Interesting Historical Facts
Big Boy is a restaurant chain with its headquarters in Warren, Michigan.
Big Boy was started in 1936 by Bob Wian, in partnership with Arnold Peterson in Glendale, California, USA. Marriott Corporation bought the chain in 1967.
One of the larger franchise operators, Elias Brothers, purchased the chain from Marriott in 1987, moving the headquarters of the company to Warren, Michigan, and operating it until declaring bankruptcy in 2000.
Following the bankruptcy, the chain was sold to investor Robert Liggett, Jr., who took over as Chief Executive Officer (CEO), renamed the company Big Boy Restaurants International and kept the headquarters in Warren. The company is the franchisor for more than 455 Big Boy restaurants in the United States and Canada.
Origin The chain is best known for its trademark chubby boy in red- and white-checked overalls holding a Big Boy sandwich (double-decker cheeseburger). The inspiration for Big Boy's name, as well as the model for its mascot, was Richard Woodruff (1936–1986), of Glendale, California. When he was six years old, he walked into the diner Bob's Pantry as Bob Wian was attempting to name his new hamburger. Wian said, "Hello, Big Boy" to Woodruff, and the name stuck.
Warner Bros. animation artist Ben Washam sketched Richard's caricature, which became the character seen on the company logo. This character would also eventually be featured in The Adventures of Big Boy comic book, produced as a promotional giveaway for children visiting the restaurant. Since 1997, the comic book has been produced by Craig Yoe's Yoe! Studio. Another longtime promotion was the Big Boy Kids Club, offering coupons and premiums to members, who joined by sending in an application from the comic book.
Bob's Big Boy restaurant in Burbank, California A Big Boy sandwich consists of two thin beef patties placed on a three layer sesame seed bun with lettuce, a single slice of cheese, and Big Boy special sauce, or (in some locations) tartar sauce on each slice of bun. Unlike the similar McDonald's Big Mac, which was patterned after the Big Boy, onions were not included in the original recipe. They had to be ordered as an extra. They also offer salads, dinner combinations, and various desserts.