WHITE CASTLE ATTACK!!!!
Fenton Travel Blog› entry 11 of 12 › view all entries
October 18th, 2008 – by: mellemel8
GIVE ME SOME SLIDERS!!!!!
James and i were driving up back to St. Louis for the footbal game. This location was off the 44. I told James i am not leaving MO without a white castle slider.
More than 80 years.
More than 380 restaurants.
More than 500,000,000 burgers sold last year alone.
But when you add it up, the by-the-numbers White Castle math just can't compare to the steam-grilled science of creating that signature Slyder.® Or the consistent history of high quality and great taste that turned fast food into big business and jumpstarted the nation's first hamburger century. (Well, almost a century: meat rationing during World War II forced us to sell hot dogs and eggs.
Still, math is pretty fundamental. Mostly because, in White Castle mathematics (crunched at our Columbus, Ohio, headquarters), the number one keeps popping up.
First fast-food hamburger chain ever. First industrial-strength spatula. First mass-produced paper hat. First to sell a million hamburgers. First to sell a billion hamburgers. First frozen fast food for sale.
All of which, of course, makes us your number one. Hold your applause for your next burgers.
White Castle is the oldest American hamburger fast food restaurant chain. It is known for small square burgers, sometimes referred to as "sliders" (officially spelled and trademarked as "Slyders").
White Castle was founded in 1921 in Wichita, Kansas. Billy Ingram partnered with cook Walter Anderson to make White Castle into a chain of restaurants and market White Castle.
Anderson is credited with invention of "the kitchen as assembly line, and the cook as infinitely replaceable technician", hence giving rise to modern fast food phenomenon. He had developed an efficient method for cooking hamburgers, using freshly ground beef and fresh onions. The ground beef was formed into balls by machine, eighteen to a pound, or forty per kilogram. The balls were placed upon a hot grill and topped with a handful of fresh thinly shredded onion. Then they were flipped so that the onion was under the ball. The ball was then squashed down, turning the ball into a very thin patty. The bottom of the bun was then placed atop the cooking patty with the other half of the bun on top of that so that the juices and steam from the beef and the onion would permeate the bun.
Since fast food was unknown in the United States in that era, there was no infrastructure to support the business, as is common with today's fast food restaurants.
The company also began publishing its own internal employee magazine, the "White Castle Official House Organ," on November 1, 1925. The bulk of the material was contributed by Castle personnel, mostly letters and photographs of workers, promotion announcements, 25-year milestones and retirements, etc., arranged by geographic area. "Employees could...read about the progress and innovations made by those in other Areas which made everyone aware of the entire System's direction and condition.". The House Organ was published quarterly at least through the early 1980s and at some point was renamed "The Slyder Times." The Ohio Historical Society houses an extensive archive of White Castle System, Inc. records from 1921–1991, including issues dating from 1927 to 1970 of the White Castle House Organ.
Ingram's business savvy, argues David Gerard Hogan in Selling 'Em By the Sack: White Castle and the Creation of American Food, not only was responsible for White Castle's success, but for the popularization of the hamburger. For example, to counter charges that burgers were not healthy, Ingram paid several young men to dress as doctors and eat White Castle hamburgers, the idea being that if doctors ate it, it had to be healthy. This same logic led Ingram to fund a study in which a University of Minnesota medical student went on a ten-week diet of nothing but White Castles and water.
In 1933, Ingram bought out Anderson, and the following year the company moved corporate headquarters to Columbus, Ohio. The company remains privately held and its restaurants are company-owned; they are not franchised in the United States (international White Castle outlets are a different matter). Co-founder Billy Ingram was followed as head of the firm by his son E. W. Ingram, Jr. and grandson E. W. Ingram, III.
In concurrence with its 80th anniversary in 2001, White Castle started its Cravers' Hall of Fame. "Cravers" are inducted annually based on stories that are submitted about them, either for them by another person or by that particular Craver. Between five and ten stories have been chosen each year with a grand total of 64 stories being selected through the 2007 induction class, less than 1% of the total stories submitted since the inception of the Cravers' Hall of Fame.
Mr. Ingram's steadfast refusal to franchise or take on debt resulted in the chain remaining relatively small. (There are 392 White Castle outlets, all in the United States, compared with about 13,000 McDonald's in the country.) But the company, which is now run by Mr. Ingram's grandson, nonetheless has the fast-food industry's second-highest sales revenues per store, trailing only McDonald's.
White Castle is known as an early example of successful fast food marketing. While the White Castle company is based on four earlier hamburger stands owned by Anderson, the current name was chosen by Ingram in 1921 to distinguish it from other fast food outlets. "White" was chosen for its connotations of purity, while the "Castle" element was selected as it suggested stability and permanence. This factor was essential in the store's early successes, so much so that several chains (some of which still exist, such as Krystal) imitated the formula.
White Castle's innovative approach to preparing and presenting its hamburgers created a loyal following that, over time, developed slang used today by patrons and restaurant staff to communicate an order or otherwise discuss White Castle products. For example, a customer ordering a "sack of six with both", will receive six burgers with both ketchup and mustard (this is also a reference to White Castle's habit of keeping three bottles of condiments at hand for the burgers: ketchup, mustard, and a combination of the two—or "both"). (It should be noted this does not apply everywhere because restaurants in many regions only serve the burgers plain, allowing customers to add condiments.) In 1994 White Castle was granted a U.S. trademark on the term "slyders" which was a common nickname for its product. An individual who consumes six or more "slyders" in one sitting earns the distinction "slyder pilot." White Castle's burgers are also sold in frozen boxes in grocery stores nationwide. The frozen White Castle burgers are available with American cheese or without, but both varieties lack the pickle slice standard to burgers purchased fresh, possibly due to their high water content which would make microwave cooking problematic.
White Castle's marketing campaign capitalizes on the unique qualities of its product. "The Crave" is depicted in radio and television spots as a sort of addiction to White Castle burgers. An individual afflicted by "The Crave" can only be satisfied by slyders.
White Castle also markets its slyders in 30-hamburger boxes, dubbed a Crave Case. The figure of thirty burgers represents the number that can be produced on one of its standard grills at the same time. In some stores, a "Crave Crate" is offered, with the contents being 100 burgers. Many of these stores will offer the Crate, but not advertise it on its menu.
Every year on February 14, White Castle offers to reserve a candlelit table for two, complete with a server.
In 2003, White Castle unveiled a new logo and has been promoting the slogan "What You Crave" since 1994.
Typically the breakfast menu is available from 5:00 AM until 10:30 AM, but some stores have attempted to boost overnight sales and start breakfast service as early as midnight. The regular menu is available 24 hours a day. (Some restaurants have started closing at 1 am on weeknights and only staying open all night on Friday and Saturday)
* New Jersey
* New York
Many Southerners tend to compare White Castle's sliders with Krystal's square burgers. With the exception of Kentucky and Tennessee, the two restaurants' locations do not overlap geographically.
World's Largest White Castle
The world’s largest White Castle restaurant opened on February 15, 2008 in downtown Louisville, Kentucky. It has 3,270 square feet (304 m2) of space.
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