Henry's Hamburgers

Henry's Hamburgers
Wholly owned subsidiary
Industry Restaurants
Genre Fast Food
Founded 1954
Headquarters Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Products Fast food (including hamburgers, french fries, and milkshakes)
Parent Bresler's Ice Cream
Website http://www.henryshamburgers.com/

Henry's Hamburgers is a former American fast-food restaurant chain of the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. Only one franchise store remains today.


Henry's, Benton Harbor, MI, 2009

In 1954 the Bresler's Ice Cream Company decided to expand into the growing fast-food drive-in industry. Company executives were looking for a new outlet to promote higher sales of their malts and shakes without altering their existing ice cream shop franchises. Under the name Henry's Hamburgers a large number of franchises were eventually established. The name Henry was chosen to honor the memory of the late Henry Bresler, one of the brothers who had founded the ice cream company.[1]


Just two years later, by 1956, Henry's Hamburgers had thirty-five locations in the Chicago area. By the early 1960s there were over two hundred Henry's restaurants across America with operations headquarters in Chicago.[2] At the time that outnumbered some of the industry's current giants, such as McDonalds. Henry's used the advertising slogans "Aren't you hungry for a Henry's?" and "Head for Henry's", and offered burgers for as low as 15 cents or "ten burgers for a buck".[3]


Although the reasons remain mostly unclear, by the mid-1970s Henry's Hamburger locations were closing at a fast rate. Mergers and ownership changes within the Bresler company no doubt played a large role. Among other reasons could be a failure to add popular features like drive-thru pickup, diversifying of menu items like competitors, and massive national advertising campaigns by McDonalds, Burger King and other competitors.[1] The only remaining location is in Benton Harbor, Michigan.

In the early 1970's Henry's franchise units in Chicago starting using horse meat in their hamburgers. Horse meat at the time was cheaper than hamburger meat and was used as filler. While horse meat was approved by the FDA, Henry's Hamburger's franchise units in Chicago were not informing the public about the use. Public outcry in the months following caused the failure of all the franchise units in the Chicago area.

See also


  1. 1 2 Fast Food: Roadside Restaurants in the Automobile Age by John A. Jakle and Keith A. Sculle
  2. Henry's Story
  3. http://captainerniesshowboat.com/henrys.html

External links

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