"The Last Great Hamburger Stand"
|Industry||Fast casual restaurant|
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Headquarters||Beverly Hills, California, U.S.|
Number of locations
Andrew Wiederhorn (Chairman & CEO)Donald J. Berchtold (President & COO)
|Products||Burgers, french fries, soft drinks, milkshakes|
Number of employees
Fatburger Inc. is an American fast casual restaurant chain. Its tagline is The Last Great Hamburger Stand. While it is a fast food restaurant, the food is cooked and made to order. Some Fatburger restaurants have a liquor license, as well as Fat Bars. Its franchise headquarters are in Beverly Hills, California. In addition to the United States, the chain operates in over 19 other countries.
Fatburger was founded by Lovie Yancey in the neighborhood of Exposition Park in Los Angeles, California in 1947. It was originally named "Mr. Fatburger" (on behalf of Lovie’s boyfriend), until the “Mr.” was removed by Yancey in 1952. At that time, she bought out her start-up partners and retained sole ownership of the Fatburger brand until 1990, keeping and operating the original store on Western Avenue along with the La Cienega Boulevard store (La Cienega/San Vicente).
The original Fatburger location was renowned for attracting an eclectic mix of food lovers from various backgrounds. Many noting the humorous and down-home conversations between the cooks, the servers and the locals to be just as an iconic experience as the food itself. The franchise was a particular local favorite due to the restaurant keeping late-night hours.
Fatburger remained mostly a California chain until the late 1990s, when it began an expansion in North America. On August 15, 2003, Fog Cutter Capital Group completed a $7 million investment and financing package for the company. Fatburger operates or franchises over 150 Fatburger restaurants worldwide with over 300 more planned for future development. For several months in 2006, the company was barred from selling additional franchises in California.
Fatburger has achieved near cult status in California culture, thanks to references in popular hip hop music. Notorious B.I.G. raps about it in his song "Going Back to Cali." Ice Cube mentions the restaurant chain in his 1993 hit "It Was A Good Day," as did Tupac Shakur in "Late Night," a track off his posthumous 2002 album "Better Dayz."
In 2008, Fatburger opened its first restaurant in a sports stadium, the Arizona Diamondbacks' Chase Field. Fatburger also opened its first location in the Dubai, U.A.E., (today there are eight). There are also Fatburger eateries in Beijing, PR China.
In January 2013, Fatburger opened its first branch in Karachi, Pakistan. Owing to the success of the burgers and positive response in Pakistan, Fatburger opened its biggest flagship outlet globally on June, 2013 in Lahore. In July 2015, a branch in Lahore was shut down by authorities due to health and food safety reasons.
The Fatburger menu is centered primarily on hamburgers, in which it offers patties of varying size, small to large, and in varying quantity (XXL for two large patties, XXXL for three large patties) along with add-ons such as cheese, bacon and eggs. Fatburger also offers other types of burgers in their menu such as the Skinny Burger, the Veggie Burger, the Chicken Sandwich and the Turkey Burger. In addition, the Fatburger menu offers various options for sides such as Fat Fries, Skinny Fries, Onion Rings and Chili Cheese Fries as well as hand-scooped milkshakes.
Fatburger has expanded greatly since its founding in Los Angeles in 1947. Today, Fatburger has locations across the United States and Canada, and has since opened restaurants in nations across Europe and Asia. These include China, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Malaysia, the United Kingdom, Fiji, Indonesia, Iraq, India, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Tunisia, Macau, Pakistan, Oman, Panama, Singapore, Canada, Philippines (Coming Soon), Mexico (Coming Soon) and Qatar. A new restaurant Fatburger will be opening soon in Philippines and Mexico in the future. In some locations, menu changes were made to conform to local standards of food consumption.
Former professional basketball player Magic Johnson, through Johnson Development Corporation, was one of the owners of the parent company. Former talk show host Montel Williams co-owns several Fatburger restaurants in Colorado. Bay Area musician E-40 also had a stake in the company as a franchise owner, by opening the first San Francisco Bay Area Fatburger restaurant in Pleasant Hill, which is now closed. Actor and musician Queen Latifah also at one point partnered with Fatburger.
In 2007, Rapper Kanye West's restaurant company, KW Foods LLC, struck a deal to open up to 10 Fatburger restaurants in Chicago. Ultimately, in 2009, only two locations actually opened. In February 2011, West shut down the Fatburger located in Orland Park. Later in 2011 the remaining Beverly location also was shuttered. R&B musician Pharrell, in partnership with Fatburger, opened several Fatburger restaurants in China in 2007 and 2008.
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