Whether it be the convenience of a meal that is ready in what seems like seconds or simply the fact that it's cheap, it's no surprise that Americans love fast food. One time at McDonald's, my friend said, "the golden arches are the greatest thing this country's ever seen". The numbers certainly don't lie. Yet Burger King is not far behind Mickey D's in terms of raking in those precious greenbacks and has recently employed innovative strategies to revitalize its franchise. It's safe to say that Burger King is home to a lot more than just its famous Whopper.

When I was young, I went to Burger King almost every night after hockey. I admit it was mostly for the toys in the kid's meal, but I enjoyed the food as well. In the spirit of nostalgia, here are five things you can relate to if you love BK. 

1. Big Kids Meal Toys

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Patrick Gardner

What would an article about a fast food franchise be without toys? After all, everyone has an inner child. If you went to BK as a kid, you'll probably recall the various toys you got when ordering your Big Kids Meal. From Jimmy Neutron to Rocket Power and even Super Mario Bros., Burger King offered no shortage of gimmicks to get kids coming back for more. My favorites were the Star Wars toys for Revenge of the Sith. I  especially enjoyed trying to get my hands on the limited edition Darth Vader shown above (hint: it's mine).  

2. Movie Promos

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Patrick Gardner

Fast food restaurants typically come up with some type of promo when movies come out. When the Simpsons Movie came out back in 2007, BK made an out-of-this-world ad where you could 'Simpsonize' yourself, and also came up with a line of talking toys. Meanwhile, the Spongebob Squarepants Movie had its own line of toys and collectible watches (pictured above). I'm sure customers we're happier than Squidward when they saw these promos...

3. Oreo Shakes

For me, nothing beats a Shake Shack shake. They're just so thick and rich, it's hard to find something that measures up. BK's Oreo Shakes are a close second, though. Milk's Favorite Cookie is extremely popular on its own, and even better when blended with soft serve ice cream and whipped cream. One time in Dresden, I wanted one so much that ordering it almost caused me to miss my train back to Berlin. Fortunately, that didn't happen, but the desire for something American was too strong to ignore. It's not the most nutritious option out there, but hey – we all need to satisfy our sweet tooth every now and again. 

4. Innovative Chicken Tenders 

In the early 2000s, BK decided to spice things up and get away from run-of-the-mill items that seem to characterize every fast food chain in America. The result? Uniquely shaped chicken tenders. With dazzling shapes such as stars and crowns, these tenders certainly made BK's menu stand out from the crowd. Unfortunately, several items from Burger King have been discontinued, including their famous tenders – which now look just like McDonald's chicken nuggets (sigh)...

5. Customer Care

I've saved the best for last. I know it sounds cliche to say that customer care is very important in the food industry, but anyone who's ever been to BK knows that they can order whatever floats their boat and get exactly that. Plain and simple, no strings attached. After all, their slogan was "Have it Your Way" for over 40 years. They even made a song about it! Despite the recent slogan change, the "Home of the Whopper" is still very customer-oriented, which helps drive success, and keeps BK in the big leagues.  

Burger King is not your typical fast food chain. I mean, how many fast food franchises do you know that help the disabled for free? That's a reason to love BK all by itself. With elements of pop culture, iconic menu items, and an altruistic spirit, BK is a winning combination on so many levels, it begs the question "what's not to love"? Now if they could just bring back those emblematic tenders...