Kuwaiti Burger Kings grill Whoppers with the power of the sun

By Tim Nelson
July 25, 2018
Photo courtesy of Burger King

Kuwait: It’s not just a small Persian Gulf nation that Saddam Hussein invaded and briefly annexed in 1990. It’s also one of the hottest places on the planet. Daily highs in the summer months routinely reach north of 110°F, which can melt roads and cause plants to spontaneously combust.

So what are Kuwaitis to do with all that unnecessary heat? Well, if you’re Burger King, you decide to turn solar energy into a method for cooking a Whopper. As part of a PR stunt put together by ad agency Ogilvy, Kuwaiti BKs will be serving up “Sun-Flame Grilled Whoppers” whenever the mercury tops 50°C (122°F).


Making this Whopper isn’t just about standing outside and pointing a magnifying glass at a hunk of ground beef, either.  A shiny metal object resembling a satellite dish sits outside, soaking up the sun’s rays and bouncing them back onto a cooking surface, directing enough thermal energy to produce cooking times and conditions “similar to a traditional stovetop” if resources on solar cooking are to be believed.  

While Burger King Kuwait is misleading the public a bit by calling it the “ultimate flame grill experience” (since there isn’t really any flames or grilling involved), it appears that the Sun-Flame Grilled Whopper is at least a real, edible thing. By that metric, Burger King’s attempt to cash in on the rising global temperatures that will eventually make large areas of the planet hostile to human life is a success.

Will this marketing stunt be enough to get Kuwaitis to brave the sweltering heat and eat some burgers? Who knows. But as long as the country’s Burger Kings are sufficiently air-conditioned, there’s always a chance.