Which fast-food chain is named after its founder? Despite being a relatively recent phenomenon, the chain has been around for decades. Its namesake, William Rosenberg, founded it in Quincy, Mass., in 1950, and sold food on construction sites and factories. In 1959, Rosenberg began selling franchises and the chain’s popularity skyrocketed. Here are a few fun facts about each chain.
The chicken sandwich was invented in 1961, after Cathy opened her first fast food restaurant, the Dwarf House, in a suburban Atlanta neighborhood. In response to a surplus of chicken breasts at her local poultry supplier, she created a cooking method that allowed her to make a chicken sandwich in half the time. She trademarked the name, and today, Chick-fil-A has more than 1,800 locations throughout 39 states, including more than one in Washington, DC.
Truett Cathy met Jeanette McNeil when they were only eight years old. They married in 1920 and founded The Dwarf Grill, which was later renamed The Dwarf House. The Dwarf House was one of five chains that Cathy founded, including Chick-fil-A and Truett’s Grill. The restaurant had a jukebox, and the couple was married for 66 years.
In the early 1980s, the Wendy’s restaurant chain struggled with stiff competition. The restaurant chain employed Clara Peller in the “Where’s the beef?” commercial campaign. This ad was a hit and has since become part of American pop culture. It also helped Wendy’s regain a foothold in the fast food industry. Ultimately, Wendy’s became a household name.
The company’s logo was inspired by a photo of Thomas, featuring his red hair in pigtails. The logo also features a salad bar, which was popular in the 1980s. Since then, the fast food chain has phased out the salad bar in favor of drive-through and carry-out options. In addition to serving more than 300 million Frostys each year, Wendy’s has also made significant strides in bringing new ideas to the fast food industry, like a pick-up window and online ordering.
The Church’s Chicken fast-food chain is a staple of the United States’ Southern region. In addition to chicken sandwiches, Church’s serves mac and cheese, collard greens, and seasoned beans and rice. It expanded internationally in the early 2000s, with the first two locations in Japan and one in Germany. The company’s name is a nod to its founder, a Baptist minister from Kentucky.
The fast-food chain has a long history of controversy. In the 1980s, Church’s was linked to the Ku Klux Klan, which had a racist plot against black Americans. The rumor was based on Church’s practice of opening restaurants in predominantly black areas. Although Church’s did not actually link its chicken to racial discrimination, the resulting controversy prompted many to question the chain’s authenticity.
The Chipotle fast-food chain was founded by Steve Ells in 1993. While working as a chef in San Francisco, he was trying to raise funds to start a high-end restaurant. He took a detour and opened a small burrito shop instead. While he never took a business course, he asked his father for a $80,000 loan to start the restaurant. He had a vision to take the food service industry by storm and decided to model it after taquerias and burrito shops. While he did not attend business school, he was inspired by his time in San Francisco and visited several taquerias and burrito shops to see what would sell best.
Ells initially studied art history at the University of Colorado Boulder and then went to the Culinary Institute of America to learn about fine food. Then, he decided to open his first restaurant and was inspired by the Mission District’s large number of untapped market potential. While eating burritos in the Mission District, Ells’s eyes were drawn to a large burrito wrapped in foil. After working for a few years, he decided to open his own restaurant.
While the fast-food chain is named after its founder, it has its own history. Its founder, Robert Smith, owned another fast-food chain, Perkins, which was a competitor of Friendly’s. The owner needed a plane to get from Perkins’ headquarters in Tennessee to Friendly’s home office in Massachusetts. Blake and Smith eventually settled, but the battle lasted several years.
In 1953, Troy N. Smith bought a log-house root beer stand with an attached log house and converted it into a steakhouse. The restaurant’s popularity soon grew and Smith and his partner began franchising their business. Smith’s success prompted him and Pappe to change the chain’s name to Sonic, which became a worldwide fast-food chain. Today, Smith’s has over 3,600 locations in 45 states.
Potbelly Sandwich Works
In 2002, Potbelly was the dominant sandwich chain in the Chicago area, with eleven locations. It was profitable, generating $1.3 million per unit. In 2003, the company opened 30 additional locations, expanding to Washington D.C., Michigan, and beyond. Sales topped $40 million in 2003, and Potbelly hired PR21 and Peter Tolan to spearhead its marketing efforts. In 2004, Potbelly hired PR21 to manage its marketing, social media, and content.
The story of Potbelly’s success is interesting. The sandwich shop began as an antiques store in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood, where Peter Hastings served lunch to customers. After selling antiques, Hastings decided to make a buck by selling sandwiches. The idea was simple: use the potbelly stove to make sandwiches for customers. As word spread about the sandwiches, customers lined up for them. Hastings had hoped that people would line up to buy them.