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Boom and bust

Thessa Lageman
Journalist, Writer, Photographer
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piqer: Thessa Lageman
Thursday, 07 March 2019

Burger Wars: A Tale Of Big Bucks, Business Innovation And Expanding Waistlines

Worldwide, fast food restaurants generate half a trillion dollars in sales each year. They feed hundreds of millions of people every day. 

This is the first of the six intriguing episodes about McDonald’s vs Burger King.

The McDonald’s self-service burger joint at the edge of the Mojave Desert might shock people in 1948, but it won’t be long before McDonald’s will multiply faster than anyone can imagine. In the process, it will change, for better and worse, the way millions of people around the world eat.

In 1952, would-be burger king Keith Kramer who owns a drive-in in Florida, drives to California to have a look at the McDonald’s, the “ground-breaking hamburger restaurant” he’s read about in a magazine. The manager shows him around and Kramer is impressed by the number of customers and the lightning-fast service, and shockingly low prices.

He decides to open a McDonald’s style drive-in too, using ‘the instant burger boiler’, which he buys from an inventor in Hollywood.

With this winning combination of taste, simplicity and speed, they are positive they are gonna make a boatload of money.

Someone suggests to call the restaurant Insta-Burger Kings, and several franchises are opened. But they’re all losing money, while word is spreading fast of the McDonald’s brothers’ hamburger joint and the big profits they’re making. All over the country, entrepreneurs inspired by the brothers are opening fast food restaurants that they hope to turn into national chains.

But the biggest threat of all is going to come from a milkshake machine sales man in Chicago. He’s planning to take McDonald’s national and it’s a plan that will make him Insta-Burger King's deadliest enemy.
Burger Wars: A Tale Of Big Bucks, Business Innovation And Expanding Waistlines
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