Big Boy Restaurants
"It's your Big Boy"
|Limited liability company|
|Industry||Casual dining restaurant|
Restaurants, Inc.;The Marriott Corporation;
Robert C. Wian Enterprises;
|Founded||Glendale, California, U.S., (August 6, 1936 )|
|Headquarters||Warren, Michigan, U.S.|
Number of locations
|Michigan (80), California (6), Ohio (2), Illinois (1), North Dakota (1) and Japan (279).|
|Robert Liggett, Jr.,
(Chairman and President)Keith E. Sirois, (CEO)
Bruce Ferguson, (CFO)
Big Boy Restaurants International, LLC is an American restaurant chain headquartered in Warren, Michigan, in Metro Detroit. Frisch's Big Boy Restaurants is a restaurant chain with its headquarters in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Big Boy name, design aesthetic, and menu were previously licensed to a number of regional franchisees.
Big Boy was started as Bob's Pantry in 1936 by Bob Wian in Glendale, California. The restaurant became known as "Bob's, Home of the Big Boy Hamburger" then as Bob's Big Boy. It became a local chain under that name and nationally under the Big Boy name, franchised by Robert C. Wian Enterprises. Marriott Corporation bought Big Boy in 1967. One of the larger franchise operators, Elias Brothers, purchased the chain from Marriott in 1987, moved the headquarters of the company to Warren, Michigan, and operated it until bankruptcy was declared in 2000. During the bankruptcy, the chain was sold to investor Robert Liggett, Jr., who took over as Chairman, renamed the company Big Boy Restaurants International and maintained the headquarters in Warren. The company is the operator or franchisor for 90 Big Boy restaurants in the United States. Big Boy Restaurants International also licenses 279 Big Boy restaurants operating in Japan.
Immediately after Liggett's purchase, Big Boy Restaurants International—then known as Liggett Restaurant Enterprises—negotiated an agreement with the other large franchise operator, Frisch's Restaurants. The Big Boy trademarks in Kentucky, Indiana, and most of Ohio and Tennessee transferred to Frisch's ownership; all other Frisch's territories transferred to Liggett. (The bankruptcy threatened Frisch's future use of the Big Boy trademark.) Thus Frisch's is no longer a franchisee, but Big Boy Restaurants International and Frisch's are now independent co-registrants of the Big Boy name and trademark. Frisch's operates or franchises 121 Big Boy restaurants in the United States.
The Big Boy mascot
The chain is best known for its trademark chubby boy in red-and-white checkered overalls holding a Big Boy sandwich (double-decker cheeseburger). The inspiration for Big Boy's name, as well as the model for its mascot, was Richard Woodruff (1932–1986) of Glendale, California. When he was six years old, Woodruff walked into the diner Bob's Pantry as Bob Wian was attempting to name his new hamburger. Wian said, "Hello, Big Boy" to Woodruff, and the name stuck. Warner Bros. animation artist Ben Washam sketched Richard's caricature, which became the character seen on the company trademark. The Big Boy character was revised in 1955 by an artist working for Ken Bird, a Big Boy paper products supplier and Manfred Bernhard, son of graphic designer Lucian Bernhard. This 1955 Big Boy figure was used for large painted fiberglass (or sometimes metal) statues outside the restaurants, and was featured in The Adventures of the Big Boy comic book, a promotional giveaway for children visiting the restaurants. Bernhard produced the comic book for 40 years until 1997, and the comic book has since been produced by Craig Yoe's Yoe! Studio. Another longtime promotion was the Big Boy Club, a kids club offering coupons and premiums to children, who joined by sending in an application from the comic book.
In 1951, Bob Wian's original franchisee Dave Frisch developed a slightly different Big Boy character. He was slimmer, wore a side cap and was portrayed in a running pose, with "Big Boy" written on the sleeve rather than the chest of his shirt. (The side cap allowed space for the franchise name.) He wore striped overalls and had reddish or blond hair. Known as the "East Coast Big Boy", he was copyrighted by Frisch's and used for statues and comic books for Frisch's, and its subfranchisees Manners and Azar's. Before 1956, some franchisees, such as Parkette (Shoney's), would use both versions, though never together. Since 1956, the Wian "West Coast Big Boy" design was used exclusively by all franchisees other than Frisch's, Manners and Azar's. In the late 1960s both characters were redrawn to appear similar, incorporating the checkered outfit and darker hair from the West Coast design and the running pose and direction of the East Coast design. In the 1980s, the West Coast design lost the hamburger. Representing a de-emphasis of the hamburger in North American Big Boy restaurants, it also accommodated the Japanese Big Boy restaurants, which do not serve hamburgers on a bun.
Big Boy statues
Early versions of the West Coast Big Boy statues were gigantic, measuring up to 12 feet tall with later versions as short as 4 feet. The early statues always included the Big Boy hamburger above mascot's raised right arm; much later versions eliminated the hamburger with both arms clutching the suspenders instead. The hamburger remained a part of the Frisch's East Coast statues, though the slingshot was eliminated from the figure's back pocket. Although still used by that chain, some Frisch's restaurants currently display the West Coast statue instead.
In recent years, Big Boy statues have come into conflict with local zoning ordinances. In 2002 Tony Matar, a Big Boy franchisee in Canton, Michigan was cited in violation of local sign ordinances. The town claimed the statue was a prohibited second sign; Matar asserted that the 7 foot statue was a sculpture, not a sign. A 2004 compromise allows the existing statue to remain with the words "Big Boy" removed from the figure's bib. When a Brighton, Michigan franchise closed in early 2015 for financial reasons, zoning codes caused the entire sign—topped with a rotating Big Boy statue—be taken down before the restaurant could be reopened. In contrast the planning commission in Norco, California—known as Horsetown USA—was concerned that the statue was not western enough. In response, the restaurant's Big Boy statue is now outfitted wearing a cowboy hat and boots.
A few other modified statues are in official use. In Cincinnati's Great American Ball Park a Frisch's statue is painted wearing a 1970s Reds' uniform with a Reds' ball cap added. Frisch's Big Boy hamburgers are sold at two of the park's concession booths. Rather than modifying a typical statue, the Big Boy restaurants in Manistique and St. Ignace Michigan display full scale moose statues dressed in checkered overalls with "Big Boy" printed across the chest. To conform with Gaylord, Michigan's Alpine theme, the local restaurant's statue previously wore a green Tyrolean hat. (The restaurant was rebuilt in 2016, and no longer displays the modified statue.)
Because of the closing or separation of former Big Boy restaurants, many West Coast statues were acquired by private individuals, often traded through eBay. Smaller versions of the statues are sold as coin banks and bobblehead figures. The three dimensional Big Boy figure was also used on early ash trays, salt and pepper shakers, wooden counter displays and as small unpainted pewter models.
The Big Boy hamburger
The signature Big Boy hamburger is the original double deck hamburger.
The novel hamburger started as a joke. In February 1937, members of an area big band, who were regular customers, visited Bob’s Pantry, one asking, "How about something different, something special?" [emphasis added]. Bob Wian improvised, creating the first (then unnamed) Big Boy, intending the thing "look ridiculous, like a leaning tower". Demand for "the special" soared but Wian sought a "snappy" name, which became Big Boy. Some reports say the Big Boy was first called the Fat Boy hamburger until discovering Fat Boy was a protected trademark. In 1938 the Big Boy hamburger cost 15¢.
The Big Boy consists of two thin beef patties placed on a three layer bun with lettuce, a single slice of cheese, and either mayonnaise and red relish (a combination of sweet pickle relish, ketchup and chili sauce), Big Boy special sauce (often called thousand island dressing) or (in some locations) tartar sauce on each slice of bun. (Regardless, the Big Boy condiment used was often simply referred to as "special sauce" on menus chainwide.) Wian used a sesame seed bun while Frisch's used a plain bun and included pickles. The Big Boy hamburger originally called for a quarter pound (4 ounces) of fresh ground beef, but later, franchisees were permitted to use frozen beef patties, and the minimum content reduced to a fifth of a pound to offset increasing food costs. Other specifications were exacting, such as the bun's bottom section being 1½ inches high and the center section ¾ inches, and 1½ ounces of shredded lettuce used.
Originally, the Big Boy hamburger was the only common menu item required of all Big Boy franchisees.
