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Burger King's Whopper returns to France

The Associated Press

Customers buy a meal at a Burger King restaurant in Marseille-Provence airport, in Marignane, France, Saturday, Dec. 22, 2012. Fifteen years after leaving France, the U.S. hamburger chain Burger King returned with the opening of a restaurant in Marseille-Provence airport. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)

PARIS (AP) -- For the first time in 15 years, Burger King served its flame-grilled Whoppers in France, a country better known for its gastronomy than fast food.

Burger King Worldwide opened a restaurant at Marseille airport on Saturday, returning to France thanks to an agreement with Autogrill, which operates restaurants at highway service stations.

The burger chain, the world's second biggest behind McDonald's, closed its 39 French restaurants in 1997, because they were not profitable.

Burger King says their next restaurant is planned at a highway service station in Champagne in the first half of 2013.