Hungry Jack's

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Hungry Jack's Pty Ltd.
Company typeSubsidiary
GenreFast food
Founded19 June 1971; 52 years ago (1971-06-19)
Perth, Western Australia, Australia
FounderJack Cowin
(Hungry Jack's)
James McLamore and David Edgerton
(Burger King)
HeadquartersSydney, New South Wales, Australia
Key people
Chris Green (CEO)[1][2]
ProductsHamburgers, Chicken products, Salads, French fries, Onion rings, Breakfast and Hot and Cold Beverages, Kids' meals, Desserts[3]
RevenueDecrease A$1.043 billion (2010)
Increase A$538 million (2010)
Decrease A$246.5 million (2010)
Total equityIncrease A$1.289 billion (2010)
Number of employees
16,500 (2019)
ParentCompetitive Foods Australia

Hungry Jack's Pty Ltd. is an Australian fast food franchise of the Burger King Corporation. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of Competitive Foods Australia (with licensing from Restaurant Brands International), a privately held company owned by Jack Cowin. Hungry Jack's owns and operates or sub-licenses all of the Burger King/Hungry Jack's restaurants in Australia.

As the master franchise for Australia, the company is responsible for licensing new operators, opening its own stores and performing standards oversight of franchised locations in Australia. With over 400 locations across Australia, Hungry Jack's is the second-largest franchise of Burger King in the world (second to Carrols Corporation).

Corporate profile

Early history

A Hungry Jack's restaurant in Wagga Wagga, New South Wales

When Burger King moved to expand its operations into Australia, it found that its business name was already trademarked by a takeaway food shop in Adelaide, South Australia.[4] As a result, Burger King provided the Australian franchisee, Jack Cowin, with a list of possible alternative names derived from pre-existing trademarks already registered by Burger King and its then corporate parent Pillsbury that could be used to name the Australian restaurants.[5]

Cowin selected the "Hungry Jack" brand name, one of Pillsbury's U.S. pancake mixture products, and slightly changed the name to a possessive form by adding an apostrophe and "s" to form the new name "Hungry Jack's".[5] The first Australian franchise of Burger King Corporation was established in Innaloo, Perth, on 18 April 1971, under the auspices of Cowin's new company Hungry Jack's Pty Ltd.[6]

By the end of its first decade of operation in the 1970s, Hungry Jack's had expanded to 26 stores in three states. In October 1981, the company opened its first New South Wales store in the Sydney central business district on the corner of Liverpool and George Street. In 1986, the chain entered Victoria by purchasing 11 stores from the ailing Wendy's Hamburger chain, later converting them to Hungry Jack's.[7]

1996 to 2001: legal battle with Burger King

A Hungry Jack's outlet within Melbourne Airport T2

In 1991, Hungry Jack's Pty Ltd. renewed its franchise agreement with Burger King Corporation which allowed the Hungry Jack's to license third party franchisee. However, one of the conditions of the agreement was that Hungry Jack's had to open a certain number of stores every year for the term of the contract. In 1996, shortly after the Australian trademark on the Burger King name lapsed, Burger King Corporation made a claim that Hungry Jack's had violated the conditions of the renewed franchise agreement by failing to expand the chain at the rate defined in the contract and sought to terminate the agreement.[8]

Under the aegis of this claim, Burger King Corporation in partnership with Shell Australia, began to open its own stores in 1997 beginning in Sydney and throughout the Australian regions of New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory, Victoria and Tasmania.[8][9][10][11] In addition, Burger King sought to limit HJ's ability to open new locations in the country, whether they were corporate locations or third-party licensees.[12]

As a result of Burger King's actions,[citation needed] Hungry Jack's owner Jack Cowin and his company Competitive Foods Australia, began legal proceedings in 2001 against the Burger King Corporation, claiming Burger King Corporation had violated the conditions of the master franchising agreement and was in breach of the contract.[citation needed] The Supreme Court of New South Wales agreed with Cowin and determined that Burger King had violated the terms of the contract and awarded Hungry Jack's A$46.9 million (US$41.6 million in 2001).[13][14]

In its decision, the Court said that Burger King sought to engineer a default of the franchise agreement so that the company could limit the number of new Hungry Jack's branded restaurants and ultimately claim the Australian market as its own, which was a purpose that was extraneous to the agreement.[12] The case introduced the American legal concept of good faith negotiations into the Australian legal system, which until the time of the verdict had been rarely used in the Australian court systems.[15][16]

