29 Juicy Facts About Hamburgers

Hamburgers were once considered a classic meal for Americans, today they have become a daily food habit for people globally. The simple combination of bread and beef has been copied, revised, enhanced, simplified, and served in over 150 countries.

There are many reasons behind its popularity throughout the world and especially in western countries. Hamburgers are ready-to-eat meals, and with our hectic life schedules it’s the perfect meal for settling hunger. With its succulent patty, fresh toppings, and fluffy buns, hamburgers have captured taste buds worldwide. Beyond being delicious and convenient, hamburgers have a rich history behind them. Discover some captivating facts about hamburgers. These tidbits will leave your curiosity piqued and your mouth watering.

The Exact Origin of the Hamburger May Never Be Known with Any Certainty

See our blog post, “Take a Bite Out of History – The Origin of the Hamburger” where we take a deep dive into hamburger history and sort out all the conflicting stories.

Americans Eat 55 Billion Burgers a Year

How popular have hamburgers become in America? An average American eats three burgers a week, translating to around 55 billion per year.

McDonald’s Serves 75 Hamburgers Per Second

The fast-food giant has branches all over the world and sells the most burgers worldwide: 75 or more burgers every second.

White Castle Was the First Fast-Food Hamburger Chain

White Castle was started in 1921 in Wichita, Kansas, by Walter Anderson and E.W. Ingrams. They originally sold their burgers for 5 cents a piece.

Hamburgers First Became Popular in the U.S. in 1904

The hamburger was a well-kept secret until the World’s Fair in 1904, held in St Louis Missouri. A certain “Uncle” Fletcher David from Allen, Texas, set up a hamburger stand and sold hamburgers. The rest is history.

One in Every Eight American Workers Has Been Employed by McDonald’s 

It is estimated that McDonald’s employs 700,000 U.S. workers at any given time, with a 150 percent turnover rate. That means that in any given year Mcdonald’s hires a million Americans. In all, one in every eight working Americans has been employed by the company including pre-fame celebrities such as Lin-Manuel Miranda, Jay Leno, Rachel McAdams, and Sharon Stone, and even former Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.

Five Guys Was Actually Founded by Five Guys (and a gal)

Five Guys Burgers and Fries was founded by husband and wife, Jerry and Janice Murell and their four sons in 1986. Two years later, a fifth son was born, so now the name refers strictly to the brothers.

The Biggest Commercially Available Burger Weighs 1,744 Pounds

A 1,744-pound cheeseburger is the world’s largest commercially sold burger. Mallie’s Sports Bar in Southgate, a Detroit suburb, took four years to plan how to cook and execute the beefy monstrosity. And it’s actually on the menu. Mallie started out comparatively small, first selling a 10-pound burger. By 2008, he developed a taste for competitive burger creation. That year, the Guinness Book of World Records handed his 138-pounder the title for the largest commercially sold burger. But after he lost the title to a Japanese restaurant, Mallie vowed to take back his crown.

In 2017, Maille started off with 2000 pounds of beef that was cooked down to a lean 1,774, before having 300 pounds of onions, pickles, lettuce, and cheese piled, then wedged in between 250 pound buns. When finally constructed, the burger measured three feet tall and five feet wide. It is entirely edible.

For those looking to take home the hulking hamburger, they’ll need to give the restaurant three days’ notice, $7,779, and will need to learn how to operate a forklift.

The First Hamburger Bun Was Invented in 1916

Hamburgers used to have flat bread instead of bun shaped bread. The first hamburger bun was made by a fry cook by the name Walter Anderson in 1916. He helped co-found White Castle five years later.

The Cheeseburger Was Invented by a Teenager

A cheeseburger is definitely an all-American favorite. However, do you know the origin story of the cheeseburger? Many food historians give a 16-year-old boy, Lionel Stenberger, the credit for adding an American cheese slice to a frying hamburger. This happened in 1924, at his father’s Rite Spot sandwich shop in Pasadena, California. He liked it, and his father agreed, which is how the cheeseburger came to be.

In another version of the story, Lionel burned a hamburger and tried to save the dish by adding a slice of cheese. He served it to a customer and the customer enjoyed the new addition to the hamburger.

The First Wendy’s Opened in Columbus, Ohio, on November 15, 1969

The first Wendy’s restaurant opened in Columbus, in 1969. It closed in 2007, however, due to declining sales, likely because of poor parking and its lack of drive-through.

Wendy’s Signature Frosty Has Been on the Menu Since Day One

Wendy’s famous Frosty was one of the original five products on the menu in 1969. It cost just 35 cents. The others were hamburgers, chili, French fries, and beverages. The Frosty must be served at a temperature of between 19 and 21 degrees to maintain the perfect thickness and texture.

“Mama” Cass Elliiot Sang a Hardee’s Jingle In 1973

In between the break-up of the Mamas & Papas in 1968 and her heart-failure-induced death in 1974, at the age of 32, singer “Mama” Cass Elliot recorded a jingle that was used in a Hardee’s commercial. The song urged potential customers to “head down to Hardee’s where the burgers are charco-broiled.”

You Can Get Fancy Tableside Service at White Castle on Valentine’s Day

Lovebirds who love White Castle can make Valentine’s Day reservations at locations across the country, where they’ll be treated to romantic decorations, hostess seating, tableside service, and a special menu that includes slides, shrimp nibbles, strawberry and cream waffles, and more. Last year, some 35,000 romantics scheduled dates at White Castle, and a duo even got married at the local joint.

