TLW's Fast Food Restaurantscope™ (Fast Food Restaurant Historyscope)
By T.L. Winslow (TLW), the Historyscoper™
© Copyright by T.L. Winslow. All Rights Reserved.
Original Pub. Date: Feb. 4, 2016. Last Update: Apr. 20, 2019.
Westerners are not only known as history ignoramuses, but double dumbass history ignoramuses when it comes to fast food restaurant history. Since I'm the one-and-only Historyscoper (tm), let me quickly bring you up to speed before you dive into my Master Historyscope.
Fast Food Restaurants are usually franchised, the Great American Dream of owning your own restaurant without having to start at the ground floor by building on the success of a chain; they serve Fast Food, made with preheated/precooked ingredients and packaged for Take-out to eat elsewhere, usually your car; the food is usually a Meat-Sweet (Western Pattern) Diet that's heavy on red meat, fat, refined grains, potatoes, sugar, and calories, and usually served warm for instant gratification; the term "fast food" is first pub. in Merriam-Webster's 1961 dictionary. See the List of Fast Food Franchises.
In 1885 the all-American Hamburger is invented by 15-y.-o. Charles "Hamburger Charlie" Nagreen (1870-1951), who sells them from a food stand at the county fair in Seymour, Wisc. after seeing his meatballs sell slow then flattening them and serving them on sliced bread, naming them after Hamburg, Germany; either that, or it is invented by brothers Frank and Charles Menches of Akron, Ohio, who run out of pork sausage for their sandwich concession at the Buffalo Fair in Hamburg, N.Y. and substitute ground beef; either that, or on July 4, 1891 Oscar Weber Bilby of Tulsa, Okla. becomes the first to serve a hamburger on a bun; either that, or in this decade Fletcher Davis (1864-1941) of Athens, Tex. invents the hamburger, setting up Uncle Dave's Hamburger Stand at the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair; either that, or in 1895 Danish immigrant Louis Lassen sells the first hamburger and steak sandwich from his small Louis' Lunch lunch wagon in New Haven, Conn.; it is never served with ketchup - just what 75M Americans with full dinner pails need to clog their veins?
In June 1919 A&W Root Beer, invented by an Ariz. pharmacist begins to be marketed in Lodi, Calif. for 5 cents a mug at a hamburger stand opened by Roy W. Allen (1882-1968); in 1922 Frank Wright joins him to form A&W Co., opening three new outlets in Houston, Tex., becoming the first fast food restaurant in 1923 when a car hop service is begun; in 1924 Allen buys Wright out; in 1925 it becomes the first U.S. co. to sell franchises; in 1950 Allen sells-out and retires.
On Sept. 13, 1921 the White Castle 5-cent hamburger chain opens in Wichita, Kan., founded by cook Walt A. Anderson and insurance salesman Edgar Waldo "Billy" Ingram, with a small bldg. with white porcelain enamel on steel exteriors built to resemble the Chicago Water Tower, stainless steel interior, and employees wearing spotless white uniforms to suggest cleanliness and counter Upton Sinclair's 1906 novel "The Jungle"; next year they expand to El Dorado, Kan., becoming the first fast food restaurant chain.
In 1925 Am. WWI vet Howard Deering Johnson (1897-1972) founds Howard Johnson's (HoJo) Restaurants in Wollaston (near Quincy), Mass., which starts out as a small corner pharmacy featuring 28 flavors of ice cream, and in 1932 opens its first franchise restaurant in Orleans, Mass., becoming the first modern restaurant franchise, expanding to 41 restaurants in 1936, 107 in 1939, and 200 in 1942, which shrinks to 12 in 1944, then rebounds after the war to 400 in 32 states in 1954 after their fried clams become popular; restaurants feature orange roofs, cupolas, and weather vanes, along with the trademark Simple Simon and the Pieman logo by John Alcott; in 1961 there are 605 restaurants, and it goes public.
On July 13, 1937 after Vernon Carver Rudolph (1915-73) buys a doughnut shop in Paduka, Ky. along with the French chef owner's secret receipt for yeast-raised doughnuts, he founds Krispy Kreme Doughnuts in Winston-Salem, N.C. across from Salem College and Academy, at first selling them to grocery stores, then cutting a hole in the wall to sell them to customers, expanding to 1K shops by 2015.