Just as Bob Wian's Big Boy hamburger was served by all franchises, the early franchises also contributed signature menu items. Frisch's provided the "Brawny Lad" and "Swiss Miss" hamburgers, Shoney's contributed the "Slim Jim" sandwich and Hot Fudge Ice Cream Cake, while Strawberry Pie was introduced by Eat'n Park. Hot Fudge Cake and Strawberry Pie remain popular dessert items chainwide but other items were not necessarily offered by all franchises, and franchises would sometimes change the item's name: The "Slim Jim" became the "Buddie Boy" at Frisch's, and Elby's renamed the "Swiss Miss" as the "Brawny Swiss". Similarly, when franchisees left Big Boy, they would typically rebrand the Big Boy hamburger: it became the "Superburger" (Eat'n Park), the "Buddy Boy" (Lendy's), the "Big Ben" (Franklin's), the "Classic Double Decker" (Shoney's), and the "Elby Double Deck hamburger" (Elby's).
Philosophy and practices
Bob Wian developed rules and philosophies about how Big Boy should operate. Besides the (construction of the) Big Boy hamburger he attributed most of his success and that of his franchisees to following these rules. His four mandatory requirements were, "same quality food; nothing but the best; immaculate restaurants; clean, courteous and efficient personnel." Wian said he had five basic rules for building his business: " 'be a good place to work for, sell to, buy from, and invest in. And be a good neighbor in the community.' " He also attributed growth to, "capable management and a conservative policy of not trying to seat more people than can be served or opening more restaurants than can be serviced."
From 1956 through the 1960s Bob's Big Boy dinner menus and those of most franchises included the following message (individualized to the franchise) representing Wian's philosophy:
(front of menu)(back of menu)
We're happy you came..
…and hope you'll enjoy the food and service that we offer!
Yes—we're very happy you came!
We're also gratified and complimented!
HAPPY, because preparing the very finest food for you and serving it with thoughtfulness and good cheer is what we most like to do.
GRATIFIED, yes, because you are giving us the opportunity to serve you and prove our philosophy that good food, cleanliness and friendly hospitality can travel hand in hand.
COMPLIMENTED, because you have chosen BOB's in your quest for good things to eat. Fulfilling this quest is our purpose and our opportunity to contribute to this part of our great American standard of living.
May I assure you that we will do everything possible, as we have since the opening of our first place in 1936, to make you feel "Glad that you came to BOB'S."
ROBERT C. "BOB" WIAN
Typical of Big Boy restaurants, Elby's Big Boy used a nine step process waiting on dining room customers:
- Greet customers within one minute of being seated, serving water and taking beverage orders.
- Serve beverages and take meal orders.
- Call in meal orders to kitchen.
- Place setups (e.g., silverware) and condiments, serve salad items.
- Watch kitchen (number panel) for completed order and promptly serve meals to table.
(The kitchen should complete orders within 8 minutes, 10 minutes for steaks.)
- Check back with customers within a few minutes: "Is everything OK?"
- Return and place check on table: "'I'll return shortly."
- Suggest dessert and take dessert orders.
- Serve desserts or deliver final check, remove empty dishes.
Bob Wian preferred employees with little or no restaurant experience which afforded training in the Big Boy tradition. Other than wait staff, employees started as dishwashers and bus boys, and advanced to short order cooks, and then possibly to management.
Operation and history
In addition to the Bob's Big Boy name, the "Big Boy" concept, menu, and mascot were originally licensed to a wide number of regional franchise holders (listed in the next section). Because many of the early franchisees were already in the restaurant business when joining Big Boy, "Big Boy" was added to the franchisee name just as the Big Boy hamburger was added to the franchisee's menu. In this sense it is confusing when referring to a chain, as each named franchisee was itself a chain and Big Boy could be considered a chain of chains. People tend to know Big Boy not simply as Big Boy but as the franchise from where they lived such as Bob's Big Boy in California, Shoney's Big Boy in the south or Frisch's Big Boy in much of Ohio, among the many others.
Each regional franchisee typically operated a central commissary which prepared or processed foods and sauces to be shipped fresh to their restaurants. Other items were prepared at the restaurants daily, such as soups and breading of seafood and onion rings.
Through the 1950s and 1960s the emphasis changed from drive-in restaurant to coffee shop and family restaurant. New franchisees without existing restaurants signed on. A larger standard menu was developed. Most adopted a common graphic design of menus and promotional items, offered by Big Boy but personalized to the franchise. Stock plans of restaurant designs were provided by Los Angeles architects Armet and Davis or Chicago architectural designer Robert O. Burton, and modified as needed.
In the 1960s, Big Boy and other drive-in restaurants could not compete with the spreading fast food restaurants such as McDonald's and Burger King. Big Boy built its last drive-in in 1964 and by 1976 only 5 of the chain's 930 restaurants offered curb service. Big Boy redefined itself as full service in contrast to fast food. However, in the late 1960s and 1970s Bob's, Shoney's and JB's also opened Big Boy Jr. stores, designed as fast food operations which offered a limited menu. Sometimes called drive-ins, these junior stores did not use carhops. In 1993 Marc's Big Boy similarly developed Big Boy Express stores using dual drive-thrus and no interior dining area. Two Express stores were built, offered for sale a year later and closed in 1995.
Several franchises also joined and concurrently sold Kentucky Fried Chicken in their Big Boy restaurants; these included Marc's, McDowell's, Lendy's and one or more Shoney's subfranchises. The practice was discouraged and Big Boy eventually provided a similar scheme of selling buckets of take out chicken, marketed as Country Style or Country Cousin Chicken. Franchises who resisted the change were forced to remove Kentucky Fried Chicken menu items and physically relocate those operations.
Big Boy's origins as a drive in restaurant, required a much smaller investment to open and much lower costs to operate: a small building having no dining room or limited counter space. Thus persons of modest assets could become Big Boy operators. It was the profits from these operations which allowed not only additional drive ins, but operators to build the modern restaurants with large pleasant dining rooms. Many of the early successful franchisees would probably not have assets (converted to present value) sufficient to join Big Boy today.
By 1979 there were more than a thousand Big Boy restaurants in the U.S. and Canada, and about 20 franchisees. Shoney's, Elias Brothers and Frisch's—charter franchisees—controlled the vast majority. These mega franchisees paid practically no fees, e.g., Frisch paid $1 per year for its core four state territory. After Bob's, the four original franchisees (in order) were Frisch's, Eat'n Park, Shoney's (originally called "Parkette") and Elias Brothers, all clustered near the state of Ohio. All, including Bob's, remain in operation today, albeit Elias Brothers is simply known as Big Boy, and Eat'n Park and Shoney's dropped Big Boy affiliation in the 1970s and 1980s.
Big Boy developed named franchisees in several ways. Very quickly the Big Boy name and even the Big Boy character were being widely used without permission. Bob Wian, needing diverse exposure for national (U.S.) trademark protection, offered very generous franchise agreements to Frisch's, Eat'n Park and Parkette (Shoney's). In 1952, Wian instituted a formal franchise process and Elias Brothers became the first such "official" franchisee. Bob Wian also settled trademark infringements allowing the rogue operator to become a licensed franchisee, such as McDowell's Big Boy in North Dakota. Subfranchisees often used their own name and operated independently: Frisch's licensed Manners and Azar's; Shoney's licensed Elby's, Becker's, Shap's, Lendy's and Yoda's. Elby’s licensed Franklin’s Big Boy in eastern Pennsylvania. Acquisitions and mergers also occurred. In the early 1970s Frisch's acquired Kip's Big Boy; JB's acquired Vip's, Kebo's, Leo's and Bud's which were rebranded JB's. After buying Big Boy, Elias Brothers bought Elby's and TJ's. Elby's was unique in leaving and rejoining the Big Boy system. When Marriott purchased Big Boy (Wian Enterprises) in 1967, this included Bob's Big Boy. The name “Bob’s” would be used by all Marriott owned Big Boys and became common in parts of the eastern U.S. and elsewhere, far away from Bob’s historic territory.
Frisch's now owns the "Big Boy" name in a defined four state region, and Azar's and Bob's are licensed by Frisch's Big Boy and Big Boy Restaurants International, respectively. Many of the other former franchise owners (Shoney's, particularly) have expanded into the former territories of other franchise holders. Prohibiting franchisees from publicly using their own names is intended to strengthen the trademark but also prevent defections, such as happened with Shoney's Big Boy retaining identity as Shoney's. The same occurred with Eat'n Park, Elby's, Lendy's, JB's, and Abdow's who kept their names after leaving Big Boy. Big Boy now permits operators to informally identify by location such as Tawas Bay Big Boy in East Tawas, Michigan.
