Sandy's was the name of a chain of fast-food restaurants begun in
1958by four business men from Kewanee, Illinois: Gus "Brick" Lundberg, Robert C. Wenger, Paul White and W. K. Davidson.
In 1956, the four men set out to start one of the first
McDonald'sfranchises outside California. Ray Krochad just begun selling McDonald'sfranchises outside the McDonald brothers' home state of California and the four friends partnered to buy the right to open McDonald’s restaurants in central Illinois. In June 1956, they opened their first restaurant in Urbana, Illinois, only the third McDonald’s restaurant to open outside of California. The Urbana store proved popular with students, professionals and young families at the University of Illinois, and did so well that the group decided to open additional stores in Decatur and Peoria, Illinois.
Ray Kroc, however, notified them that Peoria and Decatur were not included in the central Illinois territory, and furthermore that changes to the terms of the franchise meant they would owe a higher percentage of their profits to McDonald's. Having invested heavily in the Peoria location, including erecting the building, Lundberg and his partners decided instead to open their own restaurant, and settled on the name "Sandy's." The chain adopted a Scottish-based theme to combat the Scottish-rooted "McDonald's", even though the latter wasn't based on a cultural theme of any kind. Lundberg was named president.
The menu of the first Sandy's restaurant included a 15¢
hamburger, a 20¢ milkshakeand a 10¢ bag of French fries, much like McDonald's. However, none of the four men were interested in turning their little chain into a corporate empire. Lundberg, in particular, viewed the enterprise as a chance to build a "people-oriented organization whose members worked hard but also had some fun while earning a legitimate profit." [ [http://www.anbhf.org/laureates/lundberg.html American Business Hall of Fame: Gust E. Lundberg biography] ]
Sandy's was different in a number of ways from other
fast foodchains of the time:
* Operators of most restaurants owned their stores and did not lease from the corporation.
* Operators were not required to buy supplies from the corporation, instead being permitted to "shop around" as long as the supplies met company standards.
* Lundberg visited every store periodically and become personally acquainted with every employee.
Ray Kroc did not sit idly by. He filed an ongoing series of lawsuits which finally ended with an
out-of-court settlementin 1965. Despite this distraction, Sandy’s grew from just 7 stores in Illinois in 1959 to 121 in five states in 1966. In 1961, insurance man Jack Laugherywas so impressed with Lundberg and his business approach that he left a successful practice to join Sandy's, becoming president in 1967.
Takeover by Hardee's
By the end of the 1960s Sandy's, though still successful, was short of cash, a major handicap with the pricey new
television advertisingbeing actively employed by its competitors. Meanwhile, the successful Hardee'schain in the Southern U.S. (founded by Wilbur Hardee) had money and was looking to expand its operations. The solution was a merger. On November 30, 1971, a Hardee's purchase of all of Sandy's stock was announced, and Sandy's plaid berets were soon to be seen no more. Sandy's had expanded to Belgium and Canada before its dismantling.
Originally, Sandy's was only to merge with Hardees and maintain its own identity, but in
1973, ninety percent of the locations agreed to switch to Hardee's; the other ten percent remained Sandy's. In 1979, the last Sandy's location in Muscatine, Iowabecame a Hardee's. Other locations simply changed their name to avoid infringing on the Sandy's name. These locations included Zandy's in Great Falls, Montana, Sandie's in Billings, Montana, and Bucky's in Lawrence, Kansasbut only Zandy's continues operations as of 2007. Bucky's closed as of December 14, 2007.
While Hardee's still operates most of the former Sandy's locations, all of the ones remaining have either moved or built a more modern location on the existing site. The last Hardee's to use a former Sandy's building was in 1989, when the
Burlington, IowaHardee's was torn down and replaced with a modern Hardee's building. [ [http://www.geocities.com/sandyshamburgers/index.html Sandy's Hamburgers Drive-In Sandys 1960s 1950s McDonalds Hardees Burger King Lendy's Burger Chef Biff Burger Big Boy Henry's ] ]
Due to the similar female mascots and similar menu offerings, many people consider
Wendy'sthe modern equivalent of Sandy's. Indeed, Wendy's and Sandy's did compete head-to-head in Columbus & Dayton, Ohiofor Wendy's first few years before Hardee's takeover of Sandy's. The two chains, however, are unrelated.
* [http://www.geocities.com/sandyshamburgers/ Unofficial Sandy's Website]
* [http://www.shhs1966.com/sandysgang.htm Recollections of the Salina, KS Sandy's]
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