Here's How Much The First Burger King Whopper Cost

Some things in life are inevitable, and inflation has become a way of life. The costs of living, food, and gas have all increased over time, with the value of $1 rising by 4% each year, according to the CPI Inflation Calculator. For example, the U.S. Department of Energy claims that gas in the U.S. cost just $.36 a gallon in 1972. Today, the average cost is about $3.9 per gallon, says AAA

Inflation has also affected fast-food chains like Burger King, which recently removed the Whopper from its value menu, via CNBC. With costs for ingredients and labor rising, fast-food restaurants have promoted more expensive combo meals and raised prices on lower-priced items, according to Insider.  

Today, a Burger King Whopper costs more than $4, according to Fast Food Menu Prices, depending on the location. But when the Whopper was introduced in 1957, according to The Gainesville Sun, you could buy it for a much smaller price.

The original Whopper was cheaper than a postage stamp

When the restaurant first debuted the burger that would later be considered one of the best fast food burgers in the U.S., it cost just $.37. Back in 1957, the delicious, juicy, quarter-pound burger cost less than a modern postage stamp

What about the cost of Burger King's smaller version of the famous Whopper, the Whopper, Jr.? According to Reader's Digest, the Whopper Jr. was added to the menu in 1963, after a franchise owner in Puerto Rico was forced to use smaller, traditional buns for the Whopper when a shipment didn't arrive on time. He named it the Whopper Jr., and the name stuck.

Although the original price isn't available online, it probably cost around $.21, based on the average cost of a burger in 1960, via Insider. Today, it costs about $2.19, per Fast Food Menu Prices, depending on the location. In 2022, Burger King offered free Whopper Jr.'s in celebration of its 68th birthday. 

How did the Whopper's original price compare to the competition?

Wondering how the first Whopper's cost compared with one of its biggest competitors, the Big Mac? According to Insider, McDonald's signature burger didn't exist until 1968, but the price didn't cost much more than the Whopper in 1957. When McDonald's launched the Big Mac, it cost $.45.

White Castle's first hamburger, introduced with the opening of the restaurant in 1921, was just $.5, according to QSR Magazine. But in 1960, the cost more than doubled to $.12 each, says Insider.

Although we'll probably never see a Whopper cost $.37 on the menu again, Burger King did offer the burger for the original price in 2021, via New York Post. The sale lasted for just two days to celebrate the restaurant's 64th birthday. In 2012, the chain offered the Whopper for $.55 to celebrate the burger's 55th anniversary, per The Washington Post.