- Burger King’s uniforms have changed a lot over the years.
- The uniforms have gone through funky, peppy, and somber phases as the brand has tried to craft a unified and distinct aesthetic.
- Their latest redesign is part of the brand’s new aesthetic, which revolves visually around its most iconic product: the Whopper.
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From funky to faded to fresh, Burger King’s uniforms have changed a lot since the chain got its start in the 1950s.
Burger King CMO Fernando Machado told Business Insider that until recently, Burger King’s uniforms were a “dog’s breakfast.” The chain’s previous uniform, which was designed in 2012, featured gray polyester dress tees that Machado described as “very generic.”
Machado also told BI that the chain’s newest uniform, which was rolled out in 2015, was the chain’s first globally standardized uniform.
In the 1970s and early 1980s, before Burger King was a global brand, U.S. locations featured bold, colorful, and creative uniforms. Its 70s-era uniforms were a groovy blend of ketchup and mustard with poofy hats, while in the 80s the brand turned to stripes, plaids, and baseball caps. In the 90s, the brand dallied with solid blues – the opposite of their former red-and-yellow color scheme – perhaps to differentiate itself from the colors so closely associated with its closest competitor.
Machado said that the period during which Burger King became a global company was also when its uniforms were the least effectively designed. The 2012 uniforms were criticized – as well as other aspects of the brand’s aesthetic redesign that year – for closely resembling those of Burger King’s competitors.
Burger King in 2015 unveiled its newest uniform redesign, which features Whopper stripes on black and grey. The 2015 uniform is now standardized around the world, and also introduced hats, hoodies, and aprons into the mix.
Machado said that the brand’s newest uniform was part of an aesthetic overhaul that aimed to represent the Whopper, Burger King’s most iconic sandwich, in its visual identity. The new uniforms were also designed with the goal of strengthening and unifying the chain’s brand identity across franchises around the world.
Here’s how they fit into the heritage of Burger King’s uniforms: