Unraveling the Whopper of a Tale: Why Burger King Became Hungry Jack’s in Australia




The fast-food giant Burger King is known worldwide for its iconic flame-grilled Whoppers and mouthwatering menu. However, if you find yourself in Australia, you won’t see any Burger King signs. Instead, you’ll come across a chain called “Hungry Jack’s.” This name change has puzzled many, but there’s a fascinating story behind it. In this blog post, we’ll explore the reasons behind Burger King’s transformation into Hungry Jack’s in the Land Down Under.

  1. A Clashing of Trademarks:

The reason behind the name change stems from a legal conflict that arose in the late 1970s when Burger King decided to expand its operations into Australia. At that time, the name “Burger King” was already registered by a local takeaway food shop in Adelaide, South Australia. The Australian company held the trademark for the name and was unwilling to relinquish it.

  1. The Arrival of Jack Cowin:

Enter Jack Cowin, a dynamic Australian entrepreneur who had acquired the rights to bring the Burger King franchise to Australia. Facing the challenge of not being able to use the Burger King name, Cowin decided to adopt an alternative approach. In 1971, he had already established his own fast-food chain called “Hungry Jack’s” in Perth, Western Australia. When he secured the rights to the Burger King franchise, he opted to use his existing chain’s name for the new venture.

  1. Embracing the Local Brand:

Hungry Jack’s initially retained some Burger King menu items, including the famous Whopper, to offer a sense of familiarity to Australian customers. However, over the years, the two brands have diverged in some ways, with Hungry Jack’s introducing its unique menu items and promotions tailored to the Australian market.

  1. Expansion and Recognition:

Despite the name change, Hungry Jack’s has grown into a major player in the Australian fast-food scene. The chain has successfully established itself and gained recognition for its delicious offerings and a wide range of menu choices. Although operating under a different name, Hungry Jack’s remains an official Burger King franchise, ensuring that the essence of the brand’s global appeal is maintained.


The evolution of Burger King into Hungry Jack’s in Australia is a testament to the resilience and adaptability of global brands in the face of trademark challenges. Jack Cowin’s decision to embrace his existing chain’s name proved to be a strategic move, as Hungry Jack’s has flourished and carved a niche in the Australian fast-food market. Today, when you spot the iconic Hungry Jack’s logo, you’ll be reminded of the fascinating story behind its name, celebrating a fusion of local entrepreneurship and the global appeal of Burger King’s delectable offerings.