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Stock company
Industry Restaurants
Founded 1966
Headquarters Turku, Finland
Key people
Kari Salmela CEO
Products Fast food
(hamburgers • french fries • soft drinks • coffee • milkshakes • salads • desserts)
Revenue €260 million (2013)
Number of employees
6000 (2013)
Website www.hesburger.com

Hesburger (colloquially known in Finland as Hese) is a fast-food chain based in Turku, Finland. Today, it is the largest hamburger restaurant chain in Finland - with a larger presence in the Finnish market than U.S. company rival, McDonald's.

The company name comes from the nickname of the founder, Heikki "Hese" Salmela.[1]


The chain's history reaches back to 1966, when Heikki Salmela (born 1946) opened a street food kiosk in Naantali. He later opened the first Hesburger in 1980 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 markkas. Three years later, during the recession, he bought it back for 25 million.

With only 12 outlets in 1992, Hesburger expanded to over 200 restaurants in 60 towns across Finland over the following decade, absorbing rival chain Carrols in 2002. Hesburger has also expanded to international markets, opening outlets in the Baltic states and Germany.[2] There was a Hesburger in Damascus, Syria for a short period between 2004 and 2006, but it was closed as unprofitable.[3]


A typical Hesburger restaurant in Espoo, Finland.

Hesburger has 281 restaurants in Finland, 44 in Lithuania, 43 in Latvia, 37 in Estonia, 33 in Russia, three in Germany and three in Ukraine.[4] Hesburger continues with attempts to penetrate the Middle East markets, via contracts with local companies.

Many Hesburger restaurants offer WiFi coverage, and some use RFID and other real-time commerce technologies to serve the customers.

There is also a Hesburger Hotel located in Finland's third largest urban centre, Turku. This Hesburger hotel has a 24-hour Hesburger restaurant on the ground floor of the hotel, which is also the reception of the hotel when checking in. The rooms of the hotel also offer free internet access.[5]


Hesburger hamburger

Hesburger primarily sells hamburgers, cheeseburgers, salads, french fries, soft drinks, milkshakes, and desserts.

Hesburger also operates a number of "kebab" restaurants - which offer a kebab menu in addition to the normal one.

In addition, the company operates Hesecafes - which sell pastries and specialty coffees - and hot dog outlets. Some restaurants which offer car wash services to their customers.


  • Hesburger hamburger restaurants
  • Hesecafe (hamburgers, specialty coffees and pastries)
  • Hesehotelli (a hotel with 24 hours Hesburger restaurant acting also as the hotel reception)
  • Hese kotituotteet (retail products)
  • Hese Nakkari (snack kiosk products)
  • Heseautopesu (car wash services for Hesburger customers)


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ "Hesburger – Finland’s largest chain of fast food hamburger outlets". 
  3. ^ "Keskisuomalainen". 
  4. ^ http://www.hesburger.com/company/organization/key_data
  5. ^ "Hesehotelli - Hesburger". 

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