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Top 10 Untold Truths of Big Boy

Big Boy fans will love this list. We’re here to share so many fascinating untold truths about this USA restaurant chain, which has been around since the 1930s. If you think the Big Boy mascot is cute and appreciate this eatery’s menu items, read on to get the inside scoop.

10. This Restaurant Chain Used To Have A Different Name

Big Boy used to be called, “The Pantry”. The Pantry was a single restaurant. It had ten stools and sold lunches to customers. Later on, the founder of The Pantry decided to change its name to “Bob’s Pantry”. This small eatery was promoted as the home of the Big Boy Burger. Eventually, everything was re-branded as “Big Boy” and the rest is history. This restaurant chain was founded in SoCal in 1936, by Bob Wian. Over the years, this company grew exponentially. Its success was driven by a fun new restaurant name, an adorable mascot and n abundance of hearty, tasty food. Today, there are a plethora of Big Boy locations, but not as many as there used to be. Like many restaurant chains, Big Boy has had its ups and downs. It’s always hard to stay on top. In 2000, its previous franchiser, Elias Brothers Corp., had to file bankruptcy. At that time, there were 405 of the eateries in America. Eleven years later, there were only 140. The restaurant chain keeps going, even when times are hard. It does have a lot of loyal customers, but needs to adapt to economic shifts, just like every other restaurant chain does. Big Boy has a long history in the USA. It’s a restaurant chain with heritage. 

9. Japanese Franchises Don’t Offer Big Boy Burgers

It’s always interesting to see what restaurant chains offer in other countries. When it comes to Big Boy Japan locations, Big Boy burgers are not on the menu. That’s almost hard to believe, isn’t it? After all, Big Boy burgers are really what Big Boy is known for! There are 279 of these eateries in Japan and none of them offer the classic Big Boy burger. Japanese Big Boys have been around since the late Seventies. They have menus which differ radically from the American menus. In addition to the notable absence of the Big Boy burger, Japanese menus don’t include a lot of menu items that are available in the USA. In Japan, it’s possible to enjoy Japanese beer at Big Boy restaurants. That may be enough of a perk to make up for the lack of certain beloved menu items. In Japan, the restaurant is considered a Western-style eatery and steak is on the menu. Based on some YouTube research, these restaurants also have buffet-style assortments of soups, which customers may scoop into bowls with ladles. Bun-free “steak burgers” are available and bread is offered on the side. Some eateries don’t offer the burgers, though. Menus vary pretty widely. You can even get a nice cafe latte if you want one. If you’re planning to visit Japan, you may want to make time for a visit to a Japanese Big Boy. I’ll be a lot different than what you’re used to in America. Portions for most menu items are reportedly really generous.

8. The Founder Sold His Vehicle To Fund The 1st Big Boy

It’s always fascinating to learn about the lengths that entrepreneurs will go to to make their business dreams come true. When their sacrifices do pay off, it’s inspiring. Bob Wian, the founder of Big Boy restaurants, sold his own vehicle to get the money that he needed for his very first restaurant. He got a whopping 350 bucks (bear in mind that was bigger money back in the 30s, when inflation is factored in) for his ride. That gave him enough capital to get “The Pantry” up and running. As we mentioned earlier, The Pantry was the first iteration of Big Boy. Bob was smart to take a risk. His gamble really paid off. These days, there are weekly meetups outside of the Big Boy restaurant in Burbank, California. People come to that Big Boy to show off their classic cars and check out other people’s classic cars. Each Friday, from four in the afternoon until ten at night, the Classic Car Show is in progress, based on information from the official website. Music legend, Brian Wilson of Beach Boys fame, once attended the show. You may be familiar with the Beach Boys tune, “Little Deuce Coupe”. Brian is into cars! It’s interesting and ironic that the founder of a fast food chain that hosts classic car shows had to sell his own auto to get started in the restaurant biz. Big Boy fans are so glad that Bob Wian was willing to sacrifice his own wheels to become a restaurant owner. He surely bought some amazing cars later on, which were worthy of display at the Big Boy franchise in Burbank.

7. The Owner Invented The Double Deck Cheeseburger

Ever tried a Double Deck Cheeseburger? Big Boy is renowned for these burgers, as well as their French Fries. Founder Bob Wian created the hearty Double Deck Cheeseburger. Today, there are two Double Decks to choose from. Customers may go for Classic Big Boy burgers or choose Super Big Boy burgers. The Classic Big Boy features a couple of beef patties that have been seasoned, as well as American cheese, special sauce and shredded lettuce. All of this goodness is served on a sesame seed bun. When you order a Classic Big Boy with fries, you’ll get great taste and seven hundred and eighty calories. The other option is the Super Big Boy. It’s a bigger version of the original Classic Big Boy. It contains twice as much cheese, plus beef patties and other tempting ingredients. A Super Big Boy with fries has one thousand, one hundred and twenty-five calories. These aren’t the only burgers currently on offer from Big Boy. Another option is the “Best Cheeseburger on the Planet”, which features a half-pound of beef, or the BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger, which is flavor-packed thanks to its BBQ sauce and bacon. Other choices to consider include the Patty Melt, which features American and Swiss cheeses, the Swiss Miss, the Brawny Lad and the Built-By-You Cheeseburger. As the name suggests, the Built-By-You Cheeseburger may be customized with your choice of cheese, toppings and sauce. 

