If you've seen the "Harold and Kumar" films then you've seen the one where they go to White Castle Hamburgers. This famous burger franchise has been around for almost 100 years. White Castle was founded in 1921 in Wichita, Kansas. Walter A. Anderson partnered with cook Billy Ingram to make White Castle into a chain of restaurants and market White Castle.
At the time, Americans were hesitant to eat ground beef after Upton Sinclair's 1906 novel The Jungle had publicized the poor sanitation practices of the meat packing industry.
Founders Edgar Waldo "Billy" Ingram and Walter Anderson set out to change the public's perception of the cleanliness of the industry. They constructed small buildings with white exteriors and stainless steel interiors to invoke a feeling of cleanliness, and outfitted their employees with spotless uniforms.
Anderson is credited with invention of "the kitchen as assembly line, and the cook as infinitely replaceable technician", hence giving rise to the modern fast food phenomenon. He had developed an efficient method for cooking hamburgers, using freshly ground beef and fresh onions.
In 1933, Ingram bought out Anderson, and the following year the company moved corporate headquarters to Columbus, Ohio. The company remains privately held and its restaurants are company-owned; they are not franchised in the United States. Co-founder Billy Ingram was followed as head of the firm by his son E. W. Ingram, Jr. and grandson E. W. Ingram, III.
In concurrence with its 80th anniversary in 2001, White Castle started its Cravers' Hall of Fame. "Cravers" are inducted annually based on stories that are submitted about them, either for them by another person or by that particular Craver. Between five and ten stories have been chosen each year with a grand total of 64 stories being selected through the 2007 induction class, less than 1% of the total stories submitted since the inception of the Cravers' Hall of Fame.
Ingram's steadfast refusal to franchise or take on debt resulted in the chain remaining relatively small. (There are 392 White Castle outlets, all in the United States, compared with about 13,000 McDonald's in the country.) But the company, which is now run by Ingram's grandson, nonetheless has the fast-food industry's second-highest sales revenues per store, trailing only McDonald's.
Since opening their doors in 1921 as the nation's first quick service hamburger chain, White Castle has exhibited a history of innovation.
n fact, White Castle was the first restaurant chain to achieve the "billion burgers sold" milestone! With over 400 restaurants in 11 states, White Castle sells over 500 million burgers a year to craving fans everywhere. With headquarters in Columbus, Ohio, White Castle remains a family owned, privately held business.
Their employees enjoy a generous benefits package that includes great things such as: paid vacations; health, dental and life insurance; pension and profit sharing; weekly paychecks; as well as on-the-job perks such as our "promote from wihin policy" and free meals while working.