If you’re old enough to remember Burger Chef restaurants, you probably miss them. I used to be surprised at how much love the fast food joints had built up with those that ate there. The first Burger Chef opened in 1954 in Indianapolis, Indiana. By their peak year in 1973, there were over 1,000 locations throughout the US and Canada. Less than 15 years later the last Burger Chef closed.
The fine folks at MeTV posted 10 Reasons We Really Miss Burger Chef Restaurants. Before you click over, here are thoughts on three of my favorites…
The Works Bar. Burger Chef was the first to come up with the idea of a works bar. It contained all the items you could want for your sandwich – lettuce, pickles, onion, tomato, as well as condiments. This allowed customers to customize to perfection. We had customers who would come in, order a sandwich and drink then would go to the works bar and make a salad using the items for sandwiches.
Star Wars Posters. Burger Chef was ahead of the other fast food joints when they began including Star Wars posters with the purchase of a meal. If you don’t know my Mike Kott/Burger Chef/Star Wars posters story, it’s worth a click over.
The Big Shef (and Fun Meals). The Big Shef was Burger Chef’s signature sandwich. It was basically a Big Mac without sesame seeds, pickles, onions or special sauce (Thousand Island dressing). What was their true claim to fame were Fun Meals. geared towards kids. Each Funmeal came with a sandwich, small fries, small drink and a toy! Five years later McDonalds started serving Happy Meals using the same concept.
I worked at Burger Chef for a couple of years while in college. Those were fun times. Yeah, I miss Burger Chef restaurants.