The Reason Burger King Has A Different Name In Australia

If you're strolling through Australia and get a sudden hankering for a Whopper, it might be helpful to know that what you want to look out for is not a Burger King, but a "Hungry Jack's." Just to set the record straight: Hungry Jack's is Burger King. Or rather, Burger King is Hungry Jack's. Like the narrator in Fight Club and Tyler Durden, the two are one; they cannot be separated out. Before that sends you into an existential crisis, let's examine a little Australian history.

According to CBC Radio, when the American Burger King decided to make its way down under, a man named Jack Cowin (who's actually Canadian) became the franchisee. Rubbing his hands together, Cowin was fully prepared to have it his way (get it?) and start building BKs in 1971, as a partner of the US chain (via 

Much to his — and the Burger King parent company's — chagrin, there already existed a Burger King restaurant in Adelaide. This burger joint was, confusingly, owned by an American, who had moved to Australia and opened his own "Burger King," after realizing that the name hadn't been trademarked there.

Burger King and Hungry Jack's go in, only Hungry Jack's comes out

Still with us? So the big Burger King corporation gave Cowin a list of names to choose from — trademarks that they already owned — and told him to pick his favorite. It probably wasn't much of a surprise when Cowin picked "Hungry Jack's" (because, Jack? Remember?) and thus the Australian franchise of the Burger King corporation was born, and christened Hungry Jack's, according to CBC Radio.

For forty years, the franchise grew across the great land of Australia, customizing orders and flame broiling burgers left and right. Or maybe, right and then left. Because, Australia. The best part? In 1991, the original Adelaide trademark on the Burger King name expired, and the big guys were free to come in and open up shop under their favorite name. But by then, it was too late: Aussies loved Hungry Jack's, and after years of legal battles, Hungry Jack's won the Burger King rights to Australia and elected to keep their own name, popular as it was with the people. Talk about having it your way.