Unlike most modern franchises, the historic Big Boy franchisees differed somewhat from one another in pricing and menus. When Elias Brothers purchased Big Boy in 1987, intentions were to standardize the name and menu, but Bob's, Frisch's and McDowell's (now known as Bismarck Big Boy) continue to offer distinctions from the standard Big Boy menu.
Roster of named franchisees
Named Big Boy franchisees are listed below with territories, time span, founders and additional notes, as known:
- Abdow's (Western and Central Massachusetts, Connecticut, 1959–1994, founded by George and Ron Abdow and their sister Phyllis Abdow-LaVallee) Abdow's opened as a Hi-Boy franchisee in 1959 and changed the corporate name to Abdow's Big Boy in 1965. Other reports say Abdow's was a Big Boy franchise beginning 1959. Abdow's left Big Boy in 1994 over menu conflicts with Elias Brothers, removing 18 restaurants from the national chain. Now defunct, many converted to Elxsi Corporations's Bickfords Family Restaurants or remain vacant.
- Arnold's (Folsom, PA, 1955-?, founders unknown) Arnold's and Tune's operated in the Philadelphia area.
- Azar's (Northern Indiana, Colorado, 1953+, founded by Alex and David Azar) One Azar's Big Boy remains in operation in Ft. Wayne, IN. George Azar, CEO is Alex Azar's son. Alex Azar became an original member of the Big Boy Board of Directors.
- Becker's (Buffalo and Rochester, NY area before TJ's, 1956–19??, founded by Abe Becker) Shoney's opened a restaurant in Rochester in the mid 1950s which may have become Becker's Big Boy. Trying to expand too quickly created a financial crisis and the end of the franchise.
- Bob's (California, Arizona, Nevada, Alaska, Hawaii, Washington, Oregon, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, and Indiana and Pennsylvania turnpike and airport locations operated in several states by the Marriott Corp., 1936+, founded by Robert C. "Bob" Wian) The original Big Boy chain, which in Wian's time was confined to Southern California, Arizona and Nevada. Because Marriott developed and acquired Big Boy restaurants elsewhere, principally the northeastern U.S., "Bob's" developed a more diverse territory and identity. Currently, "Bob's" is again used only in Southern California, and no others under the domain of Big Boy Restaurants International are permitted to use franchise names for public identity. Wian became the original chairman of the Big Boy Board of Directors.
- Bud's (Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, 1966–197?) Operated two units. Acquired by JBs in the 1970s.
- Chez Chap (Greater Montreal, Quebec, 1978–?, founded by Chapman Baehler) Baehler was Bob Wian's stepson.
- Eat'n Park (metro Pittsburgh, 1949–1975, founded by Larry Hatch and William Peters) Hatch and Peters were supervisors at Isaly's in Pittsburgh. On Isaly's business in Cincinnati, Hatch saw the success of the Frisch's Big Boy Drive-In prompting contact with founder Bob Wian, who needed national exposure to gain national trademark protection. Within a year Eat'n Park opened as the second Big Boy franchisee. When the 25 year franchise agreement expired Eat'n Park dropped Big Boy, attributed to the loss of drive-in popularity but primarily motivated by the end of the $1 per year license fee the franchise had enjoyed.
- Elby's (Northern West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Eastern Ohio, Maryland, 1956–1984, 1988–2000, founded by George, Ellis and Michael Boury) Named after a brand of flavoring syrup sold by the Boury family's restaurant supply business. Originally acquired the Big Boy rights to northern West Virginia through Shoney's. In 1960 Elby's expanded into Ohio, licensed through Frisch's. Six years later, Bob Wian awarded Elby's franchisor rights to Pennsylvania (excluding greater Pittsburgh and Philadelphia). When Frisch's refused existing terms on a fourth Ohio unit in 1971, Elby's withdrew from Big Boy affiliation in Ohio, leading to a long running trademark battle by Frisch's. In 1984 Elby's dropped Big Boy overall when Shoney's—franchisor for Elby's West Virginia stores—broke affiliation. Opened units in Maryland after leaving Big Boy. Elby's was sold to Elias Brothers in 1988 becoming Big Boy again. Although officially stripped of the Elby's name, identity was so strong that the Elby's name continued in print advertisements. The last remaining Elby's closed in 2000 in response to the Elias Brothers financial crisis.
- Elias Brothers (Michigan, Northeastern Ohio, Ontario, Canada, 1952–2000, founded by Fred, John and Louis Elias) In 1938 the brothers opened Fred's Chili Bowl in Detroit and later the Dixie Drive-In in Hazel Park, which would become the first Elias Brothers Big Boy. Considered the "first official franchisee" because they were the first to formally apply to Bob Wian. Worked with Wian, Schoenbaum and Manfred Bernhard to create the iconic 1956 Big Boy character design and launch the comic book. Owned the Big Boy system from 1987 through 2000 when the bankrupt company was sold to Robert Liggett. Many Michigan units continue operations stripped of the Elias Brothers name and these are the vast majority (89%) of Big Boy Restaurants International's American Big Boy stores. Fred Elias became an original member of the Big Boy Board of Directors.
- Franklin's (Eastern Pennsylvania, 1966–1984, founded by Marvin and Joseph Franklin) Subfranchised by and originally operated as Elby's. After dropping Big Boy affiliation, Franklin's adopted a Benjamin Franklin theme renaming the signature hamburger "Big Boy" as "Big Ben". Sold the 12 unit chain to Hershey's Foods and Friendly's Restaurants in 1985.
- Frejlach's (Illinois, 1954–196?, founded by Irvin Frejlach) Added Big Boy to their established chain of ice cream shops. Unlike other franchisees, the stores did not directly use the Big Boy name; they remained Frejlach's Ice Cream Shoppes not Frejlach's Big Boy. Irvin's brother Lucian "Lou" Frejlach became an original member of the Big Boy Board of Directors.
- Frisch's (Ohio, Kentucky, S. Indiana, Tennessee; Florida until the early 1990s, 1948+, founded by David Frisch) The Cincinnati restaurant chain and first franchisee, began serving Big Boy hamburgers in 1946, but opened their first Big Boy Drive-In restaurant in 1948; Frisch's now operates 95 Big Boys and franchises 26 Big Boys to others. Frisch's subfranchised to Azar's and Manners, which used the Frisch's styled Big Boy, to Milton and David Bennett in 1955, who operate as Frisch's in northwest Ohio and also licensed Elby's to operate three Big Boy units in the upper Ohio Valley until 1971. In 2001 Frisch's became the perpetual owner of the Big Boy trademark in most of Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana and Tennessee, and received $1.2 million to relinquish all other Big Boy territories to Big Boy Restaurants International, to whom Frisch's is no longer a franchisee or licensee. On August 24, 2015, Frisch's was sold to an Atlanta-based private equity fund, ending family ownership and control of the chain.
- JB's (Arizona, Utah, Idaho, Montana, South Dakota, Wyoming, Washington, California, New Mexico, Nevada, Nebraska, Kansas, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut; 1961–1988, founded by Jack M. Broberg.) The first JB's Big Boy opened in 1961 in Provo, Utah. In the 1970s JB's expanded by acquiring neighboring Big Boy franchisees: Vip's, Leo's, Kebo's and Bud's. After Marriott refused granting additional territory, in 1984, JB's sued to leave Big Boy. The parties settled, JB's paying $7 million in exchange for additional territory, including central and northern California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada and Arizona where it operated as Bob's Big Boy; JB's also purchased 29 existing Bob's Big Boy restaurants from Marriott. Citing the sale of Big Boy to Elias Brothers, in 1988 JB's allowed its Big Boy franchise to expire, removing 107 units from the Big Boy system. As of December 2016, fifteen JB's Restaurants operate in five states.
- JB's (Canada - Ontario, Alberta and Quebec, 1969–1979, founded by John Bitove, Sr.) Bitove, a well known Canadian businessman, was the franchisee for Canada generally, along with Roy Rogers Restaurants, both Marriott owned brands. JB's of Canada grew to 32 Big Boy restaurants before selling to Elias Brothers.
- Kebo's (Seattle and Tacoma, Washington area before JB's dba Bob's, ?–1974, founded by W. Keith Grant.) "Kebo" came from the owners, Keith, Ed and Bob. Two units were sold to JB's in 1974.
- Ken's (Maryland - suburban Washington DC, 1963–?, founded by Bill Bemis) named in honor of Bill Bemis' father Ken Bemis, who founded the White Log Coffee Shop chain. "Ken's" became "Bob's" in the late 1960s.
- Kip's (Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, 1958–1991, founded Fred Bell, Thomas W. Holman and James Reed) Bell owned and operated Kip's of Texas, while Holman and Reed owned and operated Kip's of Oklahoma and Kansas. Acquired by Frisch's in 1972. Kip's territory was transferred to Big Boy Restaurants International in 2001. Bell became an original member of the Big Boy Board of Directors.
- Lendy's (Western Virginia, 1955–1964, founded by Leonard Goldstein) Owned by Goldstein but operated as Shoney's 1955-1959. Territory proximity to Yoda's angered Goldstein and concurrent franchise with Kentucky Fried Chicken antagonized franchisor Alex Schoenbaum, prompting Lendy's to leave Big Boy. Renamed the "Big Boy" hamburger as the "Buddy Boy" and created a Buddy Boy mascot similar to Frisch's Big Boy character.
- Leo's (Spokane, Washington, Montana, 1966–1971, founded by Leo A. Hansen, Jr.) The first Leo's Big Boy opened in Great Falls, Montana in 1966. Grew to four units before being acquired by and renamed JB's in 1971.
- Manners (Northeastern Ohio (Cleveland TV market), 1954–1979, founded by Robert L. and Ramona Manners) Franchisee through Frisch's, used the Frisch styled mascot design. Like Frisch's, Manners was already established having opened Manners Drive-In in 1939, 15 years before becoming a Big Boy franchisee. Paid Frisch's $10 per month for each location. In 1968 Manners Big Boy was sold to Consolidated Foods (now known as Sara Lee Corporation). Marriott purchased the 39 units in 1974 and five years later dropped the name "Manners".
- Marc's (Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, Illinois, 1958–1995, founded by Ben Marcus and Gene Kilberg) Owned by the Marcus Corporation, Marc's Big Boy debuted in Milwaukee in November 1958. The chain grew to 4 units by 1962, 22 units by 1970 and eventually operated as many as 64 Big Boys over a 4 state territory. An experiment completely removing Big Boy at two of its stores ended in 1991 demonstrated no effect on business. In 1992, the Marc's format was upscaled and renamed Marc's Big Boy Cafes; in 1993 13 Big Boy Cafes were converted to Marc's Cafe and Coffee Mills, and the company launched 2 Big Boy Express drive-thru stores. The following year, the 13 Cafe and Coffee Mill restaurants were sold to a group of employees, with 3 remaining Big Boys and 2 Big Boy Express units offered for sale. In 1995, the company closed its last Big Boy operation. Some former units later operated as Annie's American Cafe and as Perkins Restaurants. However, in 2017 the Marcus Corporation sells Big Boy hamburgers at the Kil@wat restaurant in its downtown Milwaukee hotel; in January 2017, the sandwich is priced on the menus at $10, the dinner menu version listed as an appetizer and served quartered.
- McDowell's (North Dakota, 1954–1960 independently as "Big Boy Drive-Inn", 1960+ as franchise, founded by Harley McDowell) A trademark infringement suit against McDowell was filed by Wian in 1959 ultimately resulting in a franchise agreement. Operates exclusively as a drive through. McDowell's name was dropped and the remaining store is now called the Bismarck Big Boy.
- Shap's (Chattanooga, Tennessee, 1959–1964?, founded by I. Shapiro, Pem Cooley, and E. D. Latimer) Franchised by Shoney's. Shap's was abbreviated for Shapiro's. Operated two small units in Chattanooga. Latimer bought out the other partners and changed the name to its franchisor's, Shoney's.
- Shoney's/Parkette (Tennessee, Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Georgia, Virginia, South Carolina, North Carolina, West Virginia, Maryland, Missouri, New York, Philadelphia, PA, 1952–1984, founded by Alex Schoenbaum), Originally called the Parkette, in 1952 it became Parkette Big Boy Shoppes. An unrelated "Parkette Drive-In" had opened in Kentucky so in 1954, a public contest for a new name resulted in Parkette becoming Shoney's, which was also a reference to founder Alex "Shoney" Schoenbaum. Shoney's was a charter Big Boy franchisee and by 1984 became the largest franchisee operating 392 Shoney's Big Boy units. Shoney's also subfranchised to Becker's, Elby's, Shap's, Arnold's, Tune's, Yoda's and Lendy's. Shoney's paid $13 million to break its contract with Big Boy in 1984 allowing expansion into neighboring states where other franchisees had exclusive rights to the trademark. Schoenbaum became an original member of the Big Boy Board of Directors.
- Ted's (Rhode Island, Eastern Massachusetts) Massachusetts was divided between Ted's Big Boy in the east and Abdow's Big Boy in the west, corresponding to the division of Rhode Island and Connecticut between the two franchises.
- TJ's (Rochester and Syracuse, NY, founded by Anthony T. Kolinski, John Gazda and John Giamartino, 1972–?) The five stores were purchased by Big Boy (Elias Brothers). The two Rochester stores were closed in 1992, and one Syracuse store was sold to a local investor.
- Tops (Illinois, 1956–1993, founded by Lucian Frejlach)
- Tote's (St. Louis area before Shoney's, c 1960s, founded by Edward R. Todtenbier)
- Tune's (Philadelphia and Levittown, PA, 195?–1963, founders unknown) In the mid to late 1950s Alex Schoenbaum seeded various franchises including Tune's. Two drive-in restaurants opened. By the early 1960s, the Levittown unit closed and the other was rebranded as Shoney's.
- Vip's (New Mexico, Texas, Wyoming, 1962–1982. founded by Daniel T. Hogan and James O'Conner) Vip's refers to two distinct restaurant chains. The Big Boy franchisee relevant here, Vip's Big Boy of New Mexico, was acquired by JB's Big Boy in 1972 but continued using the Vip's name until rebranded in 1982. The other, Vip's Restaurants of Salem, Oregon, was not a Big Boy franchisee but sold units to JB's Big Boy, which operated them as Bob's Big Boy. The non-Big Boy, Salem-based chain had 53 locations at its peak, all sold and rebranded, including 35 to Denny's in 1982 and 16 to JB's in 1984.
- Yoda's (Western Virginia, founded by Jack Young and Bill Schroeder) Young was Leonard Goldstein's (Lendy's) brother-in-law. Merged with Lendy's.
Mady's Big Boy of Windsor, Ontario was not a franchisee, though sometimes identified as one and using a similar looking mascot. In 1965 Bob Wian sued Mady's for trademark infringement but failed because (his) Big Boy was judged not widely known in Canada. The case is considered important in Canadian and international trademark law. In 1973 Elias Brothers bought Mady's and established an Elias Big Boy on Mady's original site. John Bitove, Sr. owned the rights to Big Boy for the remainder of Canada, which he sold to Elias Brothers in 1979.
Outside of North America, Big Boy Japan owns and operates 279 Big Boy Hamburger Steak & Grill Restaurants throughout Japan. Founded in 1977, Big Boy Japan now also operates 45 Victoria Station restaurants in Japan and is a subsidiary of Zénsho Holdings Co., Ltd. The Japanese Big Boy Restaurants do not offer the Big Boy hamburger or most other American Big Boy menu items, offering a distinct menu instead. They also offer beer and wine.
- Slavin, Barbara (August 9, 1978). "Drive-ins and carhops are things of the past". The Day. New London, CT. New York Times News Service. p. 5. Retrieved April 14, 2015.
- "About Us". Big Boy Japan. Retrieved July 25, 2015.
(in April 2015 currently) ... Big Boy 279 stores [translated by Google]
- "Comments." Big Boy. Retrieved on November 23, 2012. "4199 Marcy St. Warren, MI 48091"
- Hansen, Christian (2002). The Big Boy Story: "King of Them All". Santa Barbara: Haagen Printing. p. 11. ISBN 978-0967194363.
- "Locations: Big Boy". bigboy.com. Retrieved September 2, 2016. Two of the 92 restaurants listed have closed.
DesOrmeau, Taylor (September 26, 2016). "Big Boy in Jackson closes its doors". Jackson Citizen Patriot. Retrieved October 19, 2016.
[The Jackson, Michigan] Big Boy officially closed Monday, Sept. 26, . ... The restaurant opened as a Big Boy between 1960 and 1961, the source said.
Reznich, Thomas (October 6, 2016). "Goodbye Big Boy". Houghton Lake Resorter. Retrieved October 18, 2016.
The Big Boy that graced the top of the Big Boy restaurant sign on M-55 at Houghton Lake was lowered to the ground Oct. 3.... Libby Whittington, daughter of restaurant building owner Barb Whittington, ... said the restaurant will continue to operate, but will now be known as Mikey’s.
- "Zensho Group: Big Boy, Hamburger Steak & Grill Restaurant". Zénsho Holdings Company. Retrieved December 12, 2014.
- "Transfer Agreement between The Liggett Restaurant Group and Frisch's Restaurants, Inc.", January 12, 2001.
- "Agreement Regarding Use of Trademarks", November 7, 2007.
- Biank-Fasig, Lisa (January 10, 2001). "Ohio turf gets larger for Frisch's". Cincinnati Enquirer. Retrieved September 5, 2016.
Craig Maier, chief executive of Frisch's, said the bankruptcy nearly cost the Cincinnati company its right to franchise Big Boys.
"In a bankruptcy proceeding, franchise contracts are considered to be no different than a contract to owe money," Mr. Maier said. "They could have said, 'You are no longer franchisee of the Big Boy system.' "
- "Big Boy Restaurant & Bakery/Frisch's Big Boy". Nation's Restaurant News. Retrieved June 15, 2015.
The Big Boy system has restaurants operated by and franchised to others by Big Boy Restaurants International LLC and Frisch’s Restaurants Inc. ... Headquarters: Big Boy Restaurants International LLC – Warren, Mich./Frisch’s Restaurants Inc. – Cincinnati, Ohio ... CEO: Big Boy International – Keith Sirois/Frisch’s – Craig F. Maier
- "Order of United States Patent and Trademark Office, Concurrent Use Proceeding Number 94002189", Big Boy Restaurants International, LLC and Frisch's Restaurants, Inc. August 18, 2009.
- "Frisch's Restaurants Announces Transaction with Affiliate of NRD Partners I, L.P. at $34 Per Share" (Press release). Cincinnati: Frisch's Restaurants. PR Newswire. May 22, 2015. Retrieved May 28, 2015.
Agreement Contemplates Continued Operation of all 95 Company Owned Frisch's Restaurants along with 26 Franchised Locations
- "Richard Woodruff Dies at 54; Model for 'Big Boy' Statues". The New York Times. New York. October 28, 1986. Retrieved October 3, 2012.
- Hansen, Christian (2002). The Big Boy Story: "King of Them All". Santa Barbara: Haagen Printing. p. 12. ISBN 978-0967194363.
- "Oldest and Biggest Comic Book Turning 25". The Lewiston (Maine) Daily Sun. 88. December 11, 1980. p. 27. Retrieved March 23, 2016 – via Google News Archive.
- Worth, Stephen (June 8, 2016). "Theory: Big Boy and the Power of Licensing- A Cautionary Tale". Animation Resources. Retrieved September 12, 2016.
One day, animator Ben Washam was lunching at Wian's stand, doodling on placemats. Wian saw that he was a cartoonist and asked him to draw a caricature of Richard Woodruff, a chubby, apple cheeked boy who helped out at the stand sweeping up after school. Washam obliged, depicting the lad in oversized checkered overalls munching on a burger. Wian loved the doodle and gave Washam his lunch for free. Bennie gave the sketch to Wian to use as a mascot for the stand.
- "Springtime is Big Boy time [advertisement]". Charleston Daily Mail. April 14, 1954. p. 8. Retrieved September 16, 2016 – via newspaperarchive.com.
- "How well do you remember Big Boy restaurants?". Open Cleveland / The Plain Dealer. Retrieved September 16, 2016.
"Elias Brothers Dixie Drive In menu". Hazel Park History. Retrieved September 16, 2016.
- "Big Boy Hamburger Now At Frejlach's". Arlington Heights Herald. Arlington Heights, IL. October 7, 1954. p. 12. Retrieved September 30, 2012 – via newspaperarchive.com.
- "Bob's Big Boy advertisement". Press Telegram. Long Beach, CA. October 25, 1965. p. 15. Retrieved October 19, 2016 – via newspaperarchive.com.
"A Big Boy Kiddies Special [Advertisement]". Bristol Daily Courier. Bristol, PA. July 28, 1958. Retrieved September 13, 2016 – via newspaperarchive.com.
"Vintage 1957 Eat n Park Big Boy menu old restaurant hamburger at your service". ebay. Archived from the original on November 2, 2016. Retrieved November 2, 2016.
"Now... We are featuring a complete curb service [Advertisement]". Chester Times. Chester, PA. May 11, 1956. p. 35. Retrieved November 4, 2016 – via newspaperarchive.com.
- "Now your enjoy the famous Parkette Foods in downtown Charleston [advertisement]". Charleston Daily Mail. March 13, 1953. p. 20. Retrieved September 16, 2016 – via newspaperarchive.com.
- Jakle, John A.; Sculle, Keith A. (January 1, 2002). Fast Food: Roadside Restaurants in the Automobile Age. JHU Press. p. 77. ISBN 9780801869204.
- "A Big Boy Battle". Upstart Business Journal. Retrieved February 16, 2016.
- "Big Boy Statue Either Art or Advertising". The Washington Post. April 18, 2004. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved February 16, 2016.
- Maliszewski, Joanne (July 11, 2004). "An end in Sight, Big Boy to Stay" (PDF). Canton Observer. Canton, MI. p. 1. Retrieved February 16, 2016.
- "Big Boy sign comes down". Daily Press & Argus, livingstondaily.com. June 8, 2015. Retrieved February 16, 2016.
"Big Boy in Brighton reopens". Daily Press & Argus, livingstondaily.com. August 2, 2015. Retrieved February 16, 2016.
- "'Horsetown USA' balks at 4th Bob's Big Boy mascot". The San Diego Union-Tribune. August 3, 2010. Retrieved February 16, 2016.
"Big Boy dumps red checkerboard overalls for cowboy hat". ABC7 Los Angeles. December 14, 2010. Retrieved February 16, 2016.
- "Frisch's Big Boy Back at Great American Ballpark!". www.frischs.com. Retrieved February 16, 2016.
Frisch’s is looking forward to operating its two concession booths inside Great American Ballpark.... There is a highly visible 6' 6" Big Boy statue dressed as a 1970s Cincinnati Reds ball player sporting #46 just in front of the Gapper’s Alley booth.
- Francaviglia, Richard V. (1996-06-01). Main Street Revisited: Time, Space, and Image Building in Small-Town America. University of Iowa Press. p. 126. ISBN 9781587290718.
- Gluck, Marissa (August 13, 2008). "Own a Piece of Bob's Big Boy". Curbed LA. Retrieved February 24, 2017. (Note: The "Hamburger" Bob is the older 1950s style and the "Suspender" Bob is the newer style.)
- Herron, Frank (September 25, 2005). "Don't trash it, frame it!". Syracuse Post Standard. p. H4. Retrieved February 24, 2017 – via newspaperarchive.com.
- "Gifts". Big Boy Restaurants. Retrieved May 9, 2016.
"Bob's Big Boy Bank". Bob's Big Boy. Retrieved May 9, 2016.
- "Inflatable Mascot for Frisch's Big Boy Restaurants - Landmark Creations". landmarkcreations.com. Retrieved February 16, 2016.
"Inflatable Ideas - Big Boy Inflatable". www.inflatableideas.com. Retrieved February 16, 2016.
- Lawrence, Larry (December 16, 1958). "From Dishwasher to Owner of Chain of Restaurants Is the Story of Bob Wian". The Milwaukee Journal Green Sheet. The Journal Company.
- Carlino, Bill (February 1996). "Bob Wian". Nation's Restaurant News. Penton Media. 30 (6): 166. Retrieved April 14, 2014.
