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TypeJoint-stock company
Founded1980; 43 years ago (1980)
FounderHeikki Salmela
Number of locations
Key people
Heikki Salmela (Chairman)
Kari Salmela (CEO)
ProductsFast food
(hamburgers • french fries • soft drinks • coffee • milkshakes • salads • desserts)
Revenue€234 million (2021)[1]
Number of employees
8,000 (2021)
A Hesburger hamburger and fries

Hesburger (colloquially known in Finland as Hese and in Estonia as Hess) is a fast food chain based in Turku, Finland.[2][3] Today, it is the largest hamburger restaurant chain in Finland,[2] Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania with a market share larger than that of U.S.-based rival McDonald's. It further operates in Ukraine, Germany and Bulgaria. Hesburger primarily purveys fast foods such as hamburgers, fries, salads and desserts. The company name is derived from the nickname of the founder, Heikki "Hese" Salmela.[4] The company also operates Hesecafes, which sell pastries and specialty coffees, as well as hot dog outlets.[2] Some restaurants provide car wash services.[5]


Heikki Salmela, the founder of Hesburger.

The chain's history reaches back to 1966,[5] when 20-year old Heikki Salmela opened a street food kiosk in Naantali. He later opened the first Hesburger in 1980 on Kristiinankatu in Turku, which became the first element of the first fast food restaurant chain in Finland. In the 1980s the chain grew fast. Salmela sold the chain and several hotels in 1988 for almost 200 million Finnish markka. Three years later, during the early 1990s recession, he bought it back for 25 million markka.

With only 12 outlets in 1992, Hesburger expanded to over 200 restaurants in 60 cities and towns across Finland over the following decade, absorbing rival chain Carrols in 2002. The purchase of Carrols gave Hesburger some previously nonexistent leverage on the fast food market of Helsinki. Hesburger has kept rival chain McDonald's out of Turku efficiently: in 2014, there were 21 Hesburgers but only two McDonald's-locations in the city. Hesburger has also expanded to international markets, opening outlets in the Baltic states and Germany.[6] There was a Hesburger in Damascus, Syria for a short period between 2004 and 2006, but it was closed as unprofitable.[7] Further expansion into the Middle East has been discussed by the company.[8]


The first attempts to enter the Russian market were made at the end of the 80's. In the summer of 1988 through the «joint Soviet-Finnish enterprise» in St. Petersburg, and later in the Vyborge and Petrozavodsk were opened Street tents under the Liha Polar brand, they were made in the Hesburger color scheme. In the menu was hamburgers, cheeseburgers, fries and other dishes are typical for Hesburger.[9][10][11][12] In the late 1990s/early 2000s restaurants ceased to exist for unknown reasons.[13][14][15]

The first Russian Hesburger opened in January 2010 in Moscow, and a year later in St. Petersburg.[16][17][18] The network worked on the rights of master franchise LLC Rusburger, owned by the meat-industrial company Ostankino.[19] By the end of 2012, Hesburger still opened 13 restaurants, as well as with the help of partners launched restaurants in Ufa, Krasnoyarsk and in the far East.[20]

In December 2013, Hesburger changed the owner, it became a group of companies "Megagrupp".[21][22]

On March 29, 2022, Hesburger announced a slow departure from the Russian and Belarusian markets.[23][24][25][26] 40 restaurants are available in Russia.[27]

In may, a local brand SuperBurger was registered, the new restaurant logo resembles the traditional Hesburger logo. In the future, it will replace Hesburger.[28][29][30]

As of late November 2022, Hesburger restaurants continue to work.[31][32]


A modern Hesburger restaurant at University of Helsinki metro station.

Hesburger employs over 8,000 people, of whom 5,400 are based in Finland.[33] Hesburger has been actively expanding its operations in Lithuania, announcing investments of 3,5 million euros in 2016,[34] around 4 million in 2017[35] and 4 million in 2018.[36]

Country Number of restaurants[37]
Finland Finland 277
Lithuania Lithuania 58
Latvia Latvia 50
Estonia Estonia 48
Bulgaria Bulgaria 25
Ukraine Ukraine 7
Germany Germany 2


  • Hesburger hamburger restaurants[2][38]
  • Hesecafe – hamburgers, coffee drinks and pastries[2][39]
  • HeseHotelli – hotels with Hesburger restaurant also acting as the hotel reception[40]
  • Hese kotituotteet – retail products
  • Hese Nakkari – snack kiosk products
  • Heseautopesu – car wash services for Hesburger customers[5]