On May 15, 1940 N.H.-born Maurice James "Mac" McDonald (1902-71) and his brother Richard James "Dick" McDonald (1909-98) open the first McDonald's Restaurant in San Bernardino, Calif., becoming the first fast food restaurant, introducing the Speedee Service System in 1948, and opening the first restaurant with the Golden Arches in Mar. 1953 in Phoenix, Ariz; the first mascot is Speedee, which in 1967 is replaced by Ronald McDonald; Montpelier, Vt. becomes that last U.S. state capital to keep McDonald's out - here cum da thunder thighs and budonkadonk butts?
On June 22, 1940 after inventing soft serve ice cream in 1938 and getting his friend Sherb Noble to sell it in his store in Kankakee, Ill., becoming a hit, Dairy Queen (DQ) soft serve ice cream (with the trademark curl) restaurants are founded in Joliet, Ill. by Douds, Iowa-born John Fremont "J.F." "Grandpa" McCullough (1871-1963), expanding to 100 stores in 1941, 100 in 1947, 1,446 in 1950, 2.6K in 1955, and 4.8K in 2014; in 1957 it offers Brazier (open charcoal grill) foods incl. hot dogs, BBQ beef and pork; in 1959 the red Dairy Queen symbol is introduced; in 1987 it acquires Orange Julius; in 1998 it is acquired by Berkshire Hathaway.
On July 17, 1941 Carl's Jr. fast food restaurant chain is founded in Anaheim, Calif. with a $311 loan by Carl Nicholas Karcher (1917-2008) and his wife Margaret as a hot dog cart, which on Jan. 16, 1945 becomes Carl's Drive-in Barbecue, and Carl's Jr. in 1954, with the logo featuring a bright yellow 5-pointed Happy Star; by 1974 it expands to 100 restaurants, and 300 by 1981 before going public; in 1979 the first restaurant outside Calif. opens in Las Vegas, Nev.; in 1988 Karcher is fined $500K for insider trading in Oct. 1984; in 1997 it acquires Hardee's; in 2002 it acquires the Green Burito brand; by 2015 it has 1K locations in 10 countries; too bad, Carl Karcher's ultraconservative political views start getting him attacked by the PC police in 1971.
In 1946 Chick-fil-A pressure-fried chicken sandwich restaurants are founded in Atlanta, Ga. by devout Southern Baptist Samuel Truett Cathy (1921-2014) as the Dwarf Grill, changing to Chick-fil-A in 1967, and expanding to 1.8K restaurants by 2015, mainly in the SE U.S. Bible Belt; all restaurants are closed on Sundays, Thanksgiving, and Christmas; the motto is "Eat mor chikin'"; in 1997 it begins sponsoring the Peach Bowl; too bad, they begin harassing anybody with an "eat more" slogan, until on Dec. 11, 2014 Bo Muller-Moore is granted a trademark for "Eat More Kale"; in 2008 they become the first fast food restaurant to become completely trans-fat free; in Jan. 2011 they begin openly opposing same-sex marriage, causing the PC police to come down on them; in Feb. 2014 they announce their intention of eliminating antibiotics from their chicken within five years.
In 1946 Southland Corp. in Irving, Tex., which has been operating Tote'm stores in the U.S. since 1927, changes its name to 7-Eleven for its operating hours, growing to 56K locations in 18 countries by modern times.
In 1950 Dunkin' Donuts is founded in Quincy, Mass. by William Rosenberg, who started in 1948 with Open Kettle AKA Kettle Donuts, specializing in quick coffee and donuts for sugar junkies; in 1963 it expands to 100 locations, growing to 11.3K in 36 countries by 2015; in Feb. 1990 it acquires rival Mister Donut.
On Feb. 21, 1951 Jack in the Box fast food restaurants is founded in San Diego, Calif. by Robert Oscar Peterson (1916-94), becoming the first drive-through with an intercom, with a clown on top with a sign saying "Pull forward, Jack will speak to you", expanding to 2.2K restaurants in 21 U.S. states, mainly on the West Coast.
