Burger King, often abbreviated as BK, is a global chain of hamburger fast food restaurants headquartered in unincorporated Miami-Dade County, Florida, United States. The company began in 1953 as Insta-Burger King, a Jacksonville, Florida-based restaurant chain. After Insta-Burger King ran into financial difficulties in 1954, its two Miami-based franchisees, David Edgerton and James McLamore, purchased the company and renamed it Burger King. Over the next half century, the company would change hands four times, with its third set of owners, a partnership of TPG Capital, Bain Capital, and Goldman Sachs Capital Partners, taking it public in 2002. In late 2010, 3G Capital of Brazil acquired a majority stake in BK in a deal valued at US$3.26 billion. The new owners promptly initiated a restructuring of the company to reverse its fortunes.
At the end of fiscal year 2012, Burger King reported it had almost 12,700 outlets in 73 countries; of these, 66 percent are in the United States and 95 percent are privately owned and operated with its new owners moving to an entirely franchised model by the end of 2013. BK has historically used several variations of franchising to expand its operations. The manner in which the company licenses its franchisees varies depending on the region, with some regional franchises, known as master franchises, responsible for selling franchise sub-licenses on the company's behalf. Burger King's relationship with its franchises has not always been harmonious. Occasional spats between the two have caused numerous issues, and in several instances the company's and its licensees' relations have degenerated into precedent-setting court cases.