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Burger Chef

In 1958, a technological wonder of a chain restaurant opened, with the capacity to pump out burgers faster than even McDonald’s could: 800 per hour, via a conveyer broiler. It seemed like the perfect formula for success, and Burger Chef’s optimistic parent company, General Equipment, opened 1,200 outposts by 1972, making it second only to McDonald’s 1,600. They also pioneered the concept of selling a child-oriented meal of a small burger, fries, drink, dessert, and small toy in 1973 (they called it a "Fun Meal;" McDonald’s called it a "Happy Meal" when they "borrowed" the idea six years later). But it was overexpansion that eventually did the company in; in 1981 the company was sold to Hardee’s, never to be heard from again.

(Credit: FreeWebs)
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