JB's Restaurants

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JB's Family Restaurants
JB's Big Boy (1961–1963)
JB's Big Boy Family Restaurants (1963–1988)
IndustryRestaurant chain
Founded1961; 58 years ago (1961) in Provo, Utah as JB's Big Boy
FounderJack M. Broberg
Number of locations
14 JB's Family Restaurants
1 Galaxy Diner
Area served
Arizona (5 + Galaxy Diner),
Utah (4),
Idaho (3),
Wyoming (1),
Montana (1)
Key people
Lynn Whiteford, President
SubsidiariesGalaxy Diner

JB's Family Restaurants is chain of restaurants located in Arizona, Utah, Idaho, Wyoming and Montana. The JB's chain also contains a single remaining Galaxy Diner on Route 66 in Flagstaff, Arizona. The company is currently based in Tempe, Arizona.


Big Boy beginnings[edit]

JB’s Family Restaurants was founded in 1961 by Jack M. Broberg as JB's Big Boy, a Big Boy restaurants affiliate, in Provo, Utah. The first JB's Big Boy opened there on November 21, 1961.[1] Broberg chose the location because many students at Brigham Young University in Provo came from Southern California where Big Boy was popular, as well as the need for a family restaurant in the Provo area.[2][note 1] In 1963, the holding company was renamed JB's Big Boy Family Restaurants, Inc. The company became public in July 1971 and its stock quickly sold out at its first offering.[4]

In the 1970s JB's expanded by acquiring neighboring Big Boy franchisees: Vip's, Leo's, Kebo's, and Bud's; and the subfranchisee: Bob's Big Boy of Arizona.[5] In 1970 JB's became the Big Boy franchisor in New Jersey and built five restaurants in the state, but in 1975 it sold the territory and stores to the Marriott Corp. who rebanded them as Bob's Big Boys.[6] The sale funded expansion in the western US.[6]

By the 1980s JB's sought additional franchise territory in the western US. After the Marriott Corp. – then owner of the Big Boy system – 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, and Oregon, where (as in Washington, Nevada and Arizona) it operated as Bob's Big Boy; JB's also purchased 29 existing Bob's Big Boy restaurants from Marriott.[7] Citing the sale of Big Boy to Elias Brothers, in 1988 JB's allowed its Big Boy franchise to expire, removing 110 units from the Big Boy system.[8]

Diversification and later separation from Big Boy[edit]

In 1984, JB's purchased 16 restaurants from the Salem, Oregon-based VIP's chain.[9] At that time, JB's Restaurants was based in Salt Lake City and had 80 restaurants, excluding the new acquisitions.[9]

In 1988 JB's dropped Big Boy, allowing its franchise agreement to lapse after Marriott sold the Big Boy chain.

In 1995, the holding company changed its name to Summit Family Restaurants Inc. just before selling itself to CKE Restaurants for $34.5 million in cash and stock.[10] At the time of the sale, Summit had operated or franchised 104 JB's family-style restaurants, six Galaxy Diners and 16 HomeTown Buffet restaurants.[10]

In 1998, CKE sold JB's Family Restaurants Inc., to Santa Barbara Restaurant Group for 1 million shares of Santa Barbara's common stock.[11]

In March 2000, Santa Barbara Restaurant Group sold JB's Family Restaurants to a group led by Lynn Whiteford, the chief operating officer for JB's.[12] The sale includes 52 company-owned JB's as well as 29 franchised units.[13]

On March 9, 2011, JB's Family Restaurants filed for bankruptcy.[14][15] At the time of the bankruptcy filing, JB's Family Restaurants had operated seven corporate restaurants and had 15 franchised restaurants in six Western states[16] after closing 26 other locations.[17]


  1. ^ Broberg's family moved from Salt Lake City to Southern California where he finished high school in Glendale, the hometown of Bob’s Big Boy.[3] A Mormon, he studied engineering at the University of Southern California,[3] but he knew many others in the local LDS community went to college at Brigham Young University in Provo.