- Hansen, Christian (2002). The Big Boy Story: "King of Them All". Santa Barbara: Haagen Printing. p. 156. ISBN 978-0967194363.
- "Vintage famous Bob's Big Boy menu 1938 Burbank CA | #42474613". WorthPoint. Retrieved December 28, 2016.
- Quirk, Mary Beth (November 5, 2013). "Burger King Resurrects Big Mac Clone, Complete With Third Bun". Consumerist. Retrieved February 10, 2017.
- "Big King". Burger King (Canada). Retrieved February 10, 2017.
- Searl, Laura (June 9, 1986). "Big Boy's original Bob takes it easy in Newport". Orange County Register. Santa Ana, CA. p. D4. Retrieved February 16, 2017 – via newspaperarchive.com.
Wian mixed up a batch of the same pickle relish that the Rite Spot used — a combination, he said, of catsup, relish and chili sauce. He put the mayonnaise on the burger. Those ingredients, he said, make up the Big Boy special sauce recipe to this day.
- Brown, Mary (February 15, 1969). "Tucson To Tumwater: Tummy Teasers Are Twins". Tucson Daily Citizen. Retrieved February 16, 2017 – via newspaperarchive.com.
- "Elby's Specials This Week". Altoona Mirror. Altoona, Pennsylvania. January 22, 1983. p. 26. Retrieved May 20, 2016 – via newspaperarchive.com.
- "Buckeyes and Burgers -- A long, fulfilling relationship". cleveland.com. July 17, 2007. Retrieved May 21, 2016.
The closest might be the Superburger of Eat'n Park, which was once essentially the Manners of Pittsburgh, complete with carhops and franchised Big Boy.
- "Local Lendy's Gets Going". The Radford News Journal. April 10, 1969. p. 2. Retrieved November 10, 2016 – via newspaperarchive.com.
Featured on the enu will be the famous "Buddy Boy" double-deck hamburger ...
- "Hey Kids! [Advertisement]". 30. The Doylestown Intelligencer. October 28, 1980. Retrieved November 10, 2016 – via newspaperarchive.com.
... receive a coupon redeemable at any future date for a free "Big Ben" double decker hamburger at any Franklin's ...
"Menu image at Franklin's Family Restaurants Reunion". franklins-restaurants.blogspot.com. Retrieved November 10, 2016.
- "Classic Comeback [Advertisement]". Gettysburg Times. September 18, 1995. p. A10. Retrieved November 10, 2016 – via newspaperarchive.com.
Re-introducing Shoney's Classic Double Decker Burger Meal
- "Choose from a variety of 21 great sandwiches ... [Advertisement]". Dover Times Reporter. June 2, 1979. p. B5. Retrieved November 10, 2016 – via newspaperarchive.com.
Our Famous Elby Double Deck Hamburger Platter.
"Elby's 20th Birthday [Advertisement]". The Weirton Daily Times. October 14, 1976. p. 16. Retrieved November 10, 2016 – via newspaperarchive.com.
Our Famous Elby's Big Boy Hamburger Platter.
- "Food". Big Boy. Retrieved May 20, 2016.
- Finneman, John T. (January 26, 1967). "Big Boy Founder Turns $350 into $225 Million Business". Racine Journal-Times. p. 6A. Retrieved February 26, 2017 – via newspaperarchive.com.
- Novotney, Steve (February 6, 2016). "The Elby's Empire: Part 2 – 9 Steps". Weelunk. Retrieved February 26, 2017.
- Manager, Libby Cunningham, Community (April 25, 2013). "Behind-the-scenes tour of Frisch's Commissary provides tasty preview of chain's Founder's Day". WCPO TV-9. Retrieved February 10, 2017.
That sense of pride fills the Frisch's Commissary, where workers prepare everything from pie crusts to sandwich spices and fresh hamburgers that will be shipped out to Frisch's 93 restaurants in Columbus, Dayton, Louisville, Lexington and of course, Cincinnati.
- Novotney, Steve (March 5, 2016). "The Elby's Empire: Part 4 - Weelunk". Weelunk. Retrieved February 10, 2017.
- Eagan, John C. (November 17, 1976). "Drive-ins give way to fast food, counter operations". The Day. New London, CT. Associated Press. p. 18. Retrieved April 14, 2015.
- "J.B.'s Opens 2 'Junior' Drive-Ins". Deseret News. Salt Lake City. September 19, 1969. p. 10B. Retrieved April 14, 2015.
- Bednarek, David J. (June 4, 1993). "Marcus returns to fast-food's beginnings with Big Boy Express". The Milwuakee Journal. Journal/Sentinel, Inc. p. C6.
- Waterbury, Kathleen (September 14, 1994). "'BYE, BOY Marcus selling cafes, Big Boys". The Milwaukee Sentinel. Journal/Sentinel Inc. p. 1D.
- "Big Boy". Wisconsin Historical Society. January 31, 2005. Retrieved November 2, 2016.
- "Weekend Special! [Advertisement]". Manitowoc Herald Times. August 23, 1968. p. 5. Retrieved November 4, 2016 – via newspaperarchive.com.
- "A Good Idea for the Hungry Hunter [Advertisement]". Billings Gazette. October 19, 1957. p. 2. Retrieved November 4, 2016 – via newspaperarchive.com.
- "Business beat". The Bismarck Tribune. May 27, 2006. Retrieved November 6, 2016.
- "New at Frisch's [Advertisement]". Journal News. Hamilton, OH. May 19, 1972. p. 14. Retrieved November 4, 2016 – via newspaperarchive.com.
"Save $1.00 [Advertisement]". Manchester Journal Inquirer. Manchester, CT. January 18, 1973. p. 16. Retrieved November 4, 2016 – via newspaperarchive.com.
"Bring the coop, take home the chicken! [Advertisement]". Kenosha News. Kenosha, WI. April 13, 1979. p. 21. Retrieved November 4, 2016 – via newspaperarchive.com.
"Introductory offer [Advertisement]". Benton Harbor News Palladium. May 22, 1974. p. 13. Retrieved November 4, 2016 – via newspaperarchive.com.
- "Great idea! [Advertisement]". Weirton Daily Times. June 13, 1969. p. 12. Retrieved November 4, 2016 – via newspaperarchive.com.
"July 4th. Chicken Sale! [Advertisement]". Mansfield News Journal. July 2, 1975. p. 13. Retrieved November 4, 2016 – via newspaperarchive.com.
- Glassett, Janie. "[Big Boy Progress Image at] Janies's Big Boy Webpage: Big Boy Family Newsletter". Archived from the original on July 19, 2008. Retrieved February 11, 2013.
- "'Big Boy' Trademark Suit Opens, Glendale Firm Asks Verdict". The Independent Star News. Pasadena. July 26, 1959. p. 11 – via newspaperarchive.com.
- "Elby's rejoins Big Boy chain". Observer Reporter. Washington, PA: Observer Publishing Company. August 3, 1988. p. C-6. Retrieved February 14, 2013 – via Google news.
- Frisch's Restaurant, Inc. v. Shoney's Inc., 759 F.2d 1261, 1265-6 (6th Cir. 1985) (“In the case at bar, the district court concluded that the "Big Boy" mark was neither an indicator of origin nor distinctive, but was "a relatively weak mark". ... By emphasizing "Shoney's Big Boy Restaurants", as it did in its advertising, Shoney's has identified itself as the source of the services.”).
- "Tawas Bay Big Boy". Tawas Bay Big Boy. Retrieved March 22, 2016.
- "Bismarck Big Boy Restaurant". BisManCafe. Retrieved March 22, 2016.) continue to offer distinctions from the standard Big Boy menu.
"Around the Mountain State". Point Pleasant Register. August 4, 1988. p. 14. Retrieved June 27, 2013.
[A]ll restaurants in the chain will operate under the Big Boy name with standardized menus across the nation. Individual franchise names will be phased out gradually.
"Menu". Bob's Big Boy. Retrieved March 22, 2016.
"Menu". Frisch's Big Boy. Retrieved March 22, 2016.
"Big Boy Restaurant menu: Bismarck, ND". All Menus. Retrieved March 22, 2016."Food". Big Boy. Retrieved March 22, 2016.
- "George Abdow, co-founder of Springfield-area Abdow's Big Boy restaurant chain, dies at 82". The Republican. Springfield, MA. May 29, 2013. Retrieved August 2, 2013.
