Tag Archives: chains

Fred Meyers

Fred Meyers Grocery Chain

National U.S. Grocery Store Chain – Primarily West Coast

Considered a hypermarket superstore, headquartered in Portland, the chain was founded in Portland Oregon in 1922 by Fred G. Meyer. Today they are located in the western United States specifically Oregon, Washington State, Idaho, and Alaska. They merged with Kroger in 1999 but retain their Fred Meyer branding. They specialize in one-stop shopping hosting complete grocery supermarket, drugstore, banking, clothing, jewelry, home decor, home improvement, gardening, electronics, restaurants, coffee shops, shoes, sporting goods, and toys. They spread from Portland to Seattle in the 1960’s acquiring Seattle based Marketime Drugs and the Roundup Company. By 1968 they operated in Oregon, Washington State, Idaho, and Montana with over 48 retail locations. The first full-fledged Seattle store was opened that same year. They spread in the 70’s through the Valu-Mart discount chain and its locations leased by Weisfield’s and joined the Weisfield’s owned stores in 1975 with some locations leased by Associated Grocers in 1973. Around the same time they opened their first store in Alaska. By 1977 Marketime was renamed to Fred Meyer. Fred G. Meyer died on September 2, 1978 at age 92. In 1984 Fred Meyer acquired Grand Central of Salt Lake City Utah and converted them to Fred Meyers. By the 1990’s they expanded into California with the first store in Chico, then attempted a second store in Redding followed by Sacramento. These locations were closed and didn’t succeed, the Redding site turned into a Walmart in 1996. Kroger acquired the properties during the 1990’s. In 1997 Fred Meyer acquired Smith’s Food and drug in Salt Lake City although continued to operate separate operations. They acquired Ralph’s Grocery in 1998 Los Angeles and QFC of Seattle. They still maintained separate operations with Fred Meyer as the holding company. Many mergers later, they became the fifth largest food and drug store in the nation. By 1997 they converted their Columbia Falls and Kalispell stores into Smith’s Food and Drug. By 1999 they were merged with Kroger of Cincinnati Ohio, and in 2000 the Arizona Fred Meyer stores (all of which were formerly Smith’s) were re-branded as Fry’s Marketplace. 2004 the Smith’s Food and Drug assumed operations of the Utah Fred Meyer stores which were also re-branded as Smith’s Marketplace. Kroger and Fred Meyer stores are slowly becoming more similar in branding, management, and merchandising. One of the Fred Meyers in Seattle merged its operations with QFC keeping its QFC Marketplace branding, and is the only one of its kind. (Capital Hill neighborhood) By 2018 Fred Meyer’s stopped selling guns and ammunition to people under the age of 21. Fred Meyers employs Kroger’s manufacturing creating the brands Kroger, Fred Meyer, Kivu Coffee, Country Oven, Everyday Living, FMV – For Maximum Value, Moto Tech, Private Selections, HD Designs, Michael Morgan, Great Northwest, GNW, Curfew, Kidz Korner, Splash Spa, Simple Truth, Psst, Homesense, and Naturally Preferred.

They established their rewards program in 2004 so that customers received one point for every $5 they spend, and upon 100 points during a 13 week cycle receive $5 in rebate vouchers. This changed in 2007 to one point per dollar spent and needing to earn 500 points during a 13 week cycle to receive a rebate voucher. This became tied into their credit card. By 2011 they switched from MasterCard to Visa, using the same point system. They also began giving 15 cents off fuel per 100 fuel points.

July 2010 they claimed they would no longer offer plastic bags at any of its 10 Portland stores due to environmental impacts. This was followed by City of Portland banning the use of plastic bags in groery and big box stores in October 2011.

Rating: 4.4 stars out of 5

Share

Jack in the Box

~ National Chain, the Americas ~
FAST FOOD – Medium

One of the top fast food restaurants in America, Jack in the Box was founded in February of 1951 by Robert O. Peterson in San Diego, California. Today they have over 2,200 locations mainly on the West Coast of the United States. They can also be found in the central states with popularity in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Tennessee, the Carolinas, and Ohio. They also operated the Qdoba Mexican Grill until 2017 when the Apollo Global Management took over Qdoba. They offer a variety of selections from burgers, chicken tenders, tacos, and egg rolls. They took on a circus-like decor around a starry-eyed clown in the 1940s. It took on its current iconography in 1951 wrapped around the then popular drive-thru intercom technology. A Giant clown projected from the roof and a smaller clown head sat atop the intercom saying “Pull forward Jack will speak to you.” Peterson created a holding company for it called Foodmaker Inc managing the popular chain. Foodmaker was sold to Ralston Purina Company in 1968 and it became the most prolific growth television commercial based fast food giant in the 1970’s. They hit some struggles afterwards trying to expand to the Eastern coast, and in the 80’s made a marketing strategy “The Food is better at the Box” competing with its competitors not for the kids of McDonald’s but the affluent yuppie customers with a higher quality more upscale menu. They flashed their ads with the Jumbo Jack, seasoned Curly Fries, salads, and diverse menu. Ralston Purina sold Foodmaker in 1985 to management and became a publicly traded company with over $655 million in sales by 1987. There is an array of food types and selections, a quick fast food fix to the hungry palate. But it is fast food still none-the-less and carries the unhealthy characteristics of junk food.

