Steaming along with your burger might sound a bit strange—but less so in Finland, a country that allegedly has one sauna for every three people. The Finnish match their freezing winters with a national love for sauna visits, which are as much about community as fostering wellness. Top up the detox experience with TV and gaming facilities, and deep-fried comfort food—voila, it’s the Burger King on Helsinki’s Mannerheimintie Street.
The fast food outlet installed a sauna in May that can host up to 15 people at a time. It’s equipped with a shower, changing room, a stone stove, benches, towels—and a 48” television. When the sauna becomes too hot to handle, pop outside to the media lounge that has a Playstation 4 and serves cider and lager. The sauna can be hired for birthdays, sports matches, even business outings for 250/₹18,800 for three hours.
The damp may not be ideal for Burger King’s fries, but the chain’s concept ranked third for “understanding local preferences”, in a food service contest run by London-based market research firm Euromonitor International.
Fabiola Monteiro was formerly a member of National Geographic Traveller India's digital team. Since then, her words have featured in The Hindu, Mint Lounge, Roads & Kingdoms, The Goya Journal, and Condé Nast Traveller India. She tweets as @thefabmonteiro and is on Instagram @fabiolamonteiro.