Number of locations
|Kari Salmela, CEO|
|Products||Fast food |
(hamburgers • french fries • soft drinks • coffee • milkshakes • salads • desserts)
|Revenue||€325 million (2018)|
Number of employees
Hesburger (colloquially known in Finland as Hese and in Estonia as Hess) is a fast food chain based in Turku, Finland. Today, it is the largest hamburger restaurant chain in Finland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania with a market share larger than that of U.S.-based rival McDonald's. It further operates in Belarus, Ukraine, Germany, Bulgaria and Russia. 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. The company also operates Hesecafes, which sell pastries and specialty coffees, as well as hot dog outlets. Some restaurants provide car wash services.
The chain's history reaches back to 1966, 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, Belarus and Germany. There was a Hesburger in Damascus, Syria for a short period between 2004 and 2006, but it was closed as unprofitable. Further expansion into the Middle East has been discussed by the company.
Hesburger employs over 6,700 people, of which 5,000 are based in Finland. Hesburger has been actively expanding its operations in Lithuania, announcing investments of 3,5 million euros in 2016, around 4 million in 2017 and 4 million in 2018.
|Country||Number of stores|
- Hesburger hamburger restaurants
- Hesecafe – hamburgers, coffee drinks and pastries
- HeseHotelli – hotels with Hesburger restaurant also acting as the hotel reception
- Hese kotituotteet – retail products
- Hese Nakkari – snack kiosk products
- Heseautopesu – car wash services for Hesburger customers
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