2002 to present

A Hungry Jack's/Coles Express/Shell outlet in Elizabeth Street, Hobart. From 1997 until it was rebranded in 2003 this was Hobart's first and only Burger King-branded outlet, and was the first Burger King in Australia to be located outside an airport.[11]

After Burger King Corporation lost the case, it decided to terminate its operations in the country and in July 2002 the company transferred its assets to its New Zealand franchise group, Trans-Pacific Foods (TPF).[17][18] The terms of the sale had TPF assume oversight of the Burger King franchises in the region as the Burger King brand's master franchisee.[19] Trans-Pacific Foods administered the chain's 81 locations until September 2003 when the new management team of Burger King Corporation reached an agreement with Hungry Jack's Pty Ltd. to rebrand the existing Burger King locations to Hungry Jack's and make Hungry Jack's Pty the sole master franchisee of both brands.[citation needed]

An additional part of the agreement required Burger King Corporation to provide administrative and advertising support as to ensure a common marketing scheme for the company and its products.[20] Trans-Pacific Foods transferred its control of the Burger King franchises to Hungry Jack's Pty Ltd., which subsequently renamed the remaining Burger King locations as "Hungry Jack's," joining the other 210 outlets at the time.[5][9]

In the 2009 to 2010 financial year, Competitive Foods Australia reported an after-tax profit of $32.1 million on sales of $1.043 billion.[21]

As of September 2021, Hungry Jack's has 440 stores, with 75% being company owned.[22] The company intends to open more than 20 new stores per year in the future, with an upper aim of 700 stores in total.[23]


A Hungry Jack's Bacon Deluxe combo meal, a long-standing menu option unique to the Australian market

The only Burger King trademarks that are currently sold at Hungry Jack's are the Whopper range of beef burgers and the TenderCrisp range of chicken burgers. Other products sold by Hungry Jack's include the Baconator, the Brekky Wrap range and the Grill Masters premium Angus beef burger range, as well as more generic items such as cheeseburgers, chicken nuggets, and chips.[24][25]

Hungry Jack's breakfast menu, introduced in late 2005 in three states (Queensland, Western Australia, and Northern Territory) and the other states the following year, bears little resemblance to Burger King's US breakfast menu, and includes items such as English muffins and toasties.[24] In 2021 Hungry Jack's released two new breakfast menu items, the Turkish Brekky BLAT and the Turkish Brekky BLAT with egg. A BLAT sandwich is popular in Australia; the acronym stands for Bacon, Lettuce, Avocado and Tomato.[26]

Due to the increase in popularity of plant-based meat alternatives being consumed across Australia,[27] Hungry Jack's introduced the "Rebel Whopper" in partnership with V2food in late 2019, which is a variation of the Whopper containing a meat-free patty made with protein extracted from legumes.[28][29][30] A large promotional campaign was run, including partnering with online creator Natalie Tran.[31] The restaurant also serves a vegan Whopper burger and English muffins, which contain a vegetable patty.[24]

In 2022, Hungry Jack's launched its Jack's Café coffee chain brand as a response to McDonald's McCafé offering.[32]

From November 2018, the full menu of Hungry Jack's was available for home delivery via Menulog.[33]

Big Jack

In mid-2020, the chain introduced the "Big Jack" burger, which is essentially a slightly altered version of the Big King, and similar to McDonald's Big Mac burger. The close similarities in the name, appearance and the marketing of the burger led to McDonald's suing Hungry Jack's in the Federal Court of Australia in August 2020 over trademark infringement, and they sought to cancel Hungry Jack's Big Jack trademark which was filed the previous year.[34] They also accused the company of deliberately copying the ingredients and appearance of the Big Mac in bad faith.[35]

In its defence, Hungry Jack's argued that the burger's name is simply a play on the company's name and that of its founder Jack Cowin, and that a burger's appearance and composition cannot be protected by a trademark, noting that their product features "common characteristics of hamburgers" sold everywhere.[35] In November 2023, the Federal Court ruled against McDonald's, finding that "Big Jack is not deceptively similar to Big Mac", and that the company had not established that Hungry Jack's trademarks had infringed on McDonald's existing trademarks.[36] Hungry Jack's had also ran an advertising campaign that made light of the lawsuit during the early stages of the trial which also made the claim that the Big Jack patty was 25% larger than the Big Mac's as a point of differentiation; the Court found this claim misleading but it did not affect the final verdict.[36]

Hungry Jack's eventually released a number of variants of the burger to the range, including a larger version — the Mega Jack, the Outlaw Big Jack (which added bacon and barbeque sauce), and the Chicken Big Jack. The burger and all its variants were removed from the menu in late 2021.


