Another in our look at Burger chains of the world. This time, in the South American nation of Argentina, famous for Evita Peron, football and trying to take over small British protectorates in the South Atlantic.
Creation in 1974
Alfredo Lowenstein, ex owner of Quickfood, who happened to be the parent company of the renowned Argentine hamburger supplier ‘Paty’ joined forces with the Las Lenas tourist complex to launch Pumper Nic.
In 1975 Pumper Nic became the first franchise organisation in Argentina. They expanded quickly to a total of 70 outlets, and a $60 million annual turnover.
Unfortunately this rapid growth meant they quickly outstripped their ability to supervise the franchisees, leading to wide variance in the quality of food between the different outlets.
Their signature dish was a sandwich with an egg between the patties called the Mobur. They also promoted their famous ‘Dos Por Uno’ or two for the price of one burgers. Fries were called Frenys. Another prime offering was their Jaque, or ham and cheese sandwich.
Their original logo was based upon Burger Kings logo, who as it happened didn’t operate in Argentina at the time. However around the late 80’s Burger King launched into the Argentine market, and a resulting lawsuit led to the company not only changing its logo, but also shortening its name to Pumper.
Into The 90’s
Eventually in 1990, Lowenstein handed the business to his sons Diego and Paula. Sadly they had little interest in continuing the business. Eventually they sold the chain in 1995 and associated themselves with the Wendy’s chain.
The following year, the franchise system collapsed, and the new owners were unable to turn things around. By 1999 Pumper Nic declared bankruptcy, bringing to an end an early Argentine success story.