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While White Castle isn’t the #1 fast food chain in the United States, it was the first and it certainly has its fans who just crave their fast food. Here are 12 things you didn’t know about White Castle.
1. The First. Founder Billy Ingram started White Castle in Wichita, Kansas in 1921. It’s credited as the first fast food restaurant. They were also the first to offer coupons as a restaurant.
2. 67 Years. Elaine Miseta is the longest running employee working from 1942 to 2009. She was the personal assistant to White Castle President E.W. “Bill” Ingram III. White Castle celebrate her with her own day called Elaine Miseta Day on June 8.
3. Valentine’s Day. Every Valentine’s Day, White Castle takes reservations for table service for couples.
4. Just a Nickel. The original slider only cost a nickel when White Castle first opened. If you added a cup of coffee, it would only cost you a dime. That’s only 65 cents in today’s money.
5. Chicago Water Tower. The design on all White Castle location is based on the Chicago Water Tower.
6. Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle. Kal Penn, who played Kumar, is a vegetarian, so his sliders had to be vegetarian while shooting the movie.
7. $700. Billy Ingram started White Castle with only $700 in 1921. That’s about $9,100 in today’s money.
8. International Crave. Along with the United States, you’ll find White Castles in Mexico, Japan, and Malaysia.
9. Modern Hamburger. White Castle is also credited as the first to make the modern hamburger.
10. Craver Hall of Fame. White Castle opened a Hall of Fame for its most loyal “cravers” in 2001. Alice Cooper is in it for “Rockin’ the Crave – Craver in Extremis.”
11. Music. The Smithereens wrote a song called “White Castle Blues” in 1977. Beastie Boys also wrote a song about White Castle called “The New Style” in 1986.
12. CEO. CEO Lisa Ingram is known for making sliders at the White Castle near their corporate headquarters in Columbus, Ohio.