Cook Out (restaurant)

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Cook Out
GenreQuick service restaurant
Founded1989; 34 years ago (1989)
Greensboro, North Carolina, U.S.
FounderMorris Reaves
15 Laura Lane Suite 300, Thomasville, North Carolina
Number of locations
326 as of November 2022
Area served
Key people
Jeremy Reaves (CEO)
ProductsHamburgers, hot dogs, chicken sandwiches, Carolina-style barbecue, and milkshakes
RevenueUS$125 million
OwnerMorris Reaves
Number of employees
13,000 as of May 2021[1]

Cook Out is a privately owned American fast-food restaurant chain operating in North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and Mississippi. Founded in Greensboro, North Carolina in 1989,[2] the chain has since expanded and now has restaurants in over 100 cities. The chain itself has grown in size with many locations now spread throughout the Southeastern US.[3]

The standard format of the restaurant features two drive-thru lanes and a walk-up window, but no indoor seating. Some newer locations have an indoor dining room and counter service similar to a traditional fast-food restaurant, but most still only have drive-thru and walk-up service. The restaurant specializes in hamburgers, milkshakes, and North Carolina-style pork barbecue.


Many Cook Out locations feature only two drive-thru lanes and a walk-up window like this one in Cordele, Georgia.

Morris Reaves founded Cook Out in 1989.[4] He is currently the owner of the company, with his son, Jeremy Reaves, serving as the CEO.

The first Cook Out location opened in Greensboro, North Carolina in 1989. After opening the first location, over 50 more locations opened in North Carolina before expanding out of the state.[5] As of Nov 2022, 326 locations are operating in ten states.

The company opened its first out-of-state store in Spartanburg, South Carolina, on July 30, 2010.[6] Cook Out opened in Clemson and Orangeburg, South Carolina, in 2010. At the very end of 2011, Cook Out opened restaurants in Columbia, South Carolina; Blacksburg, Virginia; and Radford, Virginia. In March 2012, Cook Out opened its first location in Lynchburg, Virginia, and shortly thereafter in Harrisonburg, Virginia.[7] 2013 saw new Cook Out locations in Georgia, and in 2014, there are plans to launch several more Georgia Cook Out locations.[8] In 2016, Cook Out expanded into the state of Mississippi with stores in Oxford, Jackson, Hattiesburg, and Starkville, and the company's first Alabama location, in Tuscaloosa.[9] Other locations in Alabama include Jacksonville (July 2017),[10] Auburn (Dec 2017), Huntsville (Jan 2018), Opelika (May 2018), Troy (June 2018), Mobile (Dec 2018), Montgomery (Jan 2019) & Birmingham (Jan 2021). In 2018, Cook Out expanded its Virginia locations adding Collinsville which opened in September 2019.[11] In November 2022, Cook Out opened a restaurant in Manassas Park, Virginia.[12]


Their menu primarily features grilled hamburgers and cheeseburgers, hot dogs, chicken sandwiches, North Carolina barbecue[2] and quesadillas.[13] A signature to their menu is the Cook Out Tray, which features combinations of entrees, sides and a drink or milkshake. Another feature of Cook Out's menu is their selection of more than 40 flavors of milkshakes.[14] A featured drink on their menu is Cheerwine, a local North Carolina cherry soda usually only served in North Carolina and surrounding states.[13]


  1. ^ "Cook Out Overview". Retrieved August 19, 2021.
  2. ^ a b "Could This North Carolina Fast Food Favorite Be The Next Five Guys?". Food & Wine. December 4, 2017. Retrieved December 26, 2017.
  3. ^ "Cook Out Restaurant Raleigh-Garner-Durham -Review of Cook Out Restaurant Raleigh-Durham". Retrieved 1 October 2013.
  4. ^ Cook Out Restaurant,
  5. ^ "Company | COOK OUT". Retrieved 2020-11-12.
  6. ^ "Cook-Out to crank up its first grill in Spartanburg".
  7. ^ "Business Booming at New Cook Out in Lynchburg".
  8. ^ "Cook-Out rolls into Rome cook out is opening a store in Easley, South Carolina by the end of December 2015 or very soon after in 2016".
  9. ^ "New restaurants coming to 15th Street". Tuscaloosa News.
  10. ^ Thornton, William (July 17, 2017). "Cook Out now open in Jacksonville". Retrieved July 18, 2017.
  11. ^ "Cook Out in Collinsville opens Tuesday evening". Retrieved September 18, 2019.
  12. ^ News, Potomac Local (2022-11-05). "Cook Out opens in Manassas Park". Potomac Local News. Retrieved 2022-12-26. {{cite web}}: |last= has generic name (help)
  13. ^ a b "Menu | COOK OUT". Retrieved 2020-11-12.
  14. ^ "Shakes | COOK OUT". Retrieved 2020-11-12.

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