|Type||Private LLC subsidary|
|Founded||Flint, Michigan, U.S., (1923)|
|Founder(s)||Samuel V. Blair|
|Headquarters||Grand Blanc Township, Michigan, United States|
|Number of locations||14(2013)|
|Area served||MI: Central Michigan|
|Key people||Louis Dortch Sr., Chairman
Louis Dortch Jr., President/CEO
Polly Dortch, marketing director
Jeff Bedolla, Vice President
Terry Thomas, consultant
|Products||Hamburgers, Chicken, Fish, French Fries, Pies, and Milkshakes|
|Parent||Dortch Enterprises, LLC|
|Subsidiaries||Dortch Halo locations LLCs|
Halo Burger, formerly known by its full name Bill Thomas' Halo Burger, is a fast-food restaurant chain based in Genesee County, Michigan, USA. Begun in 1923 as the original Kewpee location and separating from the Kewpee chain in 1967 with two locations, the chain has since grown to fourteen locations in the region. All but one of these are located in Genesee County. Halo Burger is the trademark of Dortch Halo Enterprises LLC.
A single founding date for the company is not so easy as the company evolved from the original Kewpee location opened in 1923 which expanded into a chain before 1944 when Thomas starts his business that would later be named Halo Burgers by leasing the original location.
Samuel V. Blair opened Kewpee Hotel restaurant in downtown Flint and expanded to approximately 400 locations by 1939 through licensing the name. William "Bill" V. Thomas started working at Kewpee in 1938. Thomas began leasing the Harrison Street, Flint location from Blair upon his retirement on April 1, 1944. Blair died in 1945 and Thomas continued to lease the location and pay royalties for use of the Kewpee name from the estate until the Kewpee trademark and Blair estate owned locations went up for sale in 1958. Thomas was able to purchase the Flint location but the Kewpee trademark was sold to Ed Adams of Toledo, Ohio. Thomas expanded with a second Kewpee location with the purchase of Vernor's Ginger Ale building in 1951.
Adams switched from a trademark license of Kewpee to a full franchising arrangement in 1967. Thomas rejected this new arrangement and changed the name of his restaurants to Bill Thomas' Halo Burger. Halo Burgers' first location only under the Halo Burger name opens in 1973 on Linden Road. But during construction, Bill Thomas died that year. In 1976, two more locations join the chain on West Pierson Road and in Grand Blanc. In 1979, the Harrison location was vacated to make way for University of Michigan-Flint parking. The staff of the former Harrison Street location were transferred to a newly opened Halo Burger serving Flint's east side.
The 1980s become a decade of expansion with 10 more location starting in 1984 with another Downtown location. In 1985, Halo Burger expanded to Birch Run, Michigan, with a location that was opened on property leased at Conlee Oil Company's station. Locations in Saginaw and Flint's Southwest side opened in 1986. Another location in Saginaw following in 1987 along with the Richfield Road and Genesee Valley Center location. Three more locations are opened in 1988 in Fenton, at Atherton Road and at Corunna Road near Ballenger Highway. The Saginaw, Genesee Valley Center and Corunna Road locations later closed. Their Grand Blanc Downtown location closed in 1998 and was replaced by a location in Grand Blanc Township.
On September 5, 2002, Halo Burger takes over the former Campus Cafe at University of Michigan-Flint University Center. In November, the company recalled flashlights that were given out with kid's meals. On July 22, 2007, all 11 locations were shut down for a day do to a possible E. coli contamination as their supplier, Abbott's Meat, had recalled a number of meat products and received meat from a temporary supplier. Due to the new student housing and 24-hour food service, Sodexo, that goes along the housing, the University Center location closed April 21, 2008.
Dortch Enterprises ownership
An initial attempt to sell the chain to key employees fell through after issues with the bank. As his son was uninterested in 2010, the Thomas family sold the nine location chain to Dortch Enterprises, which operates multiple Subway restaurants in Michigan, with the sale completed on December 29, 2010 for a price of about $10 million. Dortch will be expanding to new locations and making over of the restaurants towards a "fast-casual feel" with earth tones and "upscale decor". In 2011, the company announced they are adding locations in the Oakland County/Detroit metro area in late 2012 and that they would be adding 2 to 3 locations per year. While Dortch feels that Halo Burger locations would do well in East Lansing with Michigan State University and Ann Arbor with University of Michigan having Flint area university students, plans for opening in those cities have been put on hold.
In June 2011, the Company broke ground for a new 10th location in Grand Blanc Township on Holly Road. Three other sites have been selected for new locations: Fenton, Lapeer and Lapeer Road, Davison. In October the Holly Road location opened.
One opened in a gas station in Mount Morris in February 2012. In August 2012, Dortch filed and received approval for a site plan for a joint Halo Burger-Subway location on Belsay Road in Burton.
In January 2013, Halo Burger's Fenton location moved to a former Burger King building on Leroy Street. A new Brighton, Michigan location was scheduled to open in May in Livingston County and would have been their first location in the Metro Detroit area. In March, Dortch announced plans for 5 Oakland County locations: Troy, Clarkston, Novi, Bingham Farms and Farmington Hills and an East Lansing location to open this year along with the existing announced Brighton location. The joint Halo Burger-Subway Burton location opened March 27. On February 5, Dortch Halo Enterprises sued a Grand Blanc man who is using @haloburger Twitter handle since 2009 and has been unwilling to turn the handle over to the company with out payment. The man's defense is that he is not using it commercial, Twitter handles are first come first serve and the "Halo Burger" trademark was supposedly rejected by the U.S. Trademark Office for being too similar to another trademark. Dortch Halo dropped the lawsuit to "prevent more controversy." in April. On May 8, the Halo Burger in Clarkston opens, its first in Oakland County with a shift to fast casual format with no drive-through in its Oakland County locations. On October 6, Ferndale and Rochester locations were revealed to be under construction along with four others already announced with the Frandor Shopping Center, East Lansing location opening up on the 7th.
- Q.P.: Original called the Kewpee, its name is a phonetic of that name and has been served since 1923 and of its size, a quarter pound hamburger. The burger consisted of flat bottom bun with deluxe toppings (mayo, lettuce, tomato) originally, and now it includes ketchup, mustard, pickle, onion, lettuce, tomato, and mayonnaise. This still today remains one of the Halo Burger's most popular sandwiches, especially with olives.
- Olive Burger - a Q.P. with olives
- Boston Cooler - with Vernor's Ginger Ale
- Specialty burgers
- hot dogs - supplied by Koegel
- Coney dog - Flint style
- Grilled Chicken Caesar
- Cobb - with applewood smoked bacon
- Greek - with kalamata olives and beets
- turkey burger - Jennie-O
The Downtown Flint location was previously Vernor's Retail Store and Sandwich shop built in 1929. A Vernor's Ginger Ale mural (including the ginger ale's gnome mascot) covers the adjacent Greater Flint Arts Council building and was painted by John Gonsowski. The restaurant's interior iron railing still contain large wrought V's.
- 1978 Top 100 United States Burgers by a national radio survey
- 1983 Voted Flint's #1 hamburger by a Flint Journal Newspaper survey
- 2000 Voted Michigan's #1 hamburger by a Detroit News Reader Survey
- 2011 Best Hamburger of Genesee Readers' Choice Awards, The Flint Journal
- Jacobson, Marc. (September 16, 2013) Halo Burger celebrates 90th anniversary. ABC12.com. WJRT. Accessed November 1, 2013.
- Skid, Nathan (October 08, 2013). "Eat to grow: Burger chain looks to surround region with Halo havens". Crain's Detroit Business. Retrieved November 1, 2013.
- "Contact Us". dortchenterprises.com. Dortch Enterprises, LLC. Retrieved 3 June 2011.
- Rauschert, Jeff (01/03/2011). "New owner says Halo Burger will stay the same". NBC 25 News. Retrieved 3 June 2011.
- Rauschert, Jeff (2010-12-28). "Halo Burger to be sold by Thomas family to Dortch Enterprises". NBC 25 News. Retrieved 3 June 2011.
- "Halo Burger". Trademarkia.com. Trademarkia, Inc. Retrieved 20 April 2012.
- "Trademarks of Dortch Halo Enterprises, LLC". trademarkia.com. Trademarkia, Inc. Retrieved 20 April 2012.
- Fonger, Ron (March 19, 2012). "Halo Burger opens 11th location in Mt. Morris Township". Flint Journal. Retrieved 20 March 2012.
- Turner, Kris (December 29, 2010). "Thomas family saddened to hand over Halo Burger". The Flint Journal. Retrieved 5 April 2012.
- Whit Smyth (2010-01-24). "Kewpee Hamburgers - Lima, Ohio". Nation's Restaurant News. Retrieved 6 February 2011.
- Hogan, David Gerard (1997). Selling 'em by the Sack: White Castle and the Creation of American Food (1st ed.). NYU Press. p. 50. ISBN 0-8147-3567-3. Retrieved 2008-06-04.
- "The Halo Burger History". Halo Burger. Retrieved 5 April 2012.
- Christy Ryan (2008-04-21). "Halo Burger reluctant to leave in fall" (shtml). Michigan Times (Flint, Michigan: University of Michigan-Flint). Retrieved 2008-06-02.
- "History". About Us. Conlee Oil Company. Retrieved 29 November 2011.
- "Our Locations". haloburger.com. Halo Burger. Retrieved 4 April 2013.
- Abercrombie, Shena (2002-06-10). "With Halo Burger on campus no excuse for hungry students". The Flint Journal. Archived from the original on 2002-06-10. Retrieved 29 November 2011.
- Vaughn, Marlon (2002-11-16). "Halo Burger kids meal flashlights recalled". The Flint Journal. Archived from the original on 2002-11-16. Retrieved 29 November 2011.
- Bach, Matt (July 24, 2007). "Halo Burger restaurants reopen after E. coli concern". The Flint Journal. Retrieved 19 April 2012.
- Turner, Kris (January 23, 2011). "Halo Burger could expand to Lapeer, Fenton or Davison this year". Flint Journal. Retrieved 3 June 2011.
- Turner, Kris (January 4, 2011). "New Halo Burger owner keeps old staples, plans for more locations in Genesee County". The Flint Journal. Retrieved 3 June 2011.
- Yung, Katherine (June 2, 2011). "Flint's Halo Burger chain to debut in metro Detroit in '12". Detroit Free Press. Archived from the original on December 12, 2012. Retrieved 3 June 2011.
- Rabinowitz, Nyssa (June 22, 2011). "New Halo Burger breaks ground in Grand Blanc Township". Flint Journal. Retrieved 30 December 2011.
- Rabinowitz, Nyssa (June 23, 2011). "New Halo Burger brings jobs to Grand Blanc, will continue to expand". Flint Journal. Retrieved 3 January 2012.
- "A new Halo". Grand Blanc View. 2011-11-17. Retrieved 3 January 2012.
- Acosta, Roberto (August 15, 2012). "Growth spurt: Halo Burger and Volunteers of America thrift store may bring boost to Burton economy". The Flint Journal. Retrieved 7 November 2012.
- DeFever, Dana (January 7, 2013). "Halo Burger announces move for its Fenton restaurant". The Flint Journal. Retrieved 22 February 2013.
- Totten, Jim (February 5, 2013). "Halo Burger coming to Brighton area". Daily Press & Argus. Archived from the original on March 15, 2013. Retrieved 22 February 2013.
- Franklin, Matt (Mar 15, 2013). "Halo Burger expands across the state". ABC 12. Retrieved 15 March 2013.
- Allen, Jeremy (March 26, 2013). "Burton Halo Burger to open Wednesday, March 27". Flint Journal. Retrieved 4 April 2013.
- Harris, David (April 15, 2013). "Halo Burger sues Grand Blanc man over Twitter handle". Flint Journal. Retrieved 15 April 2013.
- Harris, David (April 15, 2013). "Halo Burger dismisses its suit against Grand Blanc Township man using its name on Twitter". Flint Journal. Retrieved 15 April 2013.
- Beaudoin, Andrea. Halo Burger now open. June 26, 2013. Clarkston News. Retrieved July 15, 2013.
- Rector, Sylvia. Flint's Halo Burger expands into Oakland County with new locations, decor and menu. July 13, 2013. Free Press. Retrieved July 15, 2013. Archived October 22, 2013.
- Halo Burger Ribbon Cutting. Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce. Accessed on November 1, 2013.
- Allen, Stu (June 20, 2011). "Halo Burger Expanding". WCRZ. Retrieved 9 April 2012.
- Orchant, Rebecca (2012-10-31). "Vernors Ginger Ale Is America's Oldest And Michigan's Favorite". huffingtonpost.com. Retrieved 9 November 2012.
- Rummel, Sally (February 15, 2013). "Halo Burger Continues Fenton tradition at new location". Tri-County Times. Retrieved 6 April 2013.
- Raymer, Marjory (August 13, 2008). "Vernors fans bringing pop culture to Flint". The Flint Journal. Retrieved 7 November 2012.
- "Best hamburger: Halo Burger". The Flint Journal. June 5, 2011. Retrieved 7 November 2012.
- "Number 1". Flint Journal (Flint, Michigan: Booth Newspapers). 1984-02-07. p. C1.
- Dave. "Restaurants of Interest". Cuisine, A Semi-Exhaustive Guide. Frog Leg Productions. Retrieved 2008-06-02.
- Halo Burger's official web site
- Halo Burger's Facebook page
- A Tasty Part of Flint History—The former Vernor's outlet in Flint, MI, now Halo Burger
- Explain history at Kewpee's site