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When Jack dethroned the King

My usual fast food lunch got changed up today with a visit to Hungry Jack's. For something different I ordered the "Bacon Deluxe". It was a good, smaller variation to the usual "Whopper"... Yes, that's right. "Whopper"! Any international who is well versed in fast food menus would know that the "Whopper" is the signature dish of Burger King not Hungry Jack's. So why can they sell the Whopper? Let me fill you in on the tiny tale of the two little businesses that took on the king and won...

The year was 1971 and Burger King were pushing to open stores in Australia. The man who had brought KFC to the country, Jack Cowin, was put in charge of the operation. He had one small issue though. A tiny little take-away in Adelaide already had the rights to the name "Burger King" and it didn't matter how much money was thrown at them, they wouldn't give up their name. Score 1 to the little guy. Burger King were a big, multinational corporation at this point so it was like water off a duck's back to them. They gave Cowin a list of names that they had the rights to use and no second guesses as to the one that he chose. Of course he picked "Hungry Jack's", so would I if my name was "Jack". Thus, the first Hungry Jack's was opened in Perth in 1971 and all went smoothly for another 25 years.

In 1996 the trademark on "Burger King" lapsed and the greedy Burger King big wigs pounced on this opportunity. They claimed that Hungry Jack's were not opening new franchises fast enough so they scrapped their contract and partnered up with Shell petrol stations to open independent Burger King restaurants. It's fair to say that Hungry Jacks, the little Aussie owned subsidiary, were quite pissed off. How dare they open up BKs when HJs rules this roost? There was a point where Burger Kings were opening within metres of Hungry Jack's operations. Clearly Hungry Jack's took them to court on a number of grounds and, to cut a long story short, they won. In 2003 Burger King removed itself from Australia and Hungry Jack's took over control of that brand. Score 2 to the little guy.

Today's post wasn't too much about what I got up to today but more about "the big company that couldn't". I hope it was enjoyable and a nice change from my regular posts. I look forward to seeing what Hungry Jack's does next... (the result of the McDonald's vs Hungry Jacks court case can't be far away :) )



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