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Burger King Stinks; That's Bad for Investors

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- I have several memories of Burger King (BKW).

When I was in high school, my friend Bobby Stanek managed the Burger King on Niagara Falls Boulevard.

I think he still works for the company. Here's hoping he just became an IPO millionaire. Because of our "hook-up," my motley crew and I visited this BK location quite frequently. Stanek ran the place, so we never worried about getting busted as we stole free "pop" refills or flung ketchup packets all over the dining room.

More recently, when I lived in San Francisco, I marveled at a relentless Burger King protest that took place in the city's Inner Sunset District.

There was a Burger King on 9th Avenue. And it stunk up the surrounding area like you wouldn't believe. The guy who lived in the apartment the fast food outlet anchored, hung various protest signs (i.e., "Boycott... Smelly Burger King") in his window. They were there for years.

This thing ended well (depending on your perspective) several years ago. The protester's still there; Burger King is all gone.


As an investor, I feel like I can learn something from these personal Burger King experiences. The place really does stink.

Drop me anywhere in the world and, within the radius of a city block, I can lead you to the Burger King blindfolded, Bose noise-cancelling headphones on, gagged with an Apple. All I need is my nose.

In the same way that the smell of cigarettes would linger in your hair and clothes after you left a bar in the '90s, that Burger King stench attached to me like a valet's B.O. every time I left Stanek's restaurant.

These flashbacks to my teenage years probably explain why I was so obsessed with the San Francisco Burger King protest. Burger King still stinks.

You'll be hard-pressed to find a bar you can smoke in throughout much of America. Political philosophy aside, that's a good thing. For bartenders, for barbacks, for me and for you, even if you refuse to acknowledge it. We've evolved as a society.

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