- Massachusetts Secretary of State Corporate Search: Abdow's Big Boy of Riverdale, Inc.
- "Big Boy Bounced from New England". Kingman Daily Miner. Kingman, AZ. April 15, 1994. p. 1. Retrieved June 14, 2013.
- "Now... We are featuring a complete curb service [Advertisement]". Chester Times. Chester, PA. May 11, 1956. p. 35. Retrieved November 4, 2016 – via newspaperarchive.com.
"Presenting the taste sensation you'll never forget! [Advertisement]". Chester Times. Chester, PA. July 1, 1955. p. 5. Retrieved November 4, 2016.
- "Formal Opening". Valparaiso Vidette Messenger. Valparaiso, Indiana. August 13, 1970. p. 20. Retrieved April 29, 2016 – via newspaperarchive.com.
Azar's was started in Fort Wayne in 1953...
Seltzer, Debra Jane. "Big Boy (page 2)". RoadsideArchitecture.com. Retrieved March 3, 2013.
In 1954, the first Azar's opened in Fort Wayne
- Wyche, Paul (December 1, 2013). "Azars shifting family business from food to property". The Journal Gazette. Fort Wayne: Fort Wayne Newspapers. Archived from the original on April 18, 2014. Retrieved September 9, 2016.
- Schaffer, Frank (April 17, 1962). "Charleston Drive-In Zooms To Huge 10-State Business". Charleston Daily Mail. pp. 12, 17. Retrieved February 26, 2013 – via newspaperarchive.com.
Then came the expansion outside West Virginia with franchised stores. Before 1956, Shoney's restaurants were operating in Richmond, Salem, Hampton, Norfolk and Newport News, Va., Rochester, N. Y., Philadelphia, Chattanooga, Charlotte and Wheeling [WV].[In this list, the Rochester franchise is Becker's, the Wheeling franchise is Elby's, the Philadelphia franchise is Tune's and the Chattanooga franchise is Shap's.]
- Baker, Jim (March 18, 2010). "Out of the Past: Johnson's Drive-In, Route 5 in Athol Springs, 1957" (PDF). The Sun. Hamburg (NY). p. 12. Retrieved April 12, 2013.
The Johnson family continued to run the business until 1959 ... When the Johnson's left the business, they sold out to the Becker family of Rochester who owned the "Big Boy" franchise restaurants. They had successful restaurants in Buffalo, but for whatever reason, they never re-opened the former drive-in at the circle. It is believed that they tried to expand too fast and fell on hard financial times.
- Rickner, Amanda (March 15, 2012). "JB's Restaurant being demolished, property listed for $1.2 million". Bozeman Daily Chronicle. Bozeman MT: Pioneer News Group. Retrieved October 8, 2013.
The restaurant was constructed in the early 1970s, according to city building records. For a time, it was a Bud’s Big Boy restaurant before becoming JB’s.
- Rochester, Helen (August 9, 1978). "Lunch in Westmount: Modified Big Boy is no treat". The [Montreal] Gazette. Southam Press. Retrieved April 14, 2014.
- "Peters, co-founder of Eat'n Park, dead at 87", Nation's Restaurant News, August 28, 2000.
- "Obituary: William D. Peters / President of Eat'n Park restaurants". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. August 20, 2000. Retrieved 15 February 2013.
- Kapner, Suzanne, "After 46 years, Eat'n Park still revs sales, appetites", Nation's Restaurant News, Sept 18, 1995.
- Frisch's Restaurant, Inc. v. Elby's Big Boy, 661 F.Supp. 971 (S.D. Ohio, E.D. 1987).
- "Advertisement: Grand opening our 16th special". Cambridge Daily Jeffersonian. January 11, 1971. p. 9. Retrieved September 7, 2016 – via newspaperarchive.com.
- "Narcotics Evidence Is Found Illegal". Cumberland Evening Times. August 1, 1973. p. 27. Retrieved September 7, 2016 – via newspaperarchive.com.
- "Elby's Big Boy Strawberry Festival (Advertisement)". Observer Reporter. Washington, PA: Observer Publishing Company. April 26, 1994. p. B-2. Retrieved February 14, 2013 – via Google news.
- Hansen, Christian (2002). The Big Boy Story: "King of Them All". Santa Barbara: Haagen Printing. p. 111. ISBN 978-0967194363.
- "Elby's Opens in Scranton". The Weirton Daily Times. Thompson - Brush - Moore Newspapers. December 23, 1969. p. 5. Retrieved November 10, 2016 – via newspaperarchive.com.
"Opens 16th Elby's". The Gettysburg Times. September 7, 1970. p. 3. Retrieved November 10, 2016 – via newspaperarchive.com.
Dino, Jim (August 28, 2015). "Former Friendly's sold to investors". Standard Speaker. Hazelton, PA: Times-Shamrock Communications. Retrieved November 10, 2016.
In the late 1970s, Marvin Franklin changed 13 Elby’s restaurants he owned in Pennsylvania and elsewhere on the East Coast into Franklin’s Family Restaurants, with a menu similar to its predecessor.
- "Firms agree on sale of 70 Elby's locations". The Altoona Mirror. Mirror and United Press International. April 5, 1986. p. D3. Retrieved November 10, 2016 – via newspaperarchive.com.
- 1956 Oak Park Telephone Directory. 1956. p. 133.
- Kosdrosky, Terry (February 2001). "New Owner of Big Boy Gobbles Up Franchise Rights". Crain's Detroit Business. 17 (7). p. 32.
- "Frisch's Big Boy Celebrates Founder's Day May 3". [Official] Frisch's Big Boy of Northwest Ohio. Retrieved July 29, 2013.
Toledo brothers Milton & David Bennett purchased the franchise rights to build and operate Frisch’s Big Boy restaurants in Northwest Ohio. Bennett Enterprises owns and operates 13 family-style restaurants with drive-thru service under the name Frisch’s Big Boy.
- Big Boy Restaurants 1986 50th Anniversary Western-Central US Road Map (Map) (1986 ed.). Big Boy Restaurants. § back cover. Retrieved June 27, 2013.
- FundingUniverse. "History of Summit Family Restaurants Inc.". www.fundinguniverse.com. Retrieved December 8, 2016.
- "Locations". JB's Restaurants. Retrieved December 8, 2016. Using Salt Lake City zip code 84101, and a 500 mile radius.
- "Executive Summary: John Bitove, Sr.". Retrieved September 29, 2012.
- "White Log Coffee Shop, Los Angeles, CA". Pacific Coast Architecture Database. Retrieved March 22, 2016.
Designed for the chain of coffee shops started by Kenneth Bemis
- "EZ's Coffee Shop (formerly Kip's Big Boy) at Northwest Highway & Hillcrest, North Dallas To Be Demolished?". Preservation Dallas. Archived from the original on December 12, 2010. Retrieved September 9, 2016.
- "Lendy's Web Page, part 4". Archived from the original on August 5, 2011.
- "Lendy's Web Page, part 2". Archived from the original on August 5, 2011.
- "Owner Realizes Early Ambitions". Spokane Daily Chronicle. May 1, 1970. p. 23. Retrieved June 14, 2013.
- Bette Lou, Higgins (August 9, 2009). "Restaurants". The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History. Case Western Reserve University. Retrieved September 9, 2016.
The first California-style drive-in in the Cleveland area, Manners Drive In, opened in 1939 (17655 Lake Shore Blvd.). It operated 7 days a week, 24 hours a day and was opened by Robert L. and Mona Manners. Manners introduced the double-decker hamburger in 1954. By 1964 there were 30 Manners Big Boy Restaurants in northeast Ohio ... In 1968 Manners merged with Consolidated Food Corp. of Chicago. In 1974 Marriott purchased 39 Manners Drive Ins from Consolidated Foods.... In 1995 the Big Boy Corp. was operating under the Elias Big Boy name.
- Feran, Tom (September 2, 2005). "Manners Big Boy's secret is on the tip of my tongue". The Plain Dealer. Cleveland: Newhouse Newspapers. Archived from the original on April 21, 2011. Retrieved July 7, 2014.
- "Milwaukee Welcomes BIG BOY [Advertisement]". The Milwaukee Journal. November 21, 1958.
A free Coca-Cola with every food order during our opening week. Just clip the Marc's symbol from this ad and turn it in with your order.