Elvis Presley Loved Burgers

The King of Rock & Roll was a huge fan of hamburgers. Elvis would go to every burger joint possible while on tour and at his home in Memphis, Tennessee.

Elvis was constantly creating different recipes for various burgers that (he thought) tasted delicious. According to an Elvis Presley biography, he would constantly add ingredients to his burgers such as bananas, peanut butter, syrup, and eggs.

One strange way that Elvis prepared his burgers is that he always required the inside of the buns to be burnt black to a crisp.

The Big Mac Didn’t Always Have Its Iconic Name

It was previously called “Aristocrat” and “Blue Ribbon Burger.” Both names were complete failures in the market, though. We’re all glad they settled on the Big Mac.

The First Burger King Opened in 1953

In 1953, Keith J. Kramer and his uncle-in-law founded a restaurant based around the Insta-Broiler, a fast and efficient way to cook numerous burgers at once. Fittingly, they chose the name Insta Burger King. The first franchise opened a year later, and two franchisees, James McLamore and David Edgerton, eventually bought the whole company in 1959 and renamed it Burger King.

McLamore and Edgerton modified the design so it cooked burgers over an open flame.

The Original Burger King Whopper Was Just 29 Cents

The Whopper, which was first introduced in 1957, was a quarter-pound, oversized burger on a vast five inch bun that cost a reasonable 29 cents. While that may seem cheap, it was nearly twice as much as the 15 cent burgers sold by competitors. But McLamore had seen a Florida burger joint succeed with a big burger and believed customers would flock to a heftier sandwich.

He dubbed it the “Whopper” to denote something much more impressive than the standard fast food fare.

In-N-Out Burger Has Been doing Drive Thrus Longer Than Anyone

America’s first fast food drive-thru opened in 1947 at a spot called Red’s Giant Hamburg in Springfield, MO. The very next year, In-N-Out officially became the record holder.

Square Hamburgers Aren’t Original To Wendy’s

Wendy’s founder, Dave Thomas, got his inspiration for Wendy’s famously square burgers from Kewpees, a hamburger joint in his hometown of Kalamazoo, Michigan.

White Castle was also serving up angular burgers decades before Wendy’s made it one one of their trademarks.

There’s an Illinois Mom and Pop Restaurant Legally named “Burger King”

In 1968, in Mattoon, Illinois, a small restaurant called “Burger King” won a lawsuit against the giant fast food chain of the same name because they had trademarked the name first. Today, there are no Burger King joints legally allowed within 20 miles of this original restaurant.

McDonald’s “Arch Deluxe” Was One of the Most Expensive Product Flops of All Time

In 1996, McDonald’s attempted to introduce a hamburger called the “Arch Deluxe,” a higher-end burger marketed specifically to adults. It was released with one of the most expensive advertising campaigns to date, and was a complete failure.

Muhammed Ali Was a Fan of Hamburgers

Ali was barred from a Louisville, Kentucky, fast-food restaurant because of his color. When he returned from Rome after winning the light-heavyweight title in 1960, he put his gold medal on the counter and ordered a hamburger. “We still don’t serve negroes,” he was told. “That’s OK,” the then Cassius Clay is said to have cheekily replied, “I don’t eat ‘em.”

PETA Tried to Have a Town Change Its Name

National animal rights group, PETA, once offered the town of Hamburg, New York, $15,000 to change their name to Veggieburg. (They declined.)

Image from Facebook Page

The Hamburger Hall of Fame Is Located in Seymour, Wisconsin

The state legislature of Wisconsin, in 2007, decreed the town of Seymour as the official Home of the Hamburger, attributing the invention to local legend “Hamburger Charlie” (Nagreen) in 1885. As a result, the town of Seymour became home of the world’s Hamburger Hall of Fame, which is a museum honoring all things about the hamburger.

The World’s Most Expensive Burger Has Wagyu Beef and Beluga Caviar and Costs $6,000

Chef Robbert Jan de Veen of Daltons Diner in Voorthuizen, Netherlands, created “The Golden Boy” hamburger, in 2021, that costs more than Omega Speedmaster.

It all starts with the patty, which is made from ground Japanese Wagyu beef and chuck short ribs. It is then topped with white truffles, Paleta Iberico Bellota ham, onion rings with Dom Perignon in the batter, Beluga caviar, and king crab. All of this is served between two halves of a saffron-gold-leaf bun that also has Dom in it. “Golden Boy” is served with a barbecue sauce that counts Kopi Luwak coffee and Macallan single malt whiskey among its ingredients.

Best of all, all the proceeds for any sale of a “Golden Boy” will go to a local food bank.

During WWI the U.S. Government Tried to Rename Hamburgers as “Liberty Sandwiches”

In an effort to avoid using German nomenclature and to also promote patriotism, hamburgers were referred to as “Liberty Sandwiches” during WWI. Unfortunately, the name didn’t really catch on.

A Super Unhealthy, Heart-Attacking-Inducing Burger Is Served in Las Vegas, NV

The Heart Attack Grill in Las Vegas, Nevada, offers cardiovascularly destructive fare with their signature Quadruple Bypass Burger. This burger consists of four half-pound hamburgers, with tons of bacon, cheese, caramelized onions baked in lard, mayo, ketchup, mustard, and tomato slices. The burger has a staggering 9,982 calories.

Patrons weighing over 350 pounds eat for free at the Heart Attack Grill.

Charbar Serves the Best Hamburgers on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

True gourmet burgers, made from quality ingredients, and cooked to perfection are served right here on Hilton Head Island.