Manufacturer: Walker China
User: Big Boy
Date of plate: 1960
Notes: The Big Boy chain started in Glendale, California in 1936, when Bob Wian opened a restaurant called Bob's Pantry. His signature double-decker burger, two hamburger patties with a special relish served on a bun sliced in thirds, was created early on and called the Big Boy. The restaurants were known as "Bob's," "Bob's Drive-Ins," "Bob's, Home of the Big Boy Hamburger," and commonly referred to as Bob's Big Boy. It became a local chain under that name and nationally under the Big Boy name, originally franchised by Robert C. Wian Enterprises. Franchises later included Elias Brothers Big Boy, Shoney's and Frisch's.
The chain changed hands several times over the years, filed for bankruptcy and was sold to Robert Liggett, Jr. who renamed it Big Boy Restaurants International, with headquarters in Warren, MI. In 2018, Big Boy was sold to a group of Michigan investors and renamed Big Boy Restaurant Group. The company is the operator or franchisor for 74 Big Boy restaurants in the United States.
Immediately after Liggett's purchase, Big Boy Restaurants International—then known as Liggett Restaurant Enterprises—negotiated an agreement with the other large franchise operator, Frisch's Restaurants. The Big Boy trademarks in Kentucky, Indiana, and most of Ohio and Tennessee transferred to Frisch's ownership; all other Frisch's territories transferred to Liggett. Thus Frisch's is no longer a franchisee, but Big Boy Restaurant Group and Frisch's are now independent co-registrants of the Big Boy name and trademark. Frisch's operates or franchises 121 Big Boy restaurants in the United States. Big Boy Japan operates 274 restaurants in Japan, also independent of the Big Boy Restaurant Group.
White body with wide yellow band border; topmarked off-center right with the Big Boy image caring a hamburger in red.
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