What’s in a logo? A lot, actually. Before you taste the food and experience the restaurant, you see a fast food chain’s logo. And if it’s unappealing in any way, you might not give them your business.
Both fast food and snacks often change up logos to rebrand themselves. Entrepreneur.com believes that rebranding is an important way to ensure that a company is growing. There can be a few reasons why new logos make sense. For one, an image may just be outdated. It’s always good to appeal to a new crowd to gain new business.
Rebranding can also happen due to bad publicity. If a company got into hot water based on a scandal, people may associate a logo or slogan with what happened. It’s a way for the business to move forward.
But, logos are also a funny thing. They’re really important ways of identifying a business, so oftentimes, their upgrade isn’t huge. For example, can you imagine Nike without the swoosh? Or, McDonald’s without their golden arches? They may change up on occasion to help celebrate events like Pride, but they’re probably not getting a complete overhaul.
Here are some of the most notable changes in fast food and snack logos throughout the years.
1. Burger King
Burger King has had a couple of changes throughout the years, but their first logo is totally unrecognizable.
They’re still the home of the Whopper, but they’re a little less obvious about it these days. Upon first glance, you may miss the fact that both “Burger” and “King” are technically two beef patties in the most recent logo. It’s a lot less cluttered and more to-the-point than the logo they debuted in 1957 when they started becoming more popular and introduced the Whopper.
Wendy’s has always included Wendy — she just wasn’t all that prominent in the very beginning.
The restaurant got its start in 1969 in Ohio. Dave Thomas, who founded the company, named it after his daughter. She’s become so recognizable that the logo doesn’t even need the name “Wendy’s” on it anymore. Who knew if Thomas realized that his daughter would one day take over the entire logo?
3. Taco Bell
The award for “Most Changed” may very well go to Taco Bell.
The logo on the left was their first, and they reportedly had it from 1962 to 1972. The most recent logo isn’t all that old. It only rolled out in 2016, after Taco Bell opened a few new locations. It has a much bolder typeface, which will serve as a great reminder for everyone to Live Más.
4. Betty Crocker
Betty Crocker’s logo changes are subtle, but still very important.
The company in charge of some of the best snacks and cake mixes always included a spoon, but that spoon became more defined in recent years. The last logo change happened in 2011. The spoon itself first emerged in 1954, evolving from a standard oval. That minor change gave the brand a lot more personality and purpose.
5. Red Robin
Red Robin has gone through quite the transition throughout the years. Did you know that back in 1969, Red Robin tried to advertise themselves as a “Spirits Emporium”? These days, they still advertise their drinks in the logos. They’ve just shortened it to a word we’re a little more familiar with, especially when tied to burgers — “brews.”
6. Pepsi Cola
Here’s a fun fact about Pepsi — it wasn’t always called Pepsi.
Back in 1893, it was actually called “Brad’s Drink.” Created by Caleb Davis Bradham, it wasn’t just a tasty beverage back then — it was also known as a health drink. When it officially became Pepsi Cola, the first logo was a little gothic and loopy. It looks nothing like the logo today, which is a bit more standard.
The original Chili’s logo is so memorable that you might have forgotten they changed it.
The company opted for a photo of a chili pepper, which was then further revamped in 2011. It’s almost like Chili’s knew that emojis would take over the world, and new a picture would be one of the best ways to tell the world what their brand was all about.
Hershey’s is one of the most recognizable labels out there.
Even though most of their logo tweaks have been pretty minor in recent years, one of their first designs isn’t one that’d catch your eye. This wasn’t the first label for Hershey’s — it was rumored to be their third, which was released in the early 1900s. The first Hershey bar sold around this time was only 5 cents, and it was advertised as being “More sustaining than meat.”
It’s hard not to love Mr. Pringles.
Turns out, he was a bit rosier back in the day, when the chips were initially introduced in the ’60s. The biggest changes for Pringles have been in giving their mustachioed mascot a few makeovers. The most important thing is that he’s had facial hair this entire time. Can you even picture him without it?
Looks like stars were always part of the Hardee’s logo.
They were just utilized in different ways. The original Hardee’s logo came out in the 1960s when Hardees got their start in Greenville, North Carolina. Wilber Hardee, the founder, had a franchisee shortly after opening his first restaurant, meaning that it didn’t take Hardee’s that long to spread across the United States.
You love Chick-fil-A, but may be more focused on the nuggets than the history of their logo.
Even though it still features a chicken (which you may miss at first glance) it’s way less obvious now than it was in the late 1960s. Originally named The Dwarf House, Chick-fil-A opened their first location in Atlanta’s Greenbriar Shopping Center, and soon became mall staples as the years went on. Wondering what Chick-fil-A means? It originates from “Grade A chicken fillet.”
As far as chips go, Doritos are nearly perfect.
But their brand has gone through quite an overhaul since the first Doritos appeared on grocery store shelves. Then, they were just plain tortilla chips. The taco flavor came around in 1967, but the crowd favorite — Nacho Cheese — arrived even later. Since the Doritos themselves have changed, it only makes sense that the logo would face some upgrades as well.
13. White Castle
White Castle burgers are in a category all their own.
You might not realize it, but the company was founded in 1921. It was all focused around one concept — small, cheap burgers that were easy and fun to eat. From the looks of it, the logo has only changed once. But that change is pretty drastic. Who knew what a difference color would make?
Cinnabon’s more mature logo came somewhat recently.
If you and your buddies mall-hopped in the ’90s, you may be surprised to learn that their logo which included the pink “Cinnabon” swirl was discontinued back in 1998. Even though the latest logo is a lot less fun, it’s a huge improvement over their debut logo, which was used when the company started in 1985.
15. Long John Silver’s
Are you in the mood for fish?
Oddly enough, a fish wasn’t part of the Long John Silver’s logo until the 2000s. Before, the company depended mostly on text. The first logo came around in 1969 when the very first location opened up in Kentucky. They became a national brand in the 1980s, which means their logo had a few changes to keep things fresh.
16. Buffalo Wild Wings
Did you know that your favorite wing chain used to be called “Buffalo Wild Wings and Weck?”
Weck, for the record, is a type of roast beef sandwich. It seems like they wanted to put more focus on the wings, so they shortened their name. Still, some people refer to them as BW3 or B-Dubs, for short. Their current logo is one of their best yet. Who knew a buffalo could be kind of cute?
Old habits die hard, so you might still be referring to Domino’s as “Domino’s Pizza.”
But, the chain lifted the “Pizza” from their logo back in 2012. Reason being, their menu has expanded quite a bit from when they were first established in 1960. Their initial name was actually “DomiNick’s,” but the new owners changed it. As the company grew, so did its image. These logos share some similarities, but the most recent is more spruced up.