Spangles (restaurant)

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Spangles Inc.
Family-owned fast food chain
Industry Restaurants
Founded January 1978
Founder Dale Steven, and Craig Steven
Headquarters Wichita, Kansas, USA
Key people
Dale Steven (owner), Craig Steven (owner), Rene Steven (director of operations and spokesperson)
Products Fast food, including Gourmet Supreme hamburgers, flatbread pita wraps, Western Burgers, and soft serve desserts
Revenue Increase$19 Million USD (2001)

Spangles is a family-owned fast food chain based in Wichita, Kansas. It serves 1/3-pound burgers, flatbread pita wraps, french fries, onion rings, breakfast sandwiches, cinnamon and sugar donuts, lactose-free milkshakes, and an array of other soft-serve desserts.[1] The chain is known for its bizarre, kitschy television commercials. Today, Spangles Inc. has 27 locations in Kansas, with 14 in the Wichita area, 4 in Topeka, 2 in Hutchinson, 2 in Salina, and 1 each in Andover, Derby, El Dorado, Emporia and Park City.


Spangles began as a restaurant named Coney Island in Wichita, Kansas. Brothers Dale and Craig Steven converted a hot dog restaurant named Wiener King into their own restaurant and opened in January 1978.[2] Business went well at Coney Island, but in 1984 the Steven brothers decided that the name "Coney Island" was too restrictive since it could not be franchised. The company launched a citywide contest which resulted in the name Spangles.[2][3]

The first Topeka store opening made national news in restaurant trade publications in 2004.[4] “An average unit volume of over $20,000 a week is considered respectable in the industry — $25,000 to $30,000 would be extremely high,” Dale Steven said.[4] A typical first week for Spangles in Wichita produces $35,000 in sales, a strong number by industry standards, said Dennis Carpenter, CEO of the Kansas Restaurant & Hospitality Association. In its first week, the Topeka Spangles reached $97,000 in sales; cars were wrapped twice around the building with people outside directing traffic.[5] On April 25, 2006, a store opening in Lawrence, Kansas, attracted 250 people camping in tents who were awaiting the store's 6:30am opening despite a thunderstorm in the area.[6] Campers waited for the grand opening because Spangles offered free food for one year for the first 100 customers (the very first being Andrew Hadel of Overland Park, KS). Some campers stayed for as long as 24 hours in improvised forts to protect against the hail. Spangles framed pictures of the first 100 customers in that store and hung them on the wall of the restaurant.[7] Marsha Sheahan, vice president of public relations for the Greater Topeka Chamber of Commerce, said Spangles is filling a niche that is different than the large chains, such as McDonald's, and the slow-paced home style restaurants in the city.[5]

Business for Spangles increased when the restaurant chain doubled its advertising budget to about 4 percent of its revenue.[8] The company runs major advertising campaigns on local radio stations, local television stations, and Cox Cable channels.[1] In addition to the company's slogan, "Spangles, it just tastes better!", the Gourmet Supreme value pack is advertised with the slogan, "$2.99? Are you out of your mind?" [9] In May 2008 the famous $2.99 Gourmet Supreme value pack was raised to $4.99 due to rising costs. The new $2.99 burger is the Classic Burger which was the Gourmet Jr sandwich. The company's advertising firm, digitalBRAND Communications, has been making Spangles TV commercials for nearly 10 years. In 2005, the company produced 23 commercials, nearly one new commercial every two weeks.[8]

Rene Steven[edit]

A well-known face in the commercials is the Steven brothers' sister Rene Steven, the company's director of operations and spokeswoman.[10] Viewers of the commercials call them "corny" and deride the way Rene Steven speaks.[8] When the company's website launched, she started receiving emails critical of her way of pronouncing "Spangles." In a January 2007 interview, she talked about her reaction to the emails.

“People would e-mail and the whole e-mail would be, any time there was an 's,' they would write the e-mail the way I talk. They would never leave who they were. Chickens. I would always e-mail back something funny. I would e-mail them back just the way they e-mailed me. …It really does bother people, I mean, people think it’s a speech impediment. ... But, you know what, if they have to have to pick something on me, that’s OK.” [11]


  1. ^ a b Graham, Sherry (2000-). "Hungry at 3 a.m. and no cash? Spangles will take credit cards". Wichita Business Journal. Retrieved 2007-06-02.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  2. ^ a b Arnold, Ken (2002-09-20). "Dale Steven, his brother and sister work hard to make Wichita hungry". Wichita Business Journal. Retrieved 2007-03-07. 
  3. ^ Fagan, Mark (2006-01-05). "Spangles to open restaurant in Lawrence". Retrieved 2007-03-07. 
  4. ^ a b Template:Cite ns
  5. ^ a b Mazzullo, Lainie (2004-11-26). "New Topeka Spangles enjoys 'out of control' sales". Wichita Business Journal. Retrieved 2007-03-07. 
  6. ^ Fagan, Mark (2006-04-26). "Campers take Lawrence's new Spangles by storm". Lawrence Journal-World. Retrieved 2007-03-07. 
  7. ^ "Free food draws crowd to new restaurant". Kansas University TV. 2006-04-25. Retrieved 2007-03-07. 
  8. ^ a b c Tankard, Frank (2006-01-15). "Ad Nauseam". Retrieved 2007-03-07. 
  9. ^ Wilson, Bill (2006-12-14). "Spangles is on a roll". The Wichita Eagle. Retrieved 2007-03-07. 
  10. ^ "Say so long to Spangles at Kellogg, Rock". The Wichita Eagle. 2006-06-04. Retrieved 2007-03-07. 
  11. ^ Steven, Rene (2007-01-15). "Audio clip". Retrieved 2007-03-07. 

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