Name: Long John Silvers
Type of Food: Sea Food
Interesting Fact: The name and concept were inspired by Robert Louis Stevenson’s book Treasure Island.
History: The history of Long John Silver’s can be traced to 1929, when Jerome Lederer, the company founder, opened a six-seat hamburger stand he called the White Tavern Shoppe in Shelbyville, Kentucky. The concept proved popular and thrived until World War II caused Jerome to close 10 shops due to shortages of meat, sugar, and manpower.
Lederer regrouped in 1946, establishing his company as Jerrico Inc. and introducing a new restaurant in Lexington, called Jerry’s Five and Dime. There the focus was promoting 15-cent roast beef sandwiches. In 1947, realizing that people were not willing to pay that much for a roast beef sandwich, Lederer converted Jerry’s menu around the newly popular hamburger.
As he rebuilt his company, Lederer hired Warren W. Rosenthal to manage his restaurants in 1948. Soon the two men were looking for a restaurant concept they could duplicate across the country. Rosenthal, who had been made chief executive officer of Jerrico, eventually served as president and gained ownership of the company as well when Lederer died in 1963.
In 1969, Rosenthal was inspired to try out a new market for quick-service seafood in face of massive competition in the market of standard American favorites such as hamburgers, pizza, and fried chicken.
Shortly after taking Jerrico public in 1969, Rosenthal launched Long John Silver’s Fish ‘n’ Chips, in Lexington, Kentucky. (The original location, on Southland Drive just off Nicholasville Road, was previously a seafood restaurant named the Cape Codder, which accounts for the Cape Cod style of Long John Silver’s early chain restaurants.)
In 1971 Long John Silver’s became Jerrico’s most successful chain and it expanded to more than 200 units. In 1990 the company divested its other restaurant concepts to focus on Long John Silver concept and renamed themselves Long John Silver Restaurants Inc.
By end of the 1990′s Long John Silver Restaurants Inc. becomes part of Yorkshire Global Restaurants Inc, which in turn was purchased by Tricon Global Restaurants, which is now known as Yum! Brands.
Today, Long John Silver has over 1200 units worldwide – and more than 200 additional locations in multi-brand restaurants. The chain hosts nearly four million customers each week.
Long John Silvers Website: www.ljsilvers.com
View the Long John Silvers menu: here
Find your local Long John Silvers: here
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