|Industry||Fast casual restaurant|
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Headquarters||Beverly Hills, California, U.S.|
Number of locations
|Andrew Wiederhorn (Chairman & CEO) Donald J. Berchtold (President & COO)|
|Products||Burgers, french fries, soft drinks, milkshakes|
Number of employees
|4,000 + (2017)|
Fatburger Inc. is an American fast casual restaurant chain. Its tagline is The Last Great Hamburger Stand. While it is a fast food restaurant, the food is cooked and made to order. Some Fatburger restaurants have liquor licenses as well as Fat Bars. Its franchise headquarters are in Beverly Hills, California. In addition to the United States, the chain operates in 19 other countries. The Fatburger menu is centered primarily on hamburgers, offering various sizes and numbers of patties, along with add-ons such as cheese, bacon and eggs.
Fatburger was founded by Lovie Yancey in the neighborhood of Exposition Park in Los Angeles, California, in 1947. It was originally named "Mr. Fatburger" (on behalf of Yancey's boyfriend), until Yancey removed the "Mr." in 1952. At that time, she bought out her start-up partners and retained sole ownership of the Fatburger brand until 1990, keeping and operating the original store on Western Avenue along with the La Cienega Boulevard store (La Cienega/San Vicente).
Fatburger remained a mostly California-based chain until the late 1990s, when it began an expansion in North America. On August 15, 2003, Fog Cutter Capital Group completed a $7 million investment and financing package for the company. Fatburger operates or franchises over 150 Fatburger restaurants worldwide with over 300 more planned for future development. For several months in 2006, the company was barred from selling additional franchises in California, due to chairperson Wiederhorn's felony convictions.
In 1992, Fatburger gained national attention after being referenced in the hit song "It Was a Good Day" by rapper and actor Ice Cube. It was also referenced by The Notorious B.I.G. in the song "Going Back to Cali".
In 2008, Fatburger opened its first restaurant in a sports stadium, the Arizona Diamondbacks' Chase Field. Fatburger also opened its first location in Dubai, U.A.E., (today there are eight). There are also Fatburger eateries in Beijing, PR China.
In January 2013, Fatburger opened its first branch in Karachi, Pakistan. Owing to the success of the burgers and positive response in Pakistan, Fatburger opened its biggest flagship outlet globally in June 2013 in Lahore. In July 2015, a branch in Lahore was shut down by authorities due to health and food safety reasons.
Fatburger has locations in five western states in the United States and Canada, and new locations in China, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Malaysia, the United Kingdom, Fiji, Indonesia, Iraq (including Iraqi Kurdistan), India, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Tunisia, Macau, Pakistan, Oman, Panama, Singapore, Philippines, Qatar, and Japan. In some locations, menu changes were made to conform to local customs. It will expand into Texas, in cities like Austin, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio. In 2019, it was announced the first Texas location would be created in North Richland Hills.
Former professional basketball player Magic Johnson, through Johnson Development Corporation, was one of the owners of the parent company. Former talk show host Montel Williams co-owns several Fatburger restaurants in Colorado. Bay Area musician E-40 also had a stake in the company as a franchise owner, by opening the first San Francisco Bay Area Fatburger restaurant in Pleasant Hill, which is now closed. Actor and musician Queen Latifah also at one point partnered with[vague] Fatburger.
In 2007, rapper Kanye West's restaurant company, KW Foods LLC, struck a deal to open up to 10 Fatburger restaurants in Chicago. Ultimately, in 2009, only two locations actually opened. In February 2011, West shut down the Fatburger located in Orland Park. Later in 2011 the remaining Beverly location was bought back by the company. R&B musician Pharrell, in partnership with Fatburger, opened several Fatburger restaurants in China in 2007 and 2008.
In popular culture
Fatburger has been featured and/or seen in TV series and movies:
- In the 2001 film Rat Race, the Pear family were sitting inside a Fatburger. Later, Randy Pear buys sleeping pills and puts them in his family's milkshakes.
- In the 2016 film Get a Job, Hank Diller is at his desk with food from Fatburger.
- On season 1 episode entitled "Tickets for a Queue" of the Apple TV+ series Trying, Jason and Erica are having a meal at Fatburger.
- Herron, Bianca (August 9, 2017). "Fatburger". Food & Drink International. Retrieved March 18, 2018.
- Grant, T. (2004). International Directory of Company Histories. International Directory of Company Histories. St. James Press. p. 122. ISBN 978-1-55862-509-9. Retrieved December 27, 2017.
- Hanbury, Mary (August 3, 2017). "A burger chain that Kanye West and Nicki Minaj are obsessed with is taking over America". Business Insider. Retrieved December 27, 2017.
- Jargon, Julie (May 31, 2017). "Diners Are Finding $13 Burgers Hard to Swallow". Fox Business. Retrieved December 27, 2017.
- McClellan, Marisa (January 26, 2008). "Fatburger founder dies at the age of 96". Slashfood. Retrieved March 3, 2013.
- Kulikowski, Laurie (June 12, 2013). "Fatburger Opens First Restaurant in New York City". Retrieved April 25, 2014.
- Sparks, Janet (December 1, 2006). "Has Fatburger Resolved Its Nasty Little Problem?". Archived from the original on July 20, 2011. Retrieved October 1, 2013.
- Elliott, Farley (April 16, 2015). "A History of Rap's Love For Fatburger". Eater Los Angeles. Retrieved March 18, 2018.
- Arizona Diamondbacks Score Big on Fatburger Franchise Retrieved on March 16, 2011
- The Next Frontier: Burger Chains to the Middle East Retrieved on April 24, 2014
- "Fatburger opens in Karachi". The Express Tribune. January 5, 2013. Retrieved December 24, 2014.
- "For Fatburger, Lahore's 'flagship' outlet will be a trendsetter". The Express Tribune. May 26, 2013. Retrieved December 24, 2014.
- "Fatburger: Too thin on hygiene! | Pakistan Today".
- "Find A Fatburger".
- "LA-born Fatburger says it's coming to North Texas, again". Dallas News. October 6, 2017. Retrieved December 27, 2017.
- "Fatburger is finally coming: First Texas location slated to open in early 2020". Fort Worth Star-Telegram. September 30, 2019.
- "Fatbuger facts, Magic Johnson Owner of parent Company". Answers.com. Retrieved April 29, 2014.
- "TV Show Host Montel Williams Buys into Fatburger Franchise". Montelshow.com. Archived from the original on September 6, 2008. Retrieved April 29, 2014.
- Current location of Fatburger Headquarters Archived February 21, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
- Kanye West Buys Rights To 10 Fatburger Restaurants. HipHopDx, November 23, 2010.
- "Kanye bringing Fatburgers to town; In-N-Out fans dream on". The Stew - Chicago Tribune. August 13, 2008. Archived from the original on August 22, 2008. Retrieved August 31, 2021.
- "Kanye West Shuts Down His Chicago Fatburger Restaurant". Starpulse.com. February 1, 2011. Retrieved December 24, 2014.
- "Cutting the Fat". New York Post. June 10, 2011.
- "Fatburger Restaurant in Rat Race (2001)". Product Placement Blog. December 11, 2018. Retrieved July 10, 2020.
- "Fatburger – Get a Job (2016)". Product Placement Blog. April 22, 2016.
- "Fatburger Fast Casual Restaurant and Coca-Cola in Trying S01E03 "Tickets for a Queue" (2020)". Product Placement Blog. May 2, 2020. Retrieved July 10, 2020.