How Was Burger King Affected by COVID-19

Perhaps one of the most popular fast-food chains in America, Burger King has not been immune to the challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, it has been one of the most affected chains with many locations closing down in the face of reduced sales and business disruptions. Despite this, it is important to know that the fast-food giant has come a long way since it was founded in the 1950s.

Its Beginnings

Burger King was founded in 1954 by two entrepreneurs, James McLamore and David R. Edgerton. The duo saw an opportunity to compete with McDonald’s and started their own fast-food chain named Insta Burger King. They were based in Florida, the same state that McDonald’s had found success in. However, McDonald’s had already patented a unique cooking method for its burgers and so the partners had to come up with their own method. After experimenting with different flame grilling techniques to cook the burgers, the Whopper was born.

It was in 1956 when the partners decided to change the name of their fast-food chain to Burger King and began expanding across the country. At the time, it was a small franchise of fast-food restaurants that operated mainly in the United States. The brand’s signature menu item, the Whopper, quickly became a staple for American consumers seeking quick meals at an affordable price.

Possible Reasons for Closures

However, as with many restaurants during and after the pandemic, some Burger King locations have had to shut down due to decreased foot traffic and limited revenues. But it’s important to note that the closures are due to temporary financial constraints and do not reflect the chain’s overall performance. Despite the closures, the chain still thrives with over 18,000 locations spread around the world.

The fast-food industry is highly competitive with many brands competing for the same customers. This might be a primary reason behind the closures of some Burger King locations. The closures could also be attributed to changes in consumer behavior and preferences. Nowadays, people are increasingly opting for healthy fast-food options and many fast-food chains have responded by adding plant-based meat alternatives to their menus. Burger King followed the trend by adding the Impossible Whopper to their menu, but the demand for this item apparently hasn’t been enough to stem the tide of declining sales.

The company announced a plan in late 2022 to refresh its brand. It calls for spending roughly $400 million on refurbishing its restaurants and launching new advertising campaigns among other things.


Despite the challenges the brand is currently facing, Burger King’s place in fast-food history is undeniable. The chain introduced several iconic products to the world, including the Whopper which remains its most popular item to date. There have been concerns surrounding its future in recent years, but the chain still maintains a sizable market share when it comes to fast-food chains.

As the world moves towards healthier meal options, chains like Burger King will have to adapt and expand their menu options to cater to changing consumer preferences. Like many of its competitors, it remains to be seen how much more the fast-food giant can adapt and change to stay competitive, but one thing is certain: Burger King has cemented its place in American fast-food history.

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