Burger King

Every day, more than 11 million people dine at Burger King restaurants across the globe, thanks to the chain’s signature recipes, premium ingredients and family-friendly dining rooms. Founded in 1954, the brand is renowned for serving up affordable food, such as its signature ‘Whopper’ sandwich and its fish, chicken and vegetarian ranges.

The first Burger King was launched by entrepreneur David Edgerton in 1954 in Miami. In those days, the banner shop frontage proclaimed, ‘Burger King – home of the Whopper’ and hamburgers and milkshakes were only 18 cents. Three months after the launch, James McLamore joined as a partner.

In 1961, Edgerton and McLamore acquired the franchising rights for the Burger King brand and two years later, the company changed its name to Burger King Corp. It was sold for $18 million to Pillsbury Co in 1967, at which time there were 274 restaurants with 8,000 employees around the world.

Burger King changed hands again in 1988, when Grand Metropolitan PLC acquired Pillsbury Co, including Burger King, with a price tag of $5.79 billion. In 2009, Burger King opened its 12,000th store in Beijing. The company went through several changes of ownership until it was acquired by 3G Capital in October 2010.

In 2012, Burger King was listed on the New York Stock Exchange, with 3G Capital retaining 70% of the company ownership. In August 2014, Burger King bought Canadian fast food chain Tim Horton, becoming the third largest fast food company in the world, with sales of $23 billion.

Today, the company headquarters are in Miami-Dade, Florida – operating around 40 subsidiaries worldwide that oversee franchise operations. Burger King sales amounted to approximately $1.15 billion in 2016.

Sound Planning was commissioned to evaluate noise from a kitchen extract plant to the rear of Burger King at 70 Queensway, London, to ascertain whether it fell within Westminster City Council’s legal requirements – following a complaint from the occupant of a neighbouring property, Inverness Mews.

Sound Planning visited the site to assess whether plant noise from other commercial units in the local area was a contributory factor, as Inverness Mews has a direct line of sight to the kitchen extract systems belonging to Subway and Kalamaras Greek Restaurant too.

Microphones were installed at the complainant’s window and noise was measured from all areas of the Burger King plant. The study concluded that the existing background noise within Inverness Mews was already at a level which – according to World Health Organisation data – caused ‘serious annoyance’ when no plant was switched on.

Based on considerable experience, Sound Planning concluded that exhaust air or motor noise break-out was the dominant noise source from a mechanical plant of this nature. However, Burger King’s refrigeration compressor was a likely source of noise nuisance and a noise reduction of 10 dB was required.

The recommended noise mitigation solution included:

• An acoustic panel enclosure to fully enclose the external kitchen extract fan at flat roof level
• Fully wrapping the external kitchen extract duct riser using an approved acoustic duct wrap
• Installing an acoustic louvre screen around the refrigeration compressor

Sound Planning carried out a further noise assessment at Burger King three months later, to evaluate the extract fan’s noise emission levels following the installation of an in-line splitter attenuator in the duct riser.

Burger King’s ‘specific’ contribution to the overall noise levels was calculated by logarithmically subtracting the ‘residual’ level when the Burger King extract was off, from the ‘measured’ level when the Burger King extract was switched on.

The noise assessment concluded that the ‘specific’ noise contribution from the Burger King extract fan and system was 45 dB LA90 – at least 9 dB below Westminster’s accepted background noise level.

Sound Planning’s noise assessment consultants are full members of the Institute of Acoustics and provide acoustic consultancy services and noise mitigation products, while liaising with environmental health teams and local planning authorities to improve the likelihood of a successful resolution to any noise problems. Please contact us for further details of our services and products.


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