On Sept. 24, 1952 Henryville, Ind.-born Southern Chicken Col. Harland David Sanders (1890-1980), who founded Sanders Court & Cafe in North Corbin, Ky. on Mar. 20, 1930 begins franchising his "finger lickin' good" fried chicken with the secret blend of 11 herbs and spices with restaurateur Leon Weston "Pete" Harman (1919-2014) in Salt Lake City, Utah, fighting the dominance of hamburger restaurants, serving the fried chicken in cardboard buckets in 1957; in 1964 Sanders sells out for $2M to a group of investors led by John Y. Brown Jr. and Jack C. Massey, who expand globally, becoming the first Western (foreign devil) restaurnt chain to open in Red China, which goes on to become their #1 market; in the early 1970s it is acquired by Heublein, which is taken over by R.J. Reynolds, who sells it to PepsiCo; by 2013 it grows to 18K+ outlets in 118 countries. On June 29, 2017 (9:11 a.m.) Kentucky Fried Chicken launches a spicy crispy Zinger chicken sandwich into the stratosphere on a high-alt. balloon, where it stays at an alt. of 50K-80K ft. for four days.
In 1953 Burger King (originally Insta-Burger King) is founded in Jacksonville, Fla. by Keith J. Kramer and his wife's uncle Matthew Burns after visiting the original McDonald's Restaurant in San Bernardino, Calif. using an Insta-Broiler; in 1957 they introduce the it-takes-two-hands-to-handle-a Whopper (37 cents); in 1959 they sell-out to James McLamore and David R. Edgerton of Miami, Fla., who rename it Burger King and begin franchising before selling out to Pillsbury Co. in 1967; by 1991 there are 6.4K outlets in 50 U.S. states and 40 country, with $6B yearly sales, coming in #2 behind McDonald's.
The Butler really did it? In 1953 Denny's Restaurants 24-hour fast-food chain is founded as Danny's Donuts in Lakewood, Calif. by Richard Jezak (who departs in 1955) and Harold Butler (1921-98), who changes to the current name in 1959 and gives up donuts for full meals, growing to #1 in 1971 with 1.6K stores in four countries, then selling out and building the Winchell's, Jojo's, and Naugles chains.
In 1954 Iowa-born Idaho potato farmer John Richard "Jack" Simplot (1909-2008) begins selling frozen french-fried potatoes on a commercial basis to McDonald's and other fast-food restaurants, ending up a billionaire - until they make him pay the medical bills for the customers?
In 1955 Tenn.-born Joe Rogers Sr. and Hawkinsville, Ga.-born Thomas "Tom" Forkner (1918-) open the first Waffle House restaurant in Avondale Estates, Ga., becoming known for their 24-hour service, low overhead, yummy pecan waffles, hashbrowns smothered any way you like, breakfasts, hamburgers, and steaks, all cooked on a griddle and served with excellent coffee; in 1960 they begin franchising, growing to 1.6K restaurants in the U.S. in 2009, and 2.1K in 25 U.S. states by 2015, mainly in the Am. South.
In 1956 Mister Donut fast food franchise is founded in the U.S. by former Dunkin' Donuts exmployee Harry Winokur, growing to 275 stores before being acqured by Internat. Multifoods Corp. in 1970 and expanding to Japan in 1971; in Feb. 1990 after expanding to 550 stores it is acquired by Allied Lyons, parent co. of Dunkin' Donuts.
On July 7, 1958 Internat. House of Pancakes (IHOP) breakfast chain is founded in Toluca Lake, Los Angeles, Calif. by Albert Kallis, Jerry Lapin, and Al Lapin, growing to 1,650 restaurants in the U.S. and Canada by 2015, with the slogan "Everything you love about breakfast".
In 1958 Wichita State U. student brothers Dan Carney (1931-) and Frank Carney (1938-) found Pizza Hut in Wichita, Kan. with $600, growing to 6K restaurants in the U.S. and 5K in 94 other countries by 2015 - in that boring town, going there would be the highlight of the month?
