I love bizarre societal quirks. Little details that many may miss and travel guides never address. I was confronted with one such oddity on a recent trip to Australia. I noticed a lot of restaurants that looked like Burger King, they even had a similar menu; but they weren’t Burger King. That began a quest to learn the story behind Hungry Jack’s.
Every where I have been I’ve noticed a lot of Western chains. KFC is the most popular, followed by McDonalds, Pizza Hut and usually Burger King. When I was in Australia I saw the first three, but not the fourth. But we did keep seeing Hungry Jack’s, which for all intents and purposes looked just like Burger King. It demanded further investigation.
In the 1970s, Australian fast food giant Jack Cowin wanted to introduce Burger King to Australia. The problem was that the name had already been trademarked by a takeaway food shop in Adelaide. Unable to brand the new restaurants as Burger King, Cowin reviewed pre-existing trademarks already registered by Burger King and eventually decided on Hungry Jack, which was actually one of Pillsbury’s US pancake mixture products. Cowin added “’s” and Hungry Jacks’s was born.
The first Burger King/Hungry Jack’s in Australia opened in Perth in 1971, and has since expanded to more than 300 locations across Australia.
Thus was solved the mystery of Hungry Jack’s and the lack of Burger King restaurants in Australia.
What are some fun oddities you’ve found on your travels?