Runza (restaurant)

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  • Runza Drive-Inn
  • Runza Hut
Founded Lincoln, Nebraska (1949 (1949))
  • Sarah "Sally" Everett
  • Alex Brening
Headquarters Lincoln, Nebraska, United States
Number of locations
83 (2008)
Area served
  • Nebraska
  • Western Iowa
  • Eastern Colorado
  • Eastern Kansas

Runza (/ˈrʌnzə/; 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.

Today there are locations throughout Nebraska with one location in Colorado (Loveland), two in Iowa (Council Bluffs and Clarinda) and two in Kansas (Lawrence and Mission).

In October 2008 the company's official website reported it operates and franchises 83 locations.[1] 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.

Runza is also one of the staple foods at Memorial Stadium, Lincoln along Valentino's Pizza and Fairbury Hot Dogs.

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.[2]


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