Maid-Rite

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Maid-Rite Corporation
Private
Industry Restaurant
Founded 1926
Founder Fred Angell
Headquarters Urbandale, Iowa
Website maid-rite.com

Maid-Rite is an American casual dining franchise restaurant chain. Before it became a restaurant chain, it was a single restaurant, opened in 1926 by Fred Angell. By the end of the 1920s, four franchises were granted; these four restaurants are still in operation.

Maid-Rite Corporation's CEO and president is Bradley L. Burt. The corporate headquarters are located in Des Moines, Iowa. As of April 2006, Maid-Rite had over 70 locations, located in Ohio, Iowa, Arkansas, Nebraska, Illinois, Minnesota, and Missouri. The Quincy, Illinois, location was featured in the Food Network show Feasting on Asphalt.

History[edit]

Angell was a butcher in Muscatine, Iowa, who combined a special cut and grind of meat with a selected set of spices and created the Maid-Rite sandwich, which is not a traditional hamburger. Rather, it is called a "loose meat" sandwich. While the component meat is similar, the Maid-Rite sandwich's meat is not formed into a patty, making it similar to a sloppy joe without the tomato-based sauce.

Restaurants[edit]

Shuttered store in Macomb, Illinois

Angell opened his first restaurant in Muscatine, which was strictly walk-up. Later, a new eat-in building was opened. He and his son, Francis Angell, opened a second restaurant, featuring a "car hop" or drive-in service. This was the first such service of this kind in the United States; A&W Restaurants and White Castle Restaurants replicated this service shortly thereafter.

The first franchise was opened in Durant, Iowa, which still maintains a Maid-Rite restaurant. Maid-Rite began to grow in the number of franchises throughout the United States under the direction of William Angell, the grandson of the founder.

Sale[edit]

The Angell family had controlling interest in the franchise until 1984, when it was sold to a partnership of Clayton Blue, a farmer from Russell, Iowa, and John Gillotti, a contractor from Des Moines. (The original Maid-Rite restaurants in Muscatine were sold to Gary Kopf, a local businessman who also operated vending companies, family restaurants and bakeries.)

Blue had plans to expand the chain into a worldwide operation and sell stock to the public; however, after Blue defaulted on the contract to buy Maid-Rite, Gillotti purchased the chain outright in 1988. Gillotti died in 1991, prompting a legal battle between Blue's family and Gillotti's heirs over the chain's ownership. After the Polk County District Court issued an injunction in 1992 that prohibited any new Maid-Rite franchises, the court awarded the Gillotti family ownership of the 138-store chain in 1995. Issues with franchise fees and product quality led to a number of restaurants closing, however, and by 2002 the number of Maid-Rite stores had dropped to 83.[1]

In 2002, an investor group led by former Des Moines banker Bradley Burt purchased a majority interest in the Maid-Rite chain, with the Gillotti family retaining an interest. While up to 20 longtime franchisees left Maid-Rite during the first two years of its new ownership, Maid-Rite began to use computerized systems to control expenses, started offering ten-day courses on Maid-Rite food preparation to new franchise owners, and created a new uniform decor for its restaurants that retains the Maid-Rite brand's nostalgia. According to the Des Moines Register, Maid-Rite has a ten-year plan to open more than 1,000 restaurants throughout the United States.[2]

In November 2007, Maid-Rite announced an agreement with Hy-Vee Food Stores, a Midwest-based grocer, to operate restaurants in their stores.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Maid-Rite Timeline". Des Moines Register. 2006-11-12. [dead link]
  2. ^ Elbert, David (2006-11-12). "Maid-Rite Chain's Comeback Is Cooking". Des Moines Register. [dead link]
  3. ^ Local News (27 November 2007). "Sandwich Chain Maid-Rite Joins Hy-Vee in Gas Station Venture". KCRG-TV9 Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Archived from the original on 14 January 2013. Retrieved 12 May 2016. 

External links[edit]

See also[edit]