No, the Orrington Burger King is not the highest grossing franchise in the nation


Daily file photo by Noah Frick-Alofs

Burger King, 1740 Orrington Ave. The Evanston restaurant permanently closed its doors as of Tuesday.

Andrew Myers, Reporter

A rumor has long circulated among Northwestern students that the Evanston Burger King, located at 1740 Orrington Ave., is the highest grossing franchise location in the nation.

But in reality, according to Burger King manager Luis Landi, the Orrington location is not even close to holding this title.

Landi has worked at three different Burger Kings over the course of his career, and began working at the Evanston location in 1999. Two years later, he was promoted to manager. When Northwestern is in session, Landi said, the Orrington location makes anywhere from $2,500 to 3,000 a day from Sunday to Thursday and about $3,500 a day on Fridays and Saturdays.

Landi said he could not say for certain if those numbers were typical of other locations, because the earnings of a Burger King franchise are dependent on many variables, especially location.

However, he said other Burger King franchises earn as much as $7,000 a day on average, meaning the Evanston location is not the highest grossing Burger King in the nation.

For years, Northwestern students have circulated the misconception that the Orrington Burger King is the highest-grossing. As downtown Evanston’s only 24-hour eatery, it has proved a popular late-night bite among students.

In a Daily article from 2007 — which covered a nationwide worker’s rights protest at Burger King restaurants — Alexandra Carlson (Weinberg and Bienen ’08) was quoted saying the location was “one of the highest grossing in the nation.”

In 2009, someone wrote in a Yelp review under the name “Mikey J.”, “word on the street is that this BK is one of the highest grossing in the nation.” On the college review website UNIGO, then-freshman “Grace” said she, too, heard the rumor. Two years later, in 2011, a Sherman Ave article said the restaurant was “rumored to be the highest grossing Burger King in the United States.”

Landi acknowledged the Burger King used to be busier in years past, but said that the restaurant was never, in his time working there since 1999, the highest grossing in the nation.

Many Northwestern students today neither know of the rumor nor believe it.

Weinberg freshman Robert Goodman said he doesn’t believe the rumor. He said he has never been to the Evanston Burger King, but believes the restaurant gets good business.

SESP senior Rachel Gordon, like Goodman, doesn’t believe the rumor and said she has also never overheard anyone refer to the restaurant as being the highest grossing.

McCormick freshman Rebecca Siems said she thinks otherwise. Siems said that the Burger King seems busy and could certainly be one of the highest grossing in the nation. She said she “wouldn’t doubt it” if the claim were true.

“It’s right next to a college campus, open 24 hours, and there’s no competing fast-food burger chain,” Siems said.

While the Orrington Avenue Burger King may not be the highest grossing franchise, the restaurant still attracts students, residents, and passersby alike.

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