Hamburgers in the UK are very similar to their U.S. cousins, and High Street is dominated by the same big two chains as in the U.S. McDonald’s and Burger King. The menus offered to both countries are virtually identical, although portion sizes tend to be smaller in the UK.
An original and indigenous rival to the big two U.S. giants was the quintessentially British fast-food chain Wimpy, originally known as Wimpy Bar (opened 1954 at the Lyon’s Corner House in Coventry Street London), which served its hamburgers on a plate with British-style chips, accompanied by cutlery and delivered to the customer’s table. In the late 1970s, to compete with McDonald’s, Wimpy began to open American-style counter-service restaurants and the brand disappeared from many UK high streets when those restaurants were rebranded as Burger Kings in 1989/90 by the then-owner of both brands, Grand Metropolitan. A management buyout in 1990 split the brands again and now Wimpy table-service restaurants can still be found in many town centres whilst new counter-service Wimpys are now often found at motorway service stations.