On May 8, 1959 Little Caesars Pizza is founded in Garden City, Mich. by Detroit Tigers farm team shortstop Michael "Mike" Ilitch (Illitch) (Illievski) Sr. (1929-) and his wife (since 1955) Marian Bayoff Ilitch (1933-), becoming the world's largest carry-out pizza chain, and 3rd largest pizza chain in the U.S. behind Pizza Hut and Domino's Pizza, with the slogan "Pizza! Pizza" (1979); the name is her pet name for him; he buys the Detroit Red Wings NHL team in 1982 for $8M, followed by the ML Detroit Tigers in 1990; the chain expands to all 50 states by 1987.
In 1959 after seeing the idea in use at a fast food restaurant near the Tex.-La. border, Sonic Drive-In fast food restaurants is founded in Shawnee, Okla. by Troy Nuel Smith Sr. (1922-2009), featuring angled car stalls with intercoms to place orders that are filled by carhops on roller skates within 3 min., with the mottos "Service with the Speed of Sound" and "America's Drive-In", moving corporate HQ to Oklahoma City, Okla. in 1987; by 2009 it has 3.6K restaurants in 42 U.S. states; in 2004 Thomas Jefferson "T.J." Jagodowski (1971-) and Peter Grosz (1974-) begin starring as the Two Guys in Sonic Drive-In commercials.
On June 10, 1960 Domino's Pizza is founded in Ann Arbor, Mich. by Thomas Stephen "Tom" Monaghan (1937-); its domino logo shows three dots, representing its first three stores; by 2015 it expands to 10K stores in 70+ countries after becoming the #2 largest pizza chain in the U.S. after Pizza Hut; in 1973 is launches a guarantee of your pizza free if it doesn't arrive within 30 min., reducing it to $3 off in the mid-1980s; in 1998 it is acquired by Bain Capital, who takes it public in 2004.
On Sept. 9, 1960 Hardee's fast food restaurant chain is founded in Greenville, N.C. by Wilbert Hardee (1918-2008), becoming known for distinctive "charboiled thickburgers" incl. the Huskee, and hexagonal bldgs. with pointed roofs, even the hamburgers, expanding to 4K locations in the U.S. before being acquired by Imasco in 1981, then contracting to 2K locations by 1997, when it is acquired by Carl's Jr.
In 1961 after working for them since 1954, Oak Park, Ill.-born milkshake machine salesman Raymond Albert "Ray" Kroc (1902-84) buys McDonald's Restaurants from 1940 founders Dick and Mac McDonald for $2.7M, initially promising them a 1.9% royalty on gross sales, but later reneging after they try to give the original restaurant to the founding employees, opening "The Big M" McDonald's Restaurant near it to force it out of biz; meanwhile he introduces the slogan "Look for the Golden Arches", followed in 1966 by "The Closest Thing to Home", "You Deserve a Break Today" in ?, "Good Time, Great Taste" in 1998, "I'm Loving It" in 2003, and carries on with blonde married bar piano player Joan Beverly Kroc (nee Mansfield) (1928-2003), marrying her in 1969 (wife #3) after they both divorce their spouses; when he dies, she inherits his empire, becoming known as a philanthropic angel and anti-nuclear activist.
In 1961 the Red Barn fast-food restaurant chain is founded in Springfield, Ohio by Don Six, Martin Levine, and Jim Kirst, growing to 300-400 franchises in 19 states plus Canada and Australia by the time it folds in 1988; offerings incl. the Big Barney and Barnbuster, and the first self-service salad bars; mascots incl. Hamburger Hungry, Chicken Hungry, and Big Fish Hungry; "When the hungries hit/ When the hungries hit/ Hit the Red Barn".
In 1961 Der Wienerschnitzel hot dog restaurant is founded in Wilmington, Los Angeles, Calif. by former Taco Bell employee John Galardi (1937-2013), becoming known for A-frame roofs, becoming the world's largest hot dog chain; the mascot is the Delicious One; in the late 1980s they become Original Hamburger Stand restaurants.