Rating: 3 stars out of 5

Share

Qdoba Mexican Eats

Qdoba Mexican Eats

A international fast food medium-range chain that can be found throughout the United States, Canada, and Mexico. In 2003 it became a subsidiary of Jack-In-The-Box. In 2017 it was purchased by Apollo Global Management for 305 million dollars having over 700 restaurants in over 47 states, Canada, and Mexico. It began as Zuma Fresh Mexican Grill in 1995 being founded by Anthony Miller and partner Robert Hauser in Denver, Colorado. They focused on Mexican cuisine using healthier preparation methods, fresh vegetables, herbs, and vegetable oils instead of traditional animal fats. They changed their name to Qdoba in 1999 to avoid lawsuits from companies claiming infringement on the Zuma and Z-teca names.

The food is grand and delicious with the right amount of herbs and spices. I’ve enjoyed the bowls and burritos, chips, salsas, and drinks. It’s a satisfying experience.

Rated: 4 of 5 stars. ~ Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

If you would like to contact the author about this review, need a re-review, would like to advertise on this page, or have information to add, please contact us at technogypsie@gmail.com.

Share

Chuck E. Cheese

Chuck E. Cheese
~ U.S. American Chain ~

I’ve taken my kids to Chuckie Cheese over the years and they always have a blast. Its not that exciting for adults though. The food is mediocre. We’ve had the lunch buffet and its sparse for the amount you pay for the meal. The games are expensive and today are operated by plastic credit cards you purchase and add funds to. They zap points quick and you pay per play, even with the classic games where normally 25 cents – 50 cents gets you three players, you only get one for 25 points from the card.

With over 600 establishments nationwide and 15 other countries, their headquarters are in Irving, Texas. They are a family fun center serving pizza, sandwiches, meals, and refreshments while kids play arcade games, amusement rides, and animatronic displays of the company’s characters leading sing-a-longs.

The first location was in San Jose, California in 1977 originally as a concept by Atari co-founder Nolan Bushnell to help bring video games to the mainstream by integrating food, entertainment, and arcade together. In 1984 after bankruptcy the chain was acquired by ShowBiz Pizza forming ShowBiz Pizza Time. In 1990 they unified the two brands to Chuck E. Cheese’s Pizza.

Rated: 3 of 5 stars. ~ Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

If you would like to contact the author about this review, need a re-review, would like to advertise on this page, or have information to add, please contact us at technogypsie@gmail.com.

Share

Burger King

Burger King
~ Worldwide ~

Good tasting food but horrible greasy gut bombs that will takes years off your life. Such would be the image that documentaries like “Super Size Me” would dictate. It is fast food that is meant as a treat, not for substance. Burger King is a competitive hamburger fast food restaurant that is almost as popular as McDonalds. They do have substantially better quality food than McDonalds. It is today a global fast food chain that has its headquarters in Miami-Dade County of Florida. It was founded as “Insta-Burger King” in 1953 in Jacksonville, Florida by David Edgerton and James McLamore who bought the company and renamed it “Burger King”. They saw financial difficulties in the 1960’s as “Insta Burger King” but by the 70’s saw a Golden Age in advertising where they found success. By the 80’s they lost focus and started to lose business. They improved again in 2003. Through its history has changed hands of ownership four times by 2018. It merged with the Canadian donut chain “Tim Hortons” in late 2010 and later became Restaurant Brands International (another Canadian Company).

They expanded from basic burgers to offering a variety of burgers, chicken burgers, french fries, sodas, chicken fries, milkshakes, and their signature “Whopper” that competes with McDonald’s “Big Mac”. From 2002-2010 they targeted young 18-34 males with larger product sizes with unhealthy trans fats and fats. By 2016 it had over 16,000 stores in over 100 countries of which half are located in the United States. The knock off in Australia, Hungry Jacks utilized the theme, look, and operations of Burger King.

Rated: 2 of 5 stars. ~ Review by Leaf McGowan, Technogypsie Productions ~

If you would like to contact the author about this review, need a re-review, would like to advertise on this page, or have information to add, please contact us at technogypsie@gmail.com.

Share

Old Chicago

Old Chicago Pizza and Tap Room
~ https://oldchicago.com/ ~

A national chain run by CraftWorks Restaurants and Breweries, Old Chicago has a presence of over 60 restaurants in the United States covering 22 states. They have even franchized another 36 additional locations separate from CraftWorks. They focus on the pub-like experience of a tap room with craft beer as a specialty for the last 40 years since 1976 as a bar, restaurant, and brewery with an Old Chicago style and decorum served with pizza. The pizza parlour theme with classic pinball games and arcade, was brewed by friends in Boulder, Colorado enhancing the chain with additional old school charm and style. It’s not just about the beer and pizza though. Its a place for dates, family night, kids, meetings, friend gatherings, and social occasions. The dishes are quoted to be phenomenal, although I have yet had the chance to review the restaurant. The multi-brand outfit CraftWorks has dual offices in Chattanooga, Tennessee and Broomfield, Colorado.

