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Zippy's is a combination fast-food and casual dining restaurant chain in Hawaii. On October 17, 1966, brothers Francis and Charles Higa created the very first Zippy's on South King Street. At first, the Higa brothers were going to open a car wash, but they ended up creating a restaurant. The kitchen was located in the back of the Zippy's McCully fast food operation. At the time, the zip code was gaining popularity because it was a faster and more efficient way for mail to arrive. The Higa brothers liked the idea of zip codes and they wanted their restaurant to have the same kind of service, resulting in the name Zippy's. Francis and Charlie bought mostly freestanding buildings so that they could stay open for 24 hours. Because it was open all day, the restaurant attracted many late-night goers. On November 19, 1983, Napoleon’s Bakery opened its doors for the first time because Zippy's wanted to try something different. They wanted to create that one-stop shop, so that when the customer were done with their dinner, they could order some kind of dessert. Zippy's had an increase in sales because of the opening of Napoleon’s Bakery. Today, Zippy's has 24 different locations throughout Hawaii and has become one of Hawaii’s most popular fast food chains.
The founders, Francis and Charles Higa, created FCH Enterprise, Inc. in May 2002. At the time that Zippy's was first created, there were a lot of Okinawan mom and pop restaurants. There weren't that many mainland fast food chains in Hawaii. The only fast food restaurants at that time were Spencecliff, Andy Wong (Byron’s), and Zippy's. The Higa brothers decided to sell a variety of local foods.
Francis and Charles have very different personalities and took on different roles to make the business successful. Francis was the visionary and determined the direction of the company, with support from Charles. Charles, on the other hand, made most of the operational decisions and handled all food and paper purchases. Although they have very different personalities, they complemented each other and were inseparable and couldn’t work without each other. To this present day, Charles is happily retired and well. However, Francis died in 2000. Francis' son, Jason Higa, is now the current CEO of FCH Enterprises, Inc.
When Zippy’s Kaimuki opened, Charles would transport huge pots of chili in his station wagon. Now, food is being prepared by Food Solutions International in Waipio and is sent to the different Zippy’s around the island and on the neighbor island. The reason why the food is prepared that way is because they want to make sure that the food is high quality and the taste is consistent.
A lot of other restaurants have a senior discount program for only one hour a day or one day a week. Zippy’s wanted to support seniors 24 hours a day. Seniors can get 10% discount every day and for everyone in their party. Every year, Zippy’s helps out with different organizations as a part of their two-month support program. Some of the organizations that they have helped out in the past are: Help Understanding and Group Support (HUGS), the Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children, the Muscular Dystrophy Association, the American Diabetes Association, and Laulima Hawaii (drug-free org).
- Dillingham (July 1980)
- Ewa (May 2006)
- Kahala (September 1998)
- Kailua (October 1987)
- Kaimuki (February 1970)
- Kalihi (July 1990)
- Kaneohe (December 1974)
- Kaneohe-William Henry Road (closed)
- Kapahulu (May 1973)
- Kapolei (November 1995)
- Koko Marina (April 1987)
- Makiki (February 1975)
- McCully (October 1966)
- Mililani (April 2003)
- Nimitz (January 1980)
- Pearl City (July 1996)
- Pearlridge (June 1986)
- Vineyard September 1986)
- Waiau (August 1978)
- Wahiawa (May 1983)
- Waimalu (December 1970; became a Zippy's Express in September 2015)
- Waipahu (May 1970)
- Waipio (August 1996)
Zippy's is open 24 hours and offers a wide variety of food combining American, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, and Hawaiian cuisine. Its signature food is their Original Recipe Chili. Zippy's sells over 100 tons of it every month through their stores, fund raising activities, and in retail markets. Along with their chili, Zippy's sells a variety of plate lunches such as their Zip Pac and their Surf Pac. The Zip Pac was introduced in May 1971 and the Surf Pac was introduced a little while after in May 1985. Plate lunches is very known in Hawaii to have mac salad and rice. In 1920, mac salad was very popular in New York. A lot of those chefs in New York brought the mac salad to Hawaii.
- "Napoleon's Bakery - Hawaii's Favorite Bakery for Cakes, Pies, Pastries and Napples." Napoleon's Bakery Website. N.p., 2009. Web. 01 Dec. 2014.
- “Higas Still Run Zippy’s as a Family Business,” Honolulu Star Bulletin, 29 September 2002, retrieved on 17 November 2014
- Jeanine Mamiya-Kalahiki, Marketing Director of Zippy's and Jeff Bercasio, Creative Specialist of Zippy's, interview by Joevondis Collier, Ku’ulei Yamamoto, Honolulu, HI, November 7, 2014.
- Bob, Sigall. The Companies We Keep : Amazing Stories about 450 of Hawaii's Best Known Companies (Honolulu, Hawaii: Small Business Hawaii, 2004), 295-297.
- Help Understanding and Group Support
- Sur, Peter (July 27, 2012). "Zippy's Coming to Hilo". Hawaii Tribune-Herald. Retrieved November 1, 2016.
- Napoleon's Bakery Store Locator Archived July 5, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
- Zippy's Locations