In 1962 ex-Marine Glen William Bell Jr. (1923-2010), who started Bell's Drive-In in 1948 in San Bernardino, Calif. after seeing the success of McDonald's founds Taco Bell fast-food Mexican restaurant in Downey, Calif. with $4K, selling his first franchise to a former L.A. policeman in 1964 and spreading from there, reaching 868 restaurants before selling out to PepsiCo in 1978 for $125M - I thought Bell stood for a real bell? In Sept. 1997 the Taco Bell Dog (Chihuahua) (1994-2009) (real name Gidget) becomes a hit in Taco Bell ads, uttering soundbytes incl. "Long live Gorditas" and "Drop the chalupa!"
On July 23, 1964 Arby's Restaurants is founded in Boardman (near Youngstown), Ohio by Fairmont, W.V.-born brothers Forrest Bernard "Fuzzy" Raffel (1922-2008) and Leroy Raffel (1926-) from New Castle, Penn. to sell a 69 cent quarter-lb. roast beef sandwich; the name is a pun on "Raffel Brothers" and "roast beef"; the logo is a cowboy hat, a nod to Big Tex of Akron, Ohio, which refused to license them the name; in July 2011 it is acquired by Roark Capital Group and Wendy's; by 2015 it expands to 3.4K restaurants.
On Aug. 28, 1965 the first Subway sandwich shop (originally Pete's Super Submarines, then Pete's Subway) is founded in Bridgeport, Conn. with a $1K loan from family friend (nuclear physicist) Dr. Peter Buck (1930-) by 17-y.-o. recent h.s. grad Frederick Adrian "Fred" DeLuca (1947-2015); it sells its first franchise in 1974, opens its 100th store in 1978, its 1,000th in 1987, and its 11,000th store in Aug. 1995, and by 2007 is #1 with 25K stores in 83 countries, growing to 44.6K stores in 111 countries by 2016; the motto is "Eat fresh"; meanwhile in Jan. 2000 after claiming that he lost 200 lbs. by eating only at Subway and holding the mayo, Indianapolis, Ind.-born Jared Scot Fogle (1977-) becomes the spokesman, helping the co. triple in er, size until he is charged with child molestation and porno and is fired on Aug. 18, 2015.
In 1968 Marriott Corp. founds Roy Rogers Family Restaurants in Falls Church, Va. in cooperation with cowboy singer Roy Rogers to replace their Hot Shoppes Jr. fast food chain, featuring tasty roast beef sandwiches and fried chicken, expanding to 51 stores by 2015; in 1982 Marriott acquires Gino's Mid-Atlantic restaurant chain for $48.6M and converts 180 of its 313 restaurants to Roy Rogers until they are acquired by Hardee's in 1990, after which all but 13 of the remaining restaurants are sold by 1996.
On Apr. 16, 1969 Long John Silver's fast food restaurants is founded in Lexington, Ky. by Jerrico Inc., operator of Jerry's Restaurants, featuring Cape Cod-style bldgs. with blue roofs and square cupolas, laid out with wooden benches and tables, lobster pots, and ship's wheels, seats that look like nautical flags, wrought iron sword door handles, separate entrance and exit doors with dock-like walkways lined with pilings and thick ropes; in 2002 it is acquired by Yum! Brands, switching from Coca-Cola to Pepsi; in July 2013 the Center for Science in the Public Interest names its Big Catch meal the worst restaurant meal in the U.S., with 3.7g of sodium, 33 grams of trans fat, and 19 grams of saturated fat, causing the co. to announce in Jan. 2014 that it has eliminated trans fats; by 2015 it expands to 1.2K units.
On Nov. 15, 1969 Wendy's Old Fashioned Hamburgers, founded by greasy-shoed Rex David "Dave" Thomas (1932-2002) (a Freemason) opens in Columbus, Ohio, named after his 8-y.-o. red-pigtailed daughter Melinda Lou "Wendy" Thomas (1961-) (portrayed in the logo), featuring fresh sandwiches with a choice of dressings, going on to capture 13% of the fast-food hamburger market with square-shaped burgers made from fresh (greasy?) meat, antique decor, and thick "Frosty" milk shakes, becoming #3 behind Burger King and McDonald's; on Jan. 2006 they move their HQ to Dublin, Ohio; on Mar. 19, 2012 Wendy's overtakes Burger King as the #2 hamburger chain in the U.S. after McDonald's.
