The treasure room of this fast food fortress contains Sliders. White Castle System owns and operates more than 400 White Castle hamburger joints known for their little square burgers called Slyders. The meat patty is steamed over a bed of onions rather than grilled, and then served on a steamed bun with a single slice of pickle. Patrons typically consume a sack of Slyders at a time. White Castle restaurants can be found in about a dozen mostly Midwestern states. The company also sells frozen Sliders through supermarket chains. The first fast food chain in the US, White Castle was founded by Walter Anderson and real estate broker E. W. "Billy" Ingram in 1921. The Ingram family continues to control the company.
A pioneer in the fast food business, White Castle has changed little over the years: the Sliders are still prepared the same way and the chain is still typified by its castle-shaped buildings. This adherence to tradition, along with White Castle's regional identity, has helped the company establish a strong sense of loyalty among both customers and employees. That loyal customer base and strong brand identity also means White Castle has little need for the kind of saturation marketing used by larger rivals such as Burger King and McDonald's.
White Castle does not franchise any of its restaurants which helps the company maintain close control over its chain. Also as a result of this strategy, it opens only a handful of new locations each year, mostly in established markets.
In addition to its hamburger business, White Castle System owns PSB Company, a subsidiary that makes metal products and equipment, including fixtures and cooking tools used at the company's restaurants. PSB also makes lawn spreaders under the PrizeLAWN brand. – less