  1. ^ "Boy Restaurant Will Open in Provo Tuesday". Sunday Herald. November 19, 1961. p. 8 – via Newspapers.com. (Subscription required (help)). J.B.'s Big Boy Restaurant, first Utah unit of the Big Boy Franchises, Inc., a national chain with 261 restaurants in the United States and Canada, will open in Provo Tuesday. Located at Fifth West and Second North, at the site of the former Ivory Tower Restaurant, the new establishment will be operated by Jack M. Broberg, former Salt Laker now of Glendale, Calif. Paul Warner of Provo has been appointed manager. Mr. Broberg said $50,000 has been spent remodeling and reequipping the Ivory Tower to meet the requirements of the Big Boy Restaurant.
  2. ^ "Provo Man Head's JB's Store at Mall". The Daily Herald. Provo, Utah. April 30, 1973. p. 38. Retrieved January 16, 2018 – via Newspaperarchive.com. Free to read
  3. ^ a b "Obituary: Jack McLane Broberg". DeseretNews.com. April 7, 2001. Retrieved January 17, 2018.
  4. ^ "JB's Big Boy Share". Idaho State Journal. July 11, 1971. p. 10 – via Newspapers.com. (Subscription required (help)). A 100,000 share initial public offering of JB's Big Boy Family Restaurants, Inc., common stock sold out quickly
  5. ^ "Big Boy chain in state is sold for $2.7 million". Arizona Republic. July 3, 1974. p. 43 – via Newspapers.com. JB's Big Boy Family Restaurants, Inc.... Tuesday announced the purchase of Bob's Restaurants of Arizona. Inc., owners of eight Bob's Big Boy Family Restaurants in Arizona. The price was $2.7 million to be paid over five years... Bob's Big Boy restaurants have four units in Phoenix and one each in Scottsdale, Mesa, Flagstaff and Chandler. A ninth is under construction and scheduled to open July 10 in Metrocenter. JB's Big Boy Restaurants has 51 units. Free to read
  6. ^ a b "NJ's Big Boys Sold to Marriott". The Daily Journal. Vineland, New Jersey. January 31, 1975. p. 14. Retrieved January 16, 2018 – via Newspapers.com. Free to read
  7. ^ Big Boy Restaurants 1986 50th Anniversary Western-Central US Road Map (Map) (1986 ed.). Big Boy Restaurants. § back cover. Retrieved June 27, 2013.
  8. ^ Bradsher, Keith (March 18, 1988). "Chubby 'Big Boy' May Disappear as Restaurant Changes". Los Angeles Times. Big Boy took another blow this week when Salt Lake City-based JB's Restaurants announced that after this summer it would no longer use the name on its 110 restaurants in 10 Western states, not including California. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Clark D. Jones said the company wanted to project a more affluent image and felt it was getting very little for its franchise fee payments.
  9. ^ a b "VIP's officials announce sale of restaurants". The Register-Guard. Eugene, Oregon. August 18, 1984. p. 9B. Retrieved June 17, 2013 – via Google News.
  10. ^ a b Johnson, Greg (December 2, 1995). "CKE to Purchase Summit Family Restaurants for $34.5 Million". Los Angeles Times.
  11. ^ Earnest, Leslie (September 3, 1998). "Purchase of Timber Lodge Survives Market Downturn". Los Angeles Times.
  12. ^ "JB Restaurant Chain Sold". New York Times. March 25, 2000.
  13. ^ "Restaurant group to sell JB's Family Restaurants". Phoenix Business Journal. March 22, 2000.
  14. ^ "JB's restaurant chain files for Chapter 11". Salt Lake City: KSL News. Associated Press. March 19, 2011. Retrieved June 26, 2013.
  15. ^ "JB's Restaurants files for Ch. 11 bankruptcy help". Casa Grande Dispatch. March 9, 2011. Archived from the original on 2011-03-10.
  16. ^ House, Dawn (March 24, 2011). "JB's Family Restaurants files Chapter 11". Salt Lake Tribune.
  17. ^ "JB's shutters 26 locations". Nation's Restaurant News. March 10, 2011. (Subscription required (help)).

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