Frisch's Big Boy is a regional restaurant chain from the Big Boy franchise. Today there are over ninety restaurants in
Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio. Frisch's also owns numerous Golden Corralrestaurants in Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. Frisch's is one of the longest surviving Big Boy franchises.
In 1905, Samuel Frisch opened the Frisch Cafe in
Cincinnati, Ohio. He continued to operate the cafe until his death in 1923. Three of Samuel's sons, David, Reuben and Irving, continued operating their father's cafe after his death. It was not until 1939 that expansion occurred with the opening of the Mainliner on Wooster Pike in Fairfax. Cincinnati's first year-round drive-in, it was named after a passenger airplane flying overhead into nearby Lunken Airport.
Becoming a Big Boy franchise
In 1932, Dave Frisch visited one of Bob Wian's Big Boy restaurants in California. Dave was impressed with the double-decker sandwich, although he decided to change the primary condiment from Thousand Island dressing to a homemade tartar sauce. This made Frisch's stand out from the rest of the Big Boy restaurants. Frisch's tartar sauce became the signature sauce in other meals, as well. In 1948, the first Frisch's Big Boy restaurant, "Big Boy One," opened on Central Parkway in downtown Cincinnati. Although the look has changed, Frisch's still operates in that location today.
In 1949, Frisch's opened its first restaurant in Kentucky, and, over the next decade, it expanded throughout southern Ohio and into Indiana. Early restaurants built during this time offered
carhopservices. With many opportunities, franchisees opened restaurants throughout the tri-state area, which helped Frisch's grow and expand (eventually reaching as far north as Columbus and Toledo, as far east as Athens and Lancaster, Ohioand as far south as Florida). Frisch's released its famous tartar sauce to local grocery stores in 1960. However, times were changing. Frisch's faced competition from numerous restaurants, both national and local. McDonald'sintroduced the Filet-O-Fishin 1963 in an aggressive campaign against Frisch's. Some Frisch's restaurants did close in the 1970s and 1980s, but the company persevered in the remaining market and avoided extinction.
In 1982, Frisch's began to reinvent itself by adding
drive-thruservice at many restaurants. It introduced the soup and salad bar, which had begun to be implemented by many fast-food eateries. With these introductions, Frisch's had to remodel older restaurants or tear them down and rebuild from the ground up to stay competitive. As a result, carhops were no longer a fixture at Frisch's, but were retained at a few Cincinnati locations to cater to diners seeking the nostalgic dining experience. Frisch's also introduced the Hot Fudge cake, which quickly became one of Frisch's best-selling items. While other Big Boy franchises died off, became separate eateries, or filed for bankruptcy, Frisch's Big Boy developed new concepts, including the introduction of a retro theme in newer restaurants. However, Frisch's closed their locations in Florida by the 1990s.
In 2000, Frisch's had the opportunity to purchase the national Big Boy chain, which was in bankruptcy, but declined the offer. As of June 2003, Frisch's operates eighty-eight Big Boy restaurants and franchises another thirty-two to other Big Boy operations. Restaurants in the Toledo, Ohio, area are owned and operated by
Bennett Enterprisesunder the Frisch's name.
Frisch's Big Boy Hamburger
It is constructed as follows, from top to bottom:
*Toasted plain top bun
*1/8 lb beef patty
*Frisch's Tartar Sauce
*Toasted plain center bun
*Slice of American cheese
*1/8 lb beef patty
*Toasted plain bottom bun
Commercials and slogans
Radio and TV commercials for Frisch's (which operates Big Boy in the Cincinnati, Ohio, area) are considered by many locals to be a source of humor, even though many of these advertisements were intended to be serious. A notable example is an advertising jingle from the "Gotta be Frisch's Big Boy" campaign of the early 1980s.
The Frisch's slogan being used in commercials today is "What's your favorite thing?"
* [http://www.frischs.com/default.asp Frisch's Website]
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