In 1969 Arthur Treacher's Fish and Chips, named after "perfect butler Jeeves" actor Arthur Treacher (1894-1975) (who gives them the recipe and acts as spokesman) is founded in Columbus, Ohio by S. Robert Davis, Dave Thomas et al., expanding to 800 stores by the late 1970s when the Third Cod War of 1975-6 between Britain and Iceland causes cod prices to increase 50%, causing them to switch to less tasty pollock and sell-out to Mrs. Paul Seafood on Nov. 21, 1979, after which they drop to 14 stores by 2015, seven in the Rochester, N.Y. area.
Speaking of black, done white-style? On Mar. 30 1971 Starbucks (named after a char. in Herman Melville's "Moby Dick" - second choice Pequod) is founded by Howard Schultz (1953-) in Seattle's Pike Place Market, and introduces Italian-style espresso drinks to the U.S. and other countries, opening its fist location outside North Am. in Tokyo in 1996, growing to 23.5K locations incl. 12.9K in the U.S. by 2015; the logo is a mermaid or melusine; in 2005 Russian atty. Sergei A. Zuykov (1966-) squats on their trade name, demanding $600K for it - that and $600K will get you a cup of coffee? On Apr. 12, 2018 two black men waiting in a Starbucks store in Philly for friends are ordered to pay for something to use the bathroom, then arrested, causing the PC police to come out bigtime, forcing Starbucks and the police to prostrate themselves, with Starbucks closing 8K locations for "racial bias" training for 175K employees - when you order it black at Starbucks, it's always to go? On June 4, 2018 Howard Schultz announces that he's resigning as exec chmn. of Starbucks after growing it from 11 stores in 1987 to 28K stores in 77 countries.
On June 12, 1972 Popeyes Famous Fried Chicken (Popeyes Famous Fried Chicken & Biscuits) (originally Popeyes Mighty Good Fried Chicken) (too poor to afford an apostrophe?) fast food restaurants is founded in Arabi (near New Orleans), La. by Alvin Charles "Al" Copeland (1944-2008), who begins adding Cajun-style cayenne pepper to his Chicken on the Run recipes, renaming his restaurant after Jimmy "Popeye" Doyle in the 1971 film "The French Connection"; Popeye the Sailor is used in ads; on Feb. 7, 1997 novelist Anne Rice pub. a full-page ad in the New Orleans Times-Picayune calling a new Popeyes restaurant in a poor area of New Orleans "hideous", "a monstrosity", and "nothing short of an abomination"; by 2005 it has 1,118 restaurants in 28 countries, expanding to 2.5K in 30 countries by 2015; in 2008 Copeland dies in Munich, Germany of a salivary gland tumor; in 2009 Annie the Chicken Queen becomes the spokesman.
On May 5, 1978 Jewish-Am. entrepreneurs Bennett "Ben" Cohen (1951-) and Jerry Greenfield (1951-) (born 4 days apart in the same Brooklyn, N.Y. hospital) found super-premium ice cream manufacturer Ben & Jerry's Homemade Holdings, Inc. in Burlington, Vt. with $12K. On May 6 at 12:34 the numbers 12345678 represent the time and date to geeks with no life.
In spring 1981 Quiznos fast food restaurants is founded in Denver, Colo. by Jimmy Lambatos to sell toasted submarine sandwiches; in 1991 he sells-out to Rick and Richard Schaden, who expand it to 2.1K restaurants globally, becoming #2 in submarine sandwiches after Subway.
On Oct. 2, 1984 Papa John's Pizza is founded in Jeffersonville, Ind. by "Papa" John H. Schnatter (1961-) in the back of his father's tavern with $1.6K obtained by selling his 1971 Z28 Camaro, concentrating on using fresh ingredients; by the end of the cent. it has 2.6K outlets in 47 states and 11 countries; in Sept. 2012 it opens its 4,000 restaurant in New Hyde Park, N.Y.; by 2016 it becomes the 3rd largest pizza take-out and delivery chain on Earth, with HQ in Jefferstown (near Louisville), Ky., doing $1.4B/year sales; slogan: "Better Ingredients. Better Pizza. Papa John's".