Rated: ___ of 5 stars. Not yet rated. ~ Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

If you would like to contact the author about this review, need a re-review, would like to advertise on this page, or have information to add, please contact us at technogypsie@gmail.com.

Share

Hungry Jacks

Hungry Jack’s
* Australia * www.hungryjacks.com.au *

One who first looks at the “Hungry Jacks” logo might get confused because it awfully looks identical to the “Burger King” logo in the States. That’s because “Hungry Jacks” is part of the “Burger King” Franchise. It has been operating in Australia as “Hungry Jacks” since its first Perth store opened in April 1971. It rapidly took over since that date. Within 10 years, there was 26 stores in 3 states. They even took over the near-dead “Wendy’s” Hamburger chain stores in Victoria when they purchased them in 1986. So why not just call it “Burger King”? When Burger King expanded into Australia it found that “Burger King” as a name was already trademarked by a takeaway food shop in Adelaide. Therefore, the Burger King franchisee Jack Cowin, had to operate Burger King under a different name. Cowin selected “Hungry Jack” after one of Pillsbury’s US pancake mixture products. By 1990, “Competitive Foods” was permitted to franchise Hungry Jack’s as independent businesses. It was around this time that Burger King was trying to expand in Australia and wanted all stores under their “Burger King” logo. But because the “Hungry Jack” trademark had 30 years of heritage, it made more sense to keep it as a separate brand. It is also known as “HJ’s”, “Hungry’s”, or “Hungie’s” and stands as an exclusive Australian master fast food franchisee of Burger King wholly owned subsidiary of Competitive Foods Australia, privately held under Jack Cowin. In 1991 Burger King took Hungry Jack’s Pty Limited to court as it wasn’t meeting up to terms with its franchise agreement in opening a certain number of stores each year as promised. After the Australian trademark on the Burger King name lapsed in 1996, Burger King made a claim that Hungry Jacks violated its conditions for renewal and wanted to terminate the agreement and thereby in partnership with Royal Dutch Shell’s Australian division began opening its own stores in 1997. Jack fought back in 2001 claiming Burger King violated the conditions of the master francising agreement and the Supreme Court of New South Wales agreed with Cowin, awarding him with 46.9 million Australian dollars. This led to Burger King terminating its operations in the country and in July 2002 transferred its assets to its New Zealand franchise group – Trans Pacific Foods. They agreed in 2003 to re-name these locations to “Hungry Jack’s”. Today there are over 300 Hungry Jack stores throughout all states of Australia and is known as a well-established Australian brand. Most of the new stores have a 1950’s theme, with music played from this era occasionally through a 1950’s style jukebox with associated contemporary pictures and memorabilia as part of the decor. Many of the larger sit-down style restaurants have their seats and tables laid out in a 1950’s diner style. The only Burger King trademarks sold at Hungry Jack’s are the “Whopper” and the “TenderCrisp” sandwiches, all others go by generic names such as “hamburger”, “veggie burger”, or “grilled chicken burger”.

Continue reading Hungry Jacks

Share

Pie Face

Pie Face *
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia * www.pieface.com.au *

A great little hole-in-the-wall chain counter/restaurant with fast service dishing out pies for Australians since 2003. First founded in Sydney, “Pie face” greets its hungry customers with a happy face on the pie crust face filled like a pot pie with yummy delicious veggies and/or meats. It was founded by Betty Fong and Wayne Homschek. Originally fashion designers, they first served pies to their audience to get everyone in the mood for their fashion show, and got such great applause for their pies, decided to open a business. The pies are custom made for their customers, and all hand made and baked. Delicious! I’ve enjoyed these fabulous little fast tasty pies in Melbourne, Brisbane, and obviously is also available in Sydney. Rating : 4.5 stars out of 5. Review by Leaf McGowan.

Continue reading Pie Face

Share

Texas Roadhouse

Texas Roadhouse

http://www.texasroadhouse.com/ * 595 S. 8th Street * Colorado Springs, CO 80905 * Phone: 719-473-9711 * Fax: 719-473-9715

Well it’s definitely an American chain restaurant with over 310 locations in over 44 states. This cookie-cutter establishment was founded by Kent Taylor who wanted to bring good steaks, ribs, and beer to the American population for an affordable price. They wanted to merge the bar-room experience with the family restaurant kind. Peanut shells all over the floor, its a ruggid mess. They hand-cut their steaks and claim award-winning ribs, and blab about home-cookin’ and everything being made from scratch. Its a little hard to believe with chains. They offer the expected steaks and ribs, but also chicken, fish, salads, and veggies. The service was good during our visit, however the food was mediocre in my opinion. My dinner mate raves about the restaurant saying its one of her favorite places. To me though the food was the quality you get from chains, perhaps however, I’m biased on the chain experience. The food was decent and affordably priced. Not being a very big fan of country music, can’t say I could rate the music high either. Rating: 2 1/2 stars out of 5.

Share