Monday, November 26, 2018

Sandy's Drive-In's of Illinois.

Sandy's was the name of a chain of American fast-food restaurant began in 1956 by four businessmen from Kewanee, Illinois: Gus "Brick" Lundberg, Robert C. Wenger, Paul White, and W. K. Davidson. In the mid-west, Sandy's was the ancestor of the Hardee's chain.

In 1956, four men set out to start one of the first McDonald's franchises outside the McDonald brothers' home state of California. Ray Kroc had just begun selling McDonald's franchises outside 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 California. The Urbana store proved popular with students, professionals, and young families at the University of Illinois. It did so well that the group decided to open additional McDonald's restaurants in Decatur, and Peoria, Illinois.

However, Ray Kroc notified them that Peoria and Decatur were not included in the central Illinois territory, and furthermore, that changed the terms of the franchise contract which meant they would owe a higher percentage of their profits to McDonald's. Having invested heavily in the Peoria location, including erecting the building, the partners decided instead to open their own restaurant, and settled on the name Sandy's. 

Sandy's chain adopted a Scottish-based theme to combat the Scottish-rooted McDonald's, even though the latter was not based on a cultural theme of any kind.
The menu of the first Sandy's restaurant included a 15¢ hamburger, a 20¢ milkshake, and a 10¢ bag of french fries, much like McDonald's. However, none of the four founders were interested in expanding their local chain.
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." Sandy's was different in a number of ways from other fast-food chains 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 of being permitted to "shop around" as long as the supplies met company standards.
  • Lundberg visited every store periodically and became personally acquainted with every employee.
Ray Kroc filed an ongoing series of lawsuits that finally ended with an out-of-court settlement in 1965. Despite this distraction, Sandy’s grew from seven stores in Illinois in 1959 to 121 in five states in 1966.

An Employee.
In 1961, insurance man Jack Laughery was so impressed with Lundberg and his business approach that he left a successful practice to join Sandy's, becoming president in 1967. By the end of the 1960s, Sandy's, though still successful, was short of cash, a major handicap with the pricey new television advertising being actively employed by its competitors.

Meanwhile, the successful Hardee's chain in the Southern U.S. (founded by Wilbur Hardee) had money and was looking to expand its operations. Hardee's solution was a merger.

On November 30, 1971, it was announced that Hardee had purchased all of Sandy's Drive-In stock. The plaid berets of Sandy's were soon gone. Sandy's had expanded to Belgium and Canada before being dismantled.

Originally, Sandy's was to merge with Hardees but maintain its own identity. In 1973, ninety percent of Sandy's locations agreed to switch to Hardee's; the rest remained Sandy's restaurants. 

By 1979, the last Sandy's location in Muscatine, Iowa, became a Hardees. Any remaining locations went under independent ownership and changed their names to avoid infringing on Sandy's name. 

These locations included Zandy's in Great Falls, Montana until it closed in January 2009 after a break-in and declining profits, Sandie's in Billings, Montana, Andy's in Cincinnati, Ohio, and Bucky's in Lawrence, Kansas until it closed on December 14, 2007.

Illinois Locations:
  1. Addison
  2. Aurora
  3. Belleville
  4. Benton
  5. Bloomington
  6. Bolingbrook
  7. Canton
  8. Champaign
  9. Charleston
  10. Collinsville
  11. Creve Coeur
  12. Decatur
  13. DeKalb
  14. Dixon
  15. East Alton
  16. Elmhurst
  17. Galesburg
  18. Geneseo
  19. Hillside
  20. Jacksonville
  21. Kankakee
  22. Kewanee
  23. Mattoon
  24. Moline
  25. Normal
  26. Pekin
  27. Peru
  28. Peoria
  29. Quincy
  30. Rock Island
  31. Rockford
  32. Springfield
  33. Sterling
  34. Streator
  35. Urbana



Compiled by Dr. Neil Gale, Ph.D.

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