See also


  1. ^ "Hesburger - Organisation and key figures".
  2. ^ a b c d e Dana, L.P. (2008). Handbook of Research on European Business and Entrepreneurship: Towards a Theory of Internationalization. Elgar Original Reference Series. Edward Elgar. p. 203. ISBN 978-1-84844-130-9. Retrieved 26 December 2017.
  3. ^ Lonely Planet Finland. Travel Guide. Lonely Planet Publications. 2015. p. 203. ISBN 978-1-74360-534-9. Retrieved 26 December 2017.
  4. ^ "Heikki Salmela". City.fi. 5 April 2002. Retrieved 26 December 2017.
  5. ^ a b c "Coming to Bulgaria: Finnish fast food chain Hesburger". The Sofia Globe. 5 November 2016. Archived from the original on 11 March 2018. Retrieved 26 December 2017.
  6. ^ "Hesburger – Finland's largest chain of fast food hamburger outlets". Archived from the original on 11 July 2009.
  7. ^ "Keskisuomalainen". Archived from the original on 23 May 2012.
  8. ^ "Hesburger ei ole päässyt Lähi-idässä puusta pitkälle" (in Finnish). Retrieved 18 July 2017.
  9. ^ "LIHA POLAR первая иностранная сеть общественного питания в СССР".
  10. ^ "Ларек фастфуда "Liha Polar" на Исаакиевской площади, 1988 год, Ленинград".
  11. ^ "Последние годы СССР: как жили люди". 29 April 2019.
  12. ^ "Первая летчица России".
  13. ^ "LIHA POLAR первая иностранная сеть общественного питания в СССР".
  14. ^ "LIHA POLAR первая иностранная сеть общественного.. | Питер. Взгляд назад. | VK".
  15. ^ "«СуперБургер» может заменить финскую сеть Hesburger.. | Animation News | VK".
  16. ^ "Еще одна сеть фастфуда закрывает рестораны в Петербурге".
  17. ^ "ASTERA вывела на рынок Петербурга финскую сеть Hesburger".
  18. ^ "Владельцы мясокомбината «Останкинский» займутся развитием в России сети фаст-фуда Hesburger".
  19. ^ Ксения Шамакина (2012-01-24). "«Велком» разложит мясо по тарелкам". Коммерсант, №11, стр. 10. Archived from the original on 2015-07-01. Retrieved 2015-06-28.
  20. ^ ""Останкинский» фаст-фуд, или «Русбургер» против «Гамбургера"". 15 November 2011.
  21. ^ https://franshiza.ru/news/read/rossiyskiy_hesburger_smenil_vladelca/ Российский Hesburger сменил владельца]
  22. ^ "Франшизы Cinnabon, Auntie Anne's и Hesburger".
  23. ^ "Hesburger уходит из России медленнее, чем предполагалось". 30 March 2022.
  24. ^ "Еще одна сеть фастфуда закрывает рестораны в Петербурге".
  25. ^ "Финская сеть Hesburger закроет свои рестораны в России и Белоруссии".
  26. ^ "Сеть быстрого питания Hesburger летом закроет свои рестораны в России и Белоруссии". 29 March 2022.
  27. ^ "Hesburger - «МегаГрупп»".
  28. ^ "На смену закрывшемуся финскому Hesburger идёт СуперБургер".
  29. ^ "На смену закрывшемуся финскому Hesburger идёт СуперБургер › Статьи › 47новостей из Ленинградской области".
  30. ^ "«СуперБургер» может заменить финскую сеть Hesburger | Crispy News/Криспи Ньюс". 25 May 2022.
  31. ^ "Hesburger · Arbat St, 22/2с4, Moscow, Russia, 119002".
  32. ^ https://yandex.ru/profile/74753730343
  33. ^ "Hesburger - Organisaatio ja tunnusluvut". www.hesburger.fi. Retrieved 18 July 2017.
  34. ^ Migonytė, Sigita. "Prie Molėtų atidarytas naujas "Hesburger"". Retrieved 19 July 2018.
  35. ^ ""Hesburger" šiemet Lietuvoje planuoja investuoti 3–4 mln. eurų ir atidaryti iki 4 naujų restoranų". Retrieved 19 July 2018.
  36. ^ Migonytė, Sigita. ""Hesburger" į plėtrą Lietuvoje investuos 4 mln. Eur". Retrieved 19 July 2018.
  37. ^ "Hesburger - Restaurant chain today". www.hesburger.com. Retrieved 9 November 2022.
  38. ^ "Hesburger vei burgerinsa Bulgariaan - aikoo valloittaa koko maan". Talouselämä. 24 August 2017. Retrieved 26 December 2017.
  39. ^ Clements, J. (2014). An Armchair Traveller's History of Finland. Armchair Traveller's History. Haus Publishing. p. 64. ISBN 978-1-909961-01-2. Retrieved 26 December 2017.
  40. ^ Norum, R. (2010). The Rough Guide to Finland. Rough Guide to... Rough Guides. p. 246. ISBN 978-1-84836-969-6. Retrieved 26 December 2017.

External links