Do you have the craving – for trivia? We can relate. That’s why we’re handing out these juicy and delicious White Castle facts by the stack. So slide on over and learn these nine bite-sized facts that might change the way you think about one of America’s most beloved burger joints.
1. The Original Owner Invented Flat Shaped Patties
One day, frustrated by his inability to handle meatballs on his griddle, Walt Anderson smashed one flat with his spatula. The pancake-like shape was infinitely easier to handle, and Anderson adopted the method moving forward. Maybe that’s why Time Magazine named the White Castle Slider the most Influential Burger of All Time in 2014.
2. White Castle Was The First Fast Food Chain in America
When Anderson started flipping burgers in Wichita, KS in 1921, he created the industry standard low-cost, fast prep, burgers on demand business model. The result was a ringing success, leading them to start opening shops outside of Wichita as early as 1922. Even though fish and chip stands had existed in England since the 1860s, White Castle was the first American establishment to catch on.
3. The Name Was Chosen To Combat The “Unhealthy” Image Of Hamburgers
Upton Sinclair’s 1906 muckraking novel The Jungle exposed the harsh working conditions and unsanitary standards in meat-packing facilities, leaving a sour taste in America’s mouth. The book had impacted the good name of ground beef so much, that Anderson and business partner Billy A. Ingram choose the name “White Castle” to convey a sense of purity and strength.
4. White Castle Building No. 8 Is A Historic Landmark
One of the earliest franchises (the 8th, to be exact), White Castle Building No. 8 features the architecture that the chain become known for — white exterior bulwarks designed after the Chicago Water Tower. Measuring only 28 by 28 feet, the building is completely moveable and functions today as a souvenir stand.
5. The Most Sliders Eaten In One Sitting Is 103
Competitive eater Joey Chestnut completed this gargantuan feat of miniature beef patty consumption in only 8 minutes. Currently, the second ranked eater in Major League Eating (MLE) also holds records for eating hot dogs, pork ribs, and steak. Guess he’s earned the nickname “Jaws."
6. White Castle Used to Deliver Burgers
Because the crave is so damned powerful, White Castle created a hugely successful “Burgers to Fly” program in the mid-’80s. No matter where you were in the US, they would deliver frozen sliders to your door within 24 hours. While it sucks that they don’t deliver anymore, the service paved the way for the freezer-aisle sliders that can help satisfy cravings.
7. They Sell A Hamburger Scented Candle
Who needs cinnamon and spice, or vanilla scents when you can have the greasy, beefy scent of a cooked burger in any room of your house? While not a permanent item, White Castle is currently selling hamburger scented candles, with 100% of net proceeds going to Autism Speaks. A great gift for a good cause.
8. They’re A Hot Spot On Valentine’s Day
You’ve decided to share your lives together, but will you share that last slider? White Castle is currently accepting reservations for Valentine’s Day dinner, so if your love is strong enough, hurry up and call. They’ll decorate the store and maybe even light a White Castle scented candle to set the mood.