Who doesn’t enjoy the flame-broiled goodness of a Burger King Whopper? But, how much do you really know about this sandwich–other than the fact that it’s cooked over an open flame? Here are 10 things you probably didn’t know about the Whopper.
10. It Was Created to Compete with Other Restaurants
The Whopper was introduced in Miami in 1957 to compete with rival restaurants who were selling big burgers. According to The Washington Post, author Josh Ozersky said in his book, The Hamburger: A History, that Jim McLamore, the creator of the Whopper, came up with the name because “he noticed that people liked a big hamburger they were eating at a rival restaurant.” “I suggested that we call our product a Whopper, knowing that this would convey imagery of something big,” McLamore explained in his autobiography, The Burger King.
-The Whopper originally sold for 37 cents.
-The Big Mac was NOT one of the burgers the Whopper was created to compete with. The Big Mac actually wasn’t introduced until 1968.
9. You Could Get One for Breakfast
Back in 2014, Burger King added Whoppers to its breakfast menu at 5,000 of its locations in a program called Burgers for Breakfast. “Selling burgers at breakfast at Burger King restaurants allows our guests to start their day their way — either with the great flame broiled taste of our signature burgers and sandwiches or with our delicious suite of breakfast offerings,” a spokeswoman said in a statement to Ad Age, Fox News reported. Other items they were offering at breakfast included cheeseburgers, chicken sandwiches, French fries, and apple pies.
8. You Can Build Your Own Whopper
At Universal Orlando Resort’s entertainment complex, that is. The complex, known as Universal CityWalk, is home to the world’s first Whopper Bar, a build-your-own sandwich bar with over 20 toppings to choose from, including bacon, crispy onions, barbecue sauce, and even guacamole. And, your sandwich is assembled right there on the spot.
According to an article published by Orlando Weekly, the BK Whopper Bar, as it’s officially called, is less than stellar. Online reviews included terms and phrases like “awful” and “not worth the wait.” TripAdvisor user Robert G. agreed. They are are “edible, hot and fill a hole… If you are expecting more you will be disappointed,” he was quoted as saying in the article.
7. There Was a Whopper for Dogs
Late last year, Burger King rolled out the “Dogpper,” a Whopper just for dogs. The “Dogpper” was a flame-grilled, Whopper-flavored dog biscuit made with real beef, cheddar cheese, oat flour, brown rice flour, eggs, and sesame seeds. To get a “Dogpper” for your pooch, you had to first place an order for a human Whopper through DoorDash, the chain’s online delivery service. If customers used the code “DOGPPER” when ordering, they weren’t charged a delivery fee on orders over $10. The promotion lasted from late November through early December.
6. Whopper Wi-Fi is a Thing
Burger King launched Whopper Wi-Fi back in 2014 in an attempt to improve the customer experience. “Most of our guests carry smart phones or tablets, and this upgrade makes their time with us easier and more enjoyable,” said Alex Macedo, President, North America, BKC, according to AT&T. “We are committed to enhancing our digital platforms across the board and having Whopper Wi-Fi is just the beginning.”
Whopper Wi-Fi is powered by AT&T Ready Zone, requires iOS 10.0 or later, and is compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. You can download the app for free on Google Play Store and the App Store.
5. They Were Available for a Penny
Back in December, Burger King was selling the Whopper for one cent in a campaign called the “Whopper Detour.” Here’s how it worked: You had to go to within 600 feet of a McDonald’s (yes, you read that correctly) and order a Whopper using the Burger King app, then head to the nearest Burger King location to pick up your sandwich.
A video promoting the stunt showed footage of customers pulling up to a McDonald’s drive-through and ordering Whoppers. The campaign lasted from December 4 to 12.
4. It Went by Another Name
When Burger King first tried to expand into the San Antonio area, it had to call its Whopper sandwich the “Deluxe” instead. That’s because a chain called Whopper Burger held the rights to the name “Whopper.” As a result, Burger King was barred from doing business there for several years. And, when Burger King was finally able to open in San Antonio, they couldn’t use the word “Whopper” in any of its advertising. According to MySanAntonio.com, the dispute was finally settled in 1983 when the owner of the Whopper Burger chain passed away and his widow decided to sell the chain to two Florida-based Burger King franchisees who then sold it to a subsidiary of Burger King.
3. The Whopper Jr. Was Unplanned
Most people probably think the Whopper Jr. was a marketing gimmick, but it actually came about by chance. This slightly smaller version of the Whopper sandwich made its debut in 1963 at the grand opening of a Burger King in Puerto Rico when an employee noticed that the molds needed to make the buns for the Whopper hadn’t arrived. So, he decided to substitute them with traditional hamburger buns instead. The restaurant adopted the idea soon after, and the employee was inducted into the Burger King Hall of Fame. He eventually became CEO of Caribbean Restaurants, the parent company of Burger King locations in Puerto Rico.
2. It Helped Launch Ellen DeGeneres’ Career
When Ellen DeGeneres was in her 20s, she stepped on stage to perform her very first comedy routine at a fundraiser she and her friends were attending. In her hand was a meal she had purchased from Burger King that consisted of a Whopper, fries, and a milkshake. According to MSN, DeGeneres said her performance wasn’t all that great. “People enjoyed me eating onstage and not talking,” she said. She was wrong, however. Someone in the audience enjoyed her act–so much so that she was invited to perform at a nearby university, and the rest is history.
1. It Caused People to Lose Facebook Friends
A marketing promotion called the “Whopper Sacrifice” led to the unfriending of nearly 234,000 people on Facebook. That’s because Burger King promised Facebook users a coupon for a free Whopper for every ten friends they deleted on the social networking site. The promotion came to a screeching halt, however, after Facebook asked the fast food chain to remove a feature from the app that sent notifications to users, telling them that they’d been unfriended for a free hamburger. According to The New York Times, a spokesperson from Facebook said the social networking site was concerned the notification would create privacy issues. “While Facebook was a great sport, they did ask for changes that would have resulted in a different approach to our application, counter to what we developed,” Burger King said in a statement to The New York Times. “Ultimately, based on philosophical differences, we decided to conclude the campaign and chose to ‘sacrifice’ the application.”
Who knew that a sandwich could be so complicated, LOL! Anyway, thanks for reading, and happy eating!