6. The Mascot Was Based On A Real Child

The Big Boy mascot is cute, isn’t he? You may not know that he was based on a real boy. He was just six years of age and his name was Rick Woodruff. Bob Wian was fond of the boy because Rick was really into burgers. He was a loyal customer of Bob’s, right from the beginning. Bob honored the little boy by modeling his famous mascot on Rick. Today, the Big Boy mascot is very famous. It’s an adorable mascot which offers a taste of Americana. People who stop by Big Boy restaurants love getting their pictures taken beside the mascot. He’s a standout sculpture that few can resist. Since he’s so popular, the Big Boy restaurant chain offers fun merchandise that features his image. When you drop by and find the “swag” button, you’ll be directed to a web page that offers official Big Boy merchandise, including t-shirts, dinnerware and a very cute mascot Bobblehead. It’s even possible to order plastic bottles of Big Boy “Michigan special sauce”, Slim Jim sauce and Tartar sauce. Seasoning salt and coffee are also available. While a lovable mascot isn’t enough to keep a restaurant chain afloat, it doesn’t hurt. The mascot is probably the first thing that comes to mind when people hear or see the words, “Big Boy”.

5. The Founder Went Into Politics

Bob Wian was the founder of Big Boy and he passed away at the age of 77. This sad event took place in 1992. Before his passing, he pushed the envelope in business, through his successful restaurant chain, and also got into politics. According to an obituary published at the website, he was once the mayor of Glendale, California. Aside from making waves in local politics, he was renowned for his progressive attitude towards his own Big Boy employees. He was one of the pioneers in terms of offering caring and beneficial programs to his workers, including health insurance plans and profit-sharing plans. Wian didn’t sell his stake in Big Boy until 1967. He was bought out by Marriott Corporation. Later on, Marriott Corp. sold the fast food chain. Wian’s political activities began way back in 1948, when be became a member of the city council in Glendale, California. His time on city council must have inspired him to run for mayor. Naturally, he was successful, just like he was with bis Big Boy restaurants!

4. There Was A Grisly Crime At A Big Boy Restaurant

In 1995, in Ohio, there was a grisly occurrence at a Big Boy restaurant in Toledo. Police was alarmed to discover that an adorable statue of Big Boy had been cruelly vandalized. Poor Big Boy was cut into a bunch of pieces. The evildoers wrote “Big Boy is dead” on pieces of the statue. These rebels without a cause also felt compelled to leave notes at the scene, in order to secure a little local fame. In the notes, they called themselves the “pimps of pimplyness”. That isn’t the only time that a Big Boy statue was the subject of criminal activity. Someone who owned a Big Boy statue and displayed it outdoors, on his property, wasn’t happy when he discovered that his own Big Boy statue was missing. The statue was stolen, but was eventually recovered by the police. A landlord found Big Boy in the basement of a rental property where a bunch of students used to live. When the owner got Big Boy back, he was sickened to discover that someone had added an Adolf Hitler mustache to the statue, as well as a swastika on Big Boy’s forehead, according to a video that featured an interview with the statue’s owner, in addition to pics of the defaced statue. The vandals even added a “thug life” tattoo. The statue was being displayed at the home of a Cincinnati lawyer when it was stolen and defaced in a truly appalling manner. After he got Big Boy back, the owner planned to have him restored to his former glory. He also planned to fill the statue with cement to make it much harder to steal.  

3. A Big Boy Eatery Was A Robert De Niro Movie Location

De Niro fans who also love Big Boy burgers will be pleased to learn that a Big Boy restaurant was a movie location for Robert De Niro’s film, HEAT. This movie also featured actor, Val Kilmer, as well as Al Pacino. Renowned for being a superb movie about L.A., HEAT was filmed at a wide array of locations in Los Angeles, including a Bob’s Big Boy. This particular Big Boy is located in Burbank. The next time you’re starring in a film about a heist, be sure to ask your director to film a heist planning scene at your fave Big Boy! HEAT was directed by Michael Mann and it was a very successful film, thanks in part to its amazing locations. This film was released in 1995. It made a lot of money and it was based on a true story. As you can see, there’s so many untold truths about Big Boy to discover. Since this restaurant’s been around for so long, it’s got a colorful history. Big Boy Burbank seems particularly interesting, because of its classic car shows and its connection to the film, HEAT. Bob’s Big Boy is in a prime location. It’s a Hollywood Big Boy that gets lots of attention.

2. Vintage Big Boy Memorabilia Is Valuable

If you’ve got some authentic Big Boy merchandise at home, and you’re willing to part with it, you should know that your memorabilia may be worth some real money. People adore classic Big Boy merchandise and they are willing to pay a pretty penny for it at auctions, whether the auctions happen online or offline. During the third season of Storage Wars, Jarrod and Brandi bought a bunch of stuff that was in a storage locker and discovered that some Big Boy memorabilia was included. One Big Boy item that was included had a resale value of three hundred to three hundred and fifty bucks. Bear in mind that Big Boy memorabilia has to be genuine and in good condition. It can’t be a clever reproduction of a vintage design. If you have this stuff lying around and you want to drum up some cash, be sure to think about selling it. It might be hard to part with super-cute Big Boy vintage items, such as hand-painted dolls, because they are really special. These items are in demand not just because they are relatively rare, and old. It’s also because they are so much fun to look at. Big Boy memorabilia captures the hopeful spirit of old school America. It’s also valuable. Big Boy also had comic books, which were given to children in the 40s. The legendary Stan Lee once contributed to the Big Boy comic series.

1. The Beatles Loved Noshing At Big Boy

Even musical legends crave fast food. The Beatles were Big Boy fans. There is a Beatles booth in a Big Boy restaurant in Burbank, California. The Beatles used to drop by the restaurant in 1965. This was a pivotal time for the Fab Four. Help! has just been released in the USA. At the Burbank Big Boy, there’s a plaque that names two hits from the record. If you’re in Burbank and you’re a Beatles fan, you may want to go an see the booth and plaