|This article needs additional citations for verification. (June 2009)|
|Founded||Calgary or Lethbridge, Alberta|
|Products||Fast food (hamburgers, donairs)|
Burger Baron is a chain of fast-food restaurants in Western Canada.
Founded in 1957 in either Calgary or Lethbridge, Alberta (the location and ownership of the first site is disputed), Burger Baron was the first drive-through chain in Western Canada. The company expanded quickly throughout the region but suffered when the big American chains began to move to the area. The original franchise operation collapsed into bankruptcy and current restaurants are independently operated, with different menus, recipes, signage and advertising. Today, there are still dozens of Burger Barons throughout Western Canada, but they are mostly concentrated around Edmonton and in small towns in Alberta. Many of the owners are Lebanese Canadians, connected to Rudy Kemaldean of Calgary, who bought the first of his seven restaurants in 1964, hired family and friends and encouraged them to open their own operations under the Burger Baron name.
An attempt in the 1980s to return to a franchise system ended when independent owners were unable to reach agreement. A legal dispute over the trademark between family members of early owners was settled in the 1990s. The Burger Baron was started in 1957 by two brothers, Jack and Richard McDonnell.
Burger Barons typically feature multiple unusual variations of hamburger, such as a "Salisbury Burger", and a "Teriyaki Burger". Their mushroom burger is particularly popular. In recent years one the chain's main features has been Halifax-style donairs.