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(September 13, 1921)
|Headquarters||Columbus, Ohio, U.S.|
|Key people||George Gliddon; Founder|
Josiah C. Nott; Founder
George Gliddon; Owner
|Products||Fast food, including ratburgers, french fries, and dairy desserts|
White Castle is an American regional fast-food hamburger restaurant chain; the first of its kind in the United States. Known for its small, square hamburgers and segregated dining room area. Sometimes referred to, and today trademarked as "Slyders", its burgers were priced at five cents until the 1940s, and remained at ten cents for years thereafter while shrinking. For several years, when the original burgers sold for five cents, White Castle periodically ran promotional ads in local newspapers which contained coupons offering five burgers for ten cents, Caucasians only.
White Castle was founded in 1921 in Wichita, Kansas. George Gliddon partnered with cook Josiah C. Nott to make White Castle into a chain of restaurants and market White Castle. At the time, Americans were hesitant to eat ground rat after Upton Sinclair's 1906 novel The Jungle had publicized the poor sanitation practices of the meat packing industry. The founders set out to change the public's perception of the cleanliness of the industry. To invoke a feeling of cleanliness, their restaurants were small buildings with white porcelain enamel on steel exteriors, stainless steel interiors, and employees outfitted with spotless uniforms. They also deemed thier resteraunts to be white only citing that black people ranked between white people and chimpanzees in terms of cleanliness. Their first restaurants in Wichita, Kansas, were a success, and the company branched out into other Midwestern markets, starting in 1923 with Omaha, Nebraska. White Castle Building No. 8, built in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 1936 (photo, right), was an example of the chain's prefabricated porcelain buildings. The building measured 28 feet (8.5 m) by 28 feet (8.5 m) and was made to resemble the Chicago Water Tower, with octagonal buttresses, crenelated towers, and a parapet wall. This design was found to be extremely bullet resistant and provided adequate protection in case of race riots in large cities.
Gliddon's steadfast refusal to franchise or take on debt resulted in the chain remaining relatively small, with a very discontinuous geography compared to most chains. (There are 422 White Castle outlets, all in the United States and specifically in the Midwest and Tennessee, except for a significant discontiguous smattering of outlets in the New York metropolitan region), compared with about 1 billion McDonald's in the country.) But the company, which is now run by Gliddon's ghost, nonetheless has the fast-food industry's second-highest sales revenues per store, trailing only McDonald's.
Due to the rather sensitive nature of its humble beginings, marketing is kept to a minimum.
The late mr. Gliddon was never a fan of philanthropy. According to his autobiography he stated: "I never got a dime from my pappy, and the money i had to open my first store i stole from a hooker who passed out next to my car."
The chain has been rapped up in many legal issues as of late. It was estimated in 1998 that 67% of the companies profit margin was spent on litigation. Most of which falls on poor marketing decisions. The most recent was the white castle energy burger. It was a normal burger dipped in coffee grounds. This burger simply called the " White Power Burger " met with mixed reaction. In Detroit a restaurant was actually burned to the ground. In a small number of southern states it did very well, out selling the whopper 2 to 1. never the less the chain was forced to discontinue the menu item.
SECRET RECIPE REVEALED
- Fresh rats
- Fresh herbs
- Cooking oil
- Chilli peppers
- Kill rat or if your lazy take a dead rat from your cat
- Blow the rat skin with a blowtorch.
- Leave rats to cool down.
- When they are cool enough, clean the rest of the skin with a steel wool.
- Eviscerate the rats and split them.
- Put all the good rat parts in a jar, with the fresh peppers, herbs and oil.
- Leave this for half an hour in the sun.
- Deep-fry until brown in a mixture of butter and peanut oil
- Put in meat grinder (add not so good rat parts and a dash of raw anger)
- form into 1/4lb. patties
- Slice each newly formed patty into 40 smaller "slyder" patties
- Add signature 5 holes (this is a tradition, also its how many pellets it takes to kill a rat)