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Burger heavyweight arrives in Finland

The world's second biggest hamburger chain is coming back to Finland. Burger King’s arrival will add another player to the fast increasing quota of fast food outlets in the country.

Finnish Burger King's menu will be on the whole the same as that of other branches around the world. Image: Facundo Arrizabalga / EPA

Currently, Finland’s hamburger market is largely catered to by homegrown chain Hesburger and the US owned McDonald’s. In recent years, filled baguette seller Subway has also won itself a profitable place in the Finnish fast food market.

The world’s second biggest fast food chain, Burger King is now set to arrive in Finland, courtesy of restaurant and hotel consortium, Restel. The Restel Group, owner of 49 hotels and 240 restaurants in Finland, has signed a comprehensive deal to establish the franchise on Finnish turf.

"We believe in the appeal of the Burger King brand. There is sufficient demand in the Finnish fast food market, which is the fastest growing market segment,” says Restel’s Restaurant Operations manager, Leena Turunen.

Beefing up operations

Burger King was founded in 1954. There are now more than 13,000 branches across 88 countries.

It operated two eateries in Helsinki and Tampere between 1982 and 1985.

There are 270 Hesburger diners in Finland, compared with over 80 McDonald’s restaurants. The first Hesburger opened in 1980 in Turku and the chain has now spread to the Baltic countries, Germany and Russia. Last year Hesburger recorded a taxable income of more than 204 million euros.

Hesburger bought the smaller Carrols hamburger chain from Kesko in 2002, at which point all Carrols branded restaurants became Hesburger outlets.

The world’s biggest fast food chain, McDonald’s, founded in 1955, came to Finland in 1984. In Finland the chain operates mainly as a franchise.

Alongside the two biggest chains, there are also a handful of small chains, such as Snacky and Rolls.

Since gaining its first Subway in 2000, Finland has also learned to love the baguette. Last year there were over 100 Subway branches in the country.

The first Burger King is scheduled to open in Helsinki towards the end of 2013.

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