- "The Marcus Corporation - Company Profile, Information, Business Description, History, Background Information on The Marcus Corporation". Reference for Business. Advameg, Inc. Retrieved November 2, 2016.
- Chris, Foran (January 24, 2017). "Our Back Pages: When they locked up Big Boy". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved January 24, 2017.
- "Kil@wat lunch menu" (PDF). Retrieved January 24, 2017.
- "Kil@wat menu". GrubHub. Retrieved January 24, 2017.
- "New Hampshire Corporate Record: Keene Big Boy, Inc.". Retrieved February 12, 2013.
- Hansen, Christian (2002). The Big Boy Story: "King of Them All". Santa Barbara: Haagen Printing. p. 75. ISBN 978-0967194363.
On a plane trip to Keene, New Hampshire ... to visit with [Big Boy] franchisee Manfred Bernhard, creator of the Big Boy Comic Book. ... Manfred greeted us at the plane in his car, loaded us in, and we drove in an opposite direction to his restaurant, Mr. "B's".
- Glassett, Janie. "(Mr. B's Image at) Janies's Big Boy Webpage". Archived from the original on July 25, 2008. Retrieved February 11, 2013.
- Jolley, Harmon (July 16, 2002). "What Did That Building Used To Be? - Shap's". The Chattanoogan.com. Retrieved September 30, 2013.
- "The Parkette at the Beginning". Parkette Drive-In. Retrieved December 4, 2016.
Joe Smiley opened the Parkette [Drive-In] on November 11, 1951.... Joe created his own version of the Double-Decker hamburger called the 'Poor Boy'. Joe brought this burger idea with him from West Virginia.
- "Print ads in The Contest of the Century", The Charleston Gazette and The Charleston Daily Mail, Charleston, WV, 1952–55, retrieved June 27, 2012
- Zuckerman, David (May 7, 1984). "Shoney's secedes from Big Boy system". Nation's Restaurant News. Penton Media. Archived from the original on July 8, 2012. Retrieved April 15, 2014.
"Graph of Shoney's net income since 1974; At Shoney's, details count". The New York Times. June 8, 1984. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved November 29, 2016.
Shoney's started expanding outside of its franchise territory in 1982 by opening coffee shops without Big Boy markings in neighboring states. A fellow Big Boy franchisee sued to stop the move, but after Shoney's won a favorable court ruling in March, Marriott quickly agreed to scrap the franchise agreement for $13 million in cash.
- "91 A.D.2d 860 (1982): Gazda v. Kolinski"
- "Obituary: Lucian Frejlach". Oshkosh Northwestern. Gannett. February 9, 2014. Retrieved May 26, 2014.
- "Tote's Home of the Big Boy New Restaurant Opening [Advertisement]". Saint Charles Journal. April 27, 1967. p. 35. Retrieved November 2, 2016 – via newspaperarchive.com.
- "[Advertisement] We Are Famous!" (PDF). Philadelphia Inquirer. September 18, 1959. Retrieved February 10, 2015.
- "Levittown's Newest Citizen is here [Advertisement]". Bristol Daily Courier. December 5, 1957. p. 34. Retrieved November 2, 2016 – via newspaperarchive.com.
- "Big Boy Restaurant Discontinues Operation". Bristol Daily Courier. April 15, 1959. p. 3. Retrieved November 2, 2016 – via newspaperarchive.com.
- "Restaurant Chain Expands to E.P.". El Paso Herald Post. August 29, 1963. p. 32. Retrieved September 9, 2016 – via newspaperarchive.com.
VIP's Big Boy restaurants of New Mexico, Inc. today announced a merger with the Big Boy restaurant organization in El Paso, which will serve as headquarters for expansion throughout West Texas. ... The firm has taken over a restaurant as 8409 Dyer Street formerly known as KIP's Big Boy Restaurant.
- "Matchbook - Vip's Big Boy Hamburgers Cheyenne Torrington WY FULL". ebay. Archived from the original on July 28, 2015. Retrieved July 28, 2015.
- "New Restaurant Is Planned Here". Albuquerque Journal. Albuquerque: Journal Publishing Co. January 19, 1962. p. 2. Retrieved October 19, 2012 – via newspaperarchive.com.
- "JB's Big Boy Plans Fall Stock Offering". The Deseret News. Salt Lake City. September 1, 1972. p. 4T. Retrieved July 7, 2014.
- "Children's project gets $1,000 gift". Santa Fe New Mexican Sun. August 15, 1982. p. 4. Retrieved November 2, 2016 – via newspaperarchive.com.
Commenting on the name change from VIP's Big Boy to JB's Big Boy, Clark D. Jones, president of the Salt Lake City-based restaurant chain, said it was done with several new changes in the restaurants and to add more cohesiveness to the operation of the company.
- "VIP's officials announce sale of restaurants". The Register-Guard. Eugene, Oregon. August 18, 1984. p. 9B. Retrieved June 17, 2013.
- "[Advertisement] Mady's Big Boy Turns Back the Clock on Food Prices!". The Windsor Star. March 23, 1968. p. D3. Retrieved July 7, 2014.
- McDonald's Corporation v Joburgers Drive-Inn Restaurant (Pty) Ltd. and Another; McDonald's Corporation v Dax Prop CC and Another; McDonald's Corporation v Joburgers Drive-Inn Restaurant (Pty) Ltd. and Another  ZASCA 82 (27 August 1996), Supreme Court of Appeal (South Africa)
- Kent, Jack (December 26, 1973), "Business Highlights: Elias Big Boy to open here", The Windsor Star, Windsor, ON, Canada, p. 20
- Matsutani, Minoru (January 25, 2011). "Family restaurants falling from flavor". Japan Times. Tokyo: Toshiaki Ogasawara. Retrieved July 7, 2014.
- "Big Boy Japan Menu Items". Big Boy Japan. Retrieved February 9, 2013.
- Weir, Nancy (April 1, 1992). "Memories of unforgettable food". Gadsden Times. p. C1. Retrieved March 22, 2016.
[T]oday there are 963 franchise units in the United States, Canada, Japan, Saudi Arabia and Indonesia
"Big Boy restaurant returns to Owosso". The Argus-Press (180 ed.). Owosso, MI: The Argus-Press Company. July 1, 1998. p. 1. Retrieved March 23, 2016 – via Google News Archive.
Today, Elias Brothers Restaurants, based in Warren, franchises nearly 900 units in the United States, Canada, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Brazil and the Philippines.
"Big Boy comic book contest announced". The Argus-Press. Owosso, MI: The Argus-Press Company. June 20, 2001. p. 6. Retrieved March 23, 2016 – via Google News Archive.
Big Boy Restaurants International LLC is the exclusive worldwide franchiser of more than 455 Big Boy Restaurants in the United States, Japan and Egypt.
- Alfs, Lizzy (June 27, 2011). "Big Boy's @burger restaurant closes on East Liberty Street in Ann Arbor". Ann Arbor News.
- Hansen, Christian (2002). The Big Boy Story: "King of Them All". Haagen Printing. ISBN 978-0967194363.
- Langdon, Philip (1986). Orange Roofs, Golden Arches: The Architecture of American Chain Restaurants. Knopf. ISBN 978-0394741291.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Big Boy restaurants.|
- Big Boy Company Sites
- Big Boy Restaurants International
- Frisch's Big Boy Restaurants
- Frisch's Big Boy of NorthWest Ohio, Bennett Enterprises
- Bob's Big Boy Restaurant, Burbank, CA
- Big Boy (Restaurants) Japan partial English translation by Google
- Other Sites
- The Elby's (Big Boy) Empire. Part 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
- Roadside Peek: Big Boy Big Boy East Big Boy Japan
- RoadsideArchitecture: Big Boy Frisch's Big Boy
- JBHS Class of 1967: Bob's Big Boy Images
- Big Boy Statues
- Bob’s Big Boy Statue Graveyard Offers a Strange Nostalgia Trip
- BuzzFeed: “Big Boy” Statue Graveyards
- Lendy's Web Pages (archived)
- BisManCafe: Bismarck’s Big Boy Still Going Strong After 55 Years
- Marc's Big Boy Statue from the Wisconsin Historical Society
- Armet & Davis restaurant design renderings for Bob's Big Boy for Azar's Big Boy for Frisch's Big Boy for Kip's Big Boy