Fathers Of Fast Casual: Bob’s Big Boy Burgers
By Nestor Camacho
When a company has a section of their office dedicated as a shrine to the founder of a fast food restaurant, you immediately know their love and loyalty towards the chain and food in general. We at Snackbox may be the only ones to have a portrait of Bob Wian, founder of Bob’s Big Boy Restaurants as an office shrine, but when it comes to Big Boy we don’t play.
The small, 10- stool diner quickly gained popularity and flourished despite The Great Depression. An investment that could have left Wian with nothing in his pockets worked in his favor after selling his company to Marriot Corp in 1967 for $7 million.
About the Big Boy Burger
One evening in 1937 the burger that the restaurant is known for was created after a customer asked for something other than the usual hamburger. This resulted in Wian creating the Big Boy burger, a two beef patty burger, cheese and a signature sauce.
Although Wian is credited for the creation of the Big Boy burger, he isn’t responsible with coming up with what the company is known for best – the chain’s logo or name.
The famous Big Boy idea came as an inspiration from a young, chubby customer who would often help Bob sweep up in exchange for burgers. A friend of Bob’s, a movie animator, sketched the boy on a napkin, which resulted in what is now the famous logo and souvenir must-have at stores.
“He was about six and rolls of fat protruded where his shirt and pants were designated to meet. I was so amused by the youngster—jolly, healthy-looking and obviously a lover of good things to eat, I called him Big Boy,” said Wian when asked about his idea for his logo.