The Hungry Jack's logo is still based on the 1994 Burger King logo, despite subsequent revisions to the logo used by Burger King in other markets.[37] The logo was redesigned in 2000,[38] with the design based on the 1999 Burger King logo, but the logo was never used.[39]


Hungry Jack's currently sponsors the West Coast Eagles and Adelaide Football Club in the Australian Football League (AFL).[40]

Hungry Jack's are also the naming rights sponsor for the National Basketball League.[41]

See also


  1. ^ "Hungry Jack's appoints Chris Green as CEO". QSR Media. Charlton Media Group. 14 February 2019. Retrieved 5 December 2022.
  2. ^ Pizzirani, Daniela (12 July 2022). "'It is an expectation': Hungry Jack's next big move". Retrieved 5 December 2022.
  3. ^ "Menu". Hungry Jack's. Retrieved 7 November 2017.
  4. ^ Andrew Terry; Heatrher Forrest (2008). "Where's the Beef? Why Burger King Is Hungry Jack's in Australia and Other Complications in Building a Global Franchise Brand". Northwestern Journal of International Law and Business, 2008. 28 (2): 171–214. ISSN 0196-3228.
  5. ^ a b c "Burger King slips into Hungry Jack's uniform". the Sydney Morning Herald. 2 June 2003. Retrieved 8 March 2008. Burger King Corp's new management said on Friday it was ceding the Australian market to the Hungry Jack's brand, dissolving a convoluted relationship that at one time went to court in a franchising dispute.
  6. ^ "Burger King Re-flags Australian Stores". All Business Your Small Business Advabrage. 30 May 2003. Archived from the original on 14 January 2012. Retrieved 29 September 2007. Mr Cowin bought the Australian franchise for Burger King from the chain's then-owner, Pillsbury Co. But because the Burger King name was already registered in the country, Cowin used a Pillsbury pancake-mix brand, Hungry Jack, for his stores."; "Hungry Jack's was BK's original franchisee in Australia, but the company could not use the Burger King name at the time because it was already trademarked.
  7. ^ "Hungry Jack's: About Us". Hungry Jack's Online. Retrieved 18 July 2012.
  8. ^ a b Alina Matas (11 November 1999). "Burger King Hit With Whopper ($44.6 Million) Of A Judgment". Zargo Einhorn Salkowski & Brito. P.A. Retrieved 29 September 2007. [permanent dead link]
  9. ^ a b "In Australia, Burger King to become 'Hungry Jack's'". South Florida Business Journal. 30 May 2003. Retrieved 29 September 2007.
  10. ^ BK press release (6 November 1998). "Burger King Corporation Announces The Opening Of The Company's 10,000th Restaurant". PR Newswire. Archived from the original on 19 February 2006. Retrieved 8 March 2008. Burger King Corporation announced today that it is opening its 10,000th restaurant in Australia on Saturday, November 7, a major milestone in the fast-food giant's development plans.
  11. ^ a b Caples, John (8 July 1999). "Burger King to head North". The Examiner. Retrieved 9 July 2012.
  12. ^ a b Rani Mina. "A Franchiser's Duty of Good Faith and Fair Dealing". Find Law. Findlaw Australia. Archived from the original on 14 November 2002. Retrieved 8 March 2008.
  13. ^ Burger King Corporation v Hungry Jack's Pty Ltd [2001] NSWCA 187, Court of Appeal (NSW, Australia).
  14. ^ Burger King obtained special leave to appeal to the High Court:[2002] HCATrans 180 (19 April 2002), however the appeal was later dismissed by consent: [2002] HCATrans 578 (14 November 2002).
  15. ^ "Importing into Australian law the US notion of good faith in contract-related dealings". Allens Arthur Robinson. June 2008. Archived from the original on 13 January 2003. Retrieved 24 May 2008. Now, it seems that the Courts are using these concepts in commercial disputes in New South Wales. An unreported judgment late last year in Hungry Jack's v Burger King indicates that the notion of good faith may well be implied between the parties in some contractual disputes.
  16. ^ Rani Mina (Corrs Chambers Westgarth) (March 2002). "A Franchiser's Duty of Good Faith and Fair Dealing". FindLaw. Findlaw (Australia). Archived from the original on 20 February 2009. Retrieved 1 June 2008. In contrast, it was necessary to imply this duty [good faith] in the Burger King case to give business efficacy to the agreement because the agreement gave Burger King a discretionary power to terminate the agreement on the basis of operational and financial grounds that involved subjective considerations. Burger King could terminate the agreement for the slightest breach based on a subjective evaluation of the circumstances if it were not obliged to act in good faith.
  17. ^ Olympic Software press release (May 2006). "Burger King all fired up about Microsoft Great Plains Professional" (Press release). iStart. Archived from the original on 17 February 2009. Retrieved 27 July 2008. TPF Restaurants manages the New Zealand Burger King franchise. Established in New Zealand in 1994, the company now has 65 restaurants in New Zealand and a growing operation in Australia.
  18. ^ Jackson, Allison (25 April 2002). "Jack not so hungry for Burger King". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 9 July 2012.
  19. ^ BK Press release (24 April 2002). "Burger King Corporation Announces New Agreement Creating A Growth Platform for the Burger King(R) Brand in Australia" (Press release). PR Newswire. Archived from the original on 18 February 2006. Retrieved 27 July 2008. The agreement also includes servicing the 21 existing BURGER KING franchisees, all new franchisees operating under the BURGER KING brand and the responsibility for growth and development of the brand in Australia
  20. ^ The Gale Group (9 June 2003). "Hungry Jack's to replace BK brand in Australia". Nations Restaurant News. Archived from the original on 17 February 2009. Retrieved 8 March 2008. "Consolidation means more money for marketing and will create a powerful, single brand with an increased focus on operations excellence that should add to growth in profitability", Brad Blum, chief executive of Miami-based Burger King, said.
  21. ^ Sonti, Chalpat (13 December 2010). "The burgers sell better at Hungry Jack's". WAToday. Retrieved 6 July 2010.
  22. ^ Powell, Dominic (19 April 2021). "Fake meat and street fights: Why Hungry Jack's founder is still hungry for change". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 30 June 2022.
  23. ^ Evans, Simon (27 September 2021). "Rich Lister Jack Cowin thinks chicken will fly at Hungry Jack's". Australian Financial Review. Retrieved 30 June 2022.
  24. ^ a b c "Hungry Jack's menu". Hungry Jack's. Retrieved 10 March 2012.
  25. ^ "Burger King's US menu". Retrieved 29 August 2007.
  26. ^ "Turkish Brekky BLAT".
  27. ^ "Australia is the 3rd Fastest Growing Vegan Market in the World". 23 January 2018. Retrieved 3 December 2018.
  28. ^ "Hungry Jack's launches the vegan Rebel Whopper". 14 October 2019. Retrieved 19 November 2020.
  29. ^ "CSIRO teams with takeaway tycoon to make 'fake meat' fast food". ABC News. 8 October 2019. Retrieved 19 November 2020.
  30. ^ "Jack Cowin to build $20m fake meat factory". Australian Financial Review. 1 October 2019. Retrieved 19 November 2020 – via
  31. ^ "Hungry Jack's pokes vegans to promote new burger". Retrieved 3 December 2018.
  32. ^ "Hungry Jack's launches Jack's Cafe across WA restaurants". Retrieved 30 June 2022.
  33. ^ Rao, Shoba (27 November 2018). "Burger chain Hungry Jack's to have food delivered to fans' homes through Menulog". The Courier Mail. Retrieved 26 August 2023.
  34. ^ "McDonald's files suit against Hungry Jack's for 'Big Jack' campaign". Retrieved 23 December 2020.
  35. ^ a b "McDonald's moves to supersize lawsuit against Hungry Jack's". Retrieved 23 December 2020.
  36. ^ a b "Hungry Jack's Big Jack 'not deceptively similar' to McDonald's Big Mac in burger case, court finds". Retrieved 16 November 2023.
  37. ^ "Renelt Belic Design: Hungry Jack's Logo". Renelt Belic Design. Archived from the original on 20 April 2013. Retrieved 28 July 2012.
  38. ^ "Trade Mark 861839 | IP Australia | Trade Mark Search". Retrieved 17 May 2023.
  39. ^ "Hungry Jack's | Renelt Belić Design". 31 October 2013. Archived from the original on 31 October 2013. Retrieved 16 May 2023.
  40. ^ "Community". Retrieved 15 April 2023.
  41. ^ "Hungry Jacks to be the naming rights holder of NBL". Mumbrella. 4 October 2017. Retrieved 6 October 2017.

External links