This Is What Burger King Was Called When It First Opened

Updated: Apr. 07, 2021

Hint: it oddly has to do with social media.

BERLIN - OCT 01: Burger King restaurant exterior - sign near the main entrance in Berlin on October 01. 2016 in GermanySavvapanf Photo/Shutterstock

The introduction of the cell phone camera plus social media means people are sharing more and more of their daily life, and meals, through pictures. Burger King started well before this technology, but it pays a secret homage to media today in its old name. The fast-food giant originally went by another name for a limited time—Insta-Burger King. Yes, Burger King was “Instagram-worthy” before the creation of the social app, Instagram. Here are 10 things you probably didn’t know about Burger King’s Whopper.

Although Burger King food can be picture-worthy, that’s not why the chain initially had a different name. The “Insta” was a reference to the special grill machine used to cook the burgers called the Insta-Broiler, according to the Balance. Cornell University classmates James McLamore and David Edgerton bought the original chain from Keith Kramer and Matthew Burns in 1961. The new owners eventually started using a gas grill they called a “flame broiler,” instead of the Insta-Broiler, and took the Insta out of the company name.

That was only the first change from the new owners. They also added the legendary Whopper to the Burger King menu after McLamore saw the success that rival burger joints were having with larger-sized burgers. He chose the name “Whopper” and started selling the quarter pound beef burger—before McDonald’s introduced the Big Mac in 1968. So not only did Burger King spark the big burger trend, but the brand was Insta-worthy before Instagram’s existence. Next, check out how 9 other famous fast-food restaurants got their names.