Burger Chef

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Burger Chef
IndustryRestaurant
FateSold to Hardee's
SuccessorsHardee's
Founded1954
Defunct1996
HeadquartersIndianapolis, Indiana, U.S.
ProductsHamburgers
 
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Burger Chef
IndustryRestaurant
FateSold to Hardee's
SuccessorsHardee's
Founded1954
Defunct1996
HeadquartersIndianapolis, Indiana, U.S.
ProductsHamburgers

Burger Chef was an American fast-food restaurant chain founded in 1954 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The chain expanded throughout the United States and, at its peak in 1973, had 1,050 locations.[1] The chain featured several signature items such as the Big Shef and Super Shef hamburgers.

In 1982, the General Foods Corporation, then-owners of the Burger Chef trademark and name, divested itself of the restaurant chain, gradually selling to the owners of Hardee's. The final restaurant to carry the Burger Chef name closed in 1996.

History[edit]

A former 1970s-era Burger Chef in Essexville, Michigan, occupied by health offices, as seen in October 2008

In 1954, Frank and Donald Thomas patented the flame broiler in their parent company General Equipment Corporation and started their own restaurant in Indianapolis, Indiana. In 1957, they opened their first "Burger Chef".

Burger Chef spread across both the West Coast and the East Coast, eventually becoming second only to McDonald's in terms of number of locations.[citation needed] They offered a double-burger, called the Big Shef, and later the quarter-pound hamburger, Super Shef. Subsequently, they added the "Works Bar", where customers could add their own toppings to hamburgers.

In 1968, the chain was purchased by the General Foods Corporation, which continued its rapid expansion. The chain's mascots were called Burger Chef (voiced by Paul Winchell) and Jeff (the chef's juvenile sidekick). In the early 1970s, the chain introduced the Funburger and the Funmeal, with packaging that included stories about Burger Chef and Jeff's adventures and friends (including the magician Burgerini, vampire Count Fangburger, talking ape Burgerilla, and Cackleburger the witch), with riddles, puzzles and small toys. When McDonald's introduced their Happy Meal in 1979, the chain sued, but ultimately lost.

In 1982, General Foods sold Burger Chef to the Canadian company Imasco, which also owned Hardee's. Many locations were converted into Hardee's restaurants. The franchisees of locations near existing Hardee's locations were allowed to convert to other brands.

Hardee's brought back the Big Shef hamburger on a limited-time basis in 2001 and 2007 at select Midwestern locations.[2]

Trademark suit[edit]

In January 2007, a suit was filed against Hardee's Food Systems in the U.S. Patents and Trademarks Office by River West Brands, LLC, of Chicago, Illinois, claiming "abandonment" of the Burger Chef trademark. On April 16, 2009, River West Brands dropped their petition for cancellation, and both parties agreed to pay their own attorneys' fees.[3]

Advertising[edit]

Slogans[edit]


Personalities[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Lost Indianapolis, John F. McDonald, John P. McDonald
  2. ^ Hardee's(R) Brings Back Burger Chef(R) Big Shef(TM) Hamburger for a Limited Time in Select Markets PR Newswire. Retrieved Feb. 6, 2014.
  3. ^ Withdrawal of Cancellation, Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, US Patent and Trademark Office, 16 April 2009.
  4. ^ "Nowhere else but Burger Chef". Trademarkia.com. Retrieved 8 August 2013. 
  5. ^ "Burger Chef". Copyrightencyclopedia.com. Retrieved 8 August 2013. 
  6. ^ "You get more to like at Burger Chef". Trademarkia.com. Retrieved 8 August 2013. 
  7. ^ "Double Delight (advertisement)". St. Petersburg Times. February 12, 1977. Retrieved 8 August 2013. 
  8. ^ "There's more to like at Burger Chef". Trademarkia.com. Retrieved 8 August 2013. 
  9. ^ "Triple Treat Yourself (advertisement)". The Owosso Argus-Press. December 17, 1970. Retrieved 8 August 2013. 

External links[edit]