Burger King is an American global chain of hamburger fast food restaurants headquartered in unincorporated Miami-Dade County, Florida, United States.
The company began in 1953 as Insta-Burger King, a Jacksonville, Florida-based restaurant chain. After Insta-Burger King ran into financial difficulties in 1954, its two Miami-based franchisees, David Edgerton and James McLamore, purchased the company and renamed it Burger King.
At the end of fiscal year 2013, Burger King reported it had over 13,000 outlets in 79 countries; of these, 66 percent are in the United States and 99 percent are privately owned and operated with its new owners moving to an entirely franchised model in 2013. BK has historically used several variations of franchising to expand its operations. The manner in which the company licenses its franchisees varies depending on the region, with some regional franchises, known as master franchises, responsible for selling franchise sub-licenses on the company’s behalf. Burger King’s relationship with its franchises has not always been harmonious. Occasional spats between the two have caused numerous issues, and in several instances the company’s and its licensees’ relations have degenerated into precedent-setting court cases. Burger King’s Australian franchise, Hungry Jack’s, is the only franchise to operate under a different name due to a copyright dispute and a series of legal cases between the two.