I have to admit, I am a huge fast food fan. Sure, I always try to enjoy it in moderation, but often I just can’t stop myself from grabbing a quick bite on my way home from work.
In addition to my love of the food, I’ve always wondered about the origins of all these convenient establishments lining our highways and neighborhoods. Surprisingly, one of my favorites, White Castle, was among the first to embrace the idea of fast food.
Founders Walter A. Anderson, formerly a short-order cook, and Edgar Waldo “Billy” A. Ingram started bringing burgers into the mainstream back in 1921. It didn’t take long for the pair to make their restaurant in Wichita, KS, a hit across the whole country!
Scroll through below for even more fun and fascinating facts about your favorite mini-burger joint.
Did we miss something you love about the famous White Castle sliders? Let us know in the comments and be sure to SHARE with your friends!
Thumbnail Source: Flickr, YouTube
1. White Castle Invented Hamburger Buns
Though there are a lot of conflicting theories about the invention of the hamburger itself (though legend has it the flat patties were designed by Walter A. Anderson smashing a meatball on his griddle one day), Anderson is widely accepted as the man who brought buns into the equation.
2. They Also Invented Assembly Line Cooking
Now used in pretty much every fast food establishment, Anderson’s original White Castle was the first to break down the components into smaller roles. This also helped with replacing those employees who left given, the industry’s high turnover rate.
3. They Eased America's Burger Fears
The popularity of Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle gave ground beef a bad reputation by exposing the low sanitation quality in meatpacking plants. To change diners’ minds, the establishment was purposely made of spotless porcelain enamel, with employees also dressed in stark white uniforms.
4. They've Always Been Incredibly Self-Sufficient
As one of the earliest fast food chains, along with A&W, there were no supply companies on hand to keep their inventory in stock, so they established their own bakeries, meat supply plants, and warehouses.
5. Their Pay Blew Away The Competition
Billy Ingram offered their employees around $18-$30 a week, which was definitely a lot of pocket change back in 1921.
6. And They've Always Believed In Hiring The Best
The staff was required to undergo a two-week unpaid training seminar before stepping into the restaurant, as well as remain meticulously groomed and courteous to the customers.
7. They Don't Flip Their Patties
At least, not anymore. In 1951, the restaurant began using meat with five holes punched into the middle, which allows steam to rise and thoroughly cook the patty atop a pile of sliced onions.
8. They Aren't A Franchise
Though you will find the iconic restaurants sprinkled throughout the United States, White Castle has always remained a private company that owns all of their own stores.
9. There Have Been A Ton Of Copycats
Following their initial success, several other castle-shaped establishments began popping up, with variations on the original name such as “Blue Castle” and “White Cabin.” However, nothing could beat the real deal.
10. The Healthiness Of Their Food Has Been Scientifically Tested
CEO Ingram funded multiple tests to squash claims that their food was unhealthy, including one where a University of Minnesota medical student ate nothing but the sliders for 13 weeks straight without any adverse health effects.
11. You Can Make Reservations
But only for Valentine’s Day, where you can put your name down weeks in advance and look forward to romantic table service with your love.
12. There's Even A Hall Of Fame
Notorious “cravers” have been sending in their best slider stories to the company since 2001. People can vie for a spot in the Hall of Fame alongside their fellow fanatics, like rock-and-roller Alice Cooper, who was inducted in 2014.
13. One Fan Ate Over 100 Sliders In A Single Sitting
Joey Chestnut currently holds the record for eating 103 mini-patties in just eight minutes.
14. They Are 'Time' Honored
Time magazine named their patties the most influential burgers of all time.
15. And Now They're Vegetarian-Friendly
The company debuted their meat-free veggie sliders in December of 2014 for a limited time run, winning over vegans a year later with dairy-free buns and sauce in October of 2015.
Did we miss your favorite thing about the classic burger joint? Let us know in the comments and be sure to SHARE with your friends!