Big Boy has endured since 1936, when the company got its start as Bob’s Pantry. At one time, the chain was a giant in the restaurant industry — in more ways than one.
In 1979, more than 1,000 Big Boy burger joints greeted customers across the U.S. with towering statues of the chain’s chubby, cheery mascot.
Since then, the diner-style restaurants have lost out to quick-service competitors in the burger business.
So today, around 200 Big Boys and Frisch’s Big Boys are in business, primarily in the Midwest. New owners of Big Boy Restaurants International are trying to revive the brand through a new fast-food restaurant format.