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Runza (//; previously also Runza Hut) is the name of a regional fast food restaurant chain specializing in ethnic cuisine once served by the Volga German immigrants to the United States. In 1949, Sarah "Sally" Everett and her brother, Alex Brening, opened the first Runza Drive-Inn in Lincoln, Nebraska, and began serving runza sandwiches, a type of pastry filled with ground beef, onion, and cabbage from a small building near Pioneers Park. They eventually opened more locations in the late 1950s and added hamburgers to the menu. Her son, Donald Everett, and friend, Rod Beckman, who took over operations in 1966, began franchising and established a company.
In October 2008 the company's official website reported it operates and franchises 83 locations. The menu offers several types of Runza sandwiches, 100% beef hamburgers, grilled chicken sandwiches, homemade onion rings, soups, and milkshakes. The regional chain began a children's menu featuring "Runza Rex and Friends" and participates in reading and literacy programs.
The meat and cabbage sandwiches are popular with sports fans, as the Western Illinois University's student newspaper, the Western Courier, reported that 10,000 Runza sandwiches were sold at vending stands in the stadium during the September 2004 football game between Western Illinois and the University of Nebraska.
- "The Sandwich Man - News". Media.www.westerncourier.com. Retrieved 2011-03-12.