle seems to be sliced thicker. Been too long since Long Island to remember if Hungry Jacks is different from BK, though.

There's a story that Hungry Jacks is Hungry Jacks because when they called themselves Burger King, Australians reacted with typical tall-poppy disdain at the hubris.
 
The way I've always heard it, somebody in Queensland had the name. At the time Pilsbury owned BK so they told the Oz operator that he could pick a different name from a list of names that they owned.
 
That sounds more likely.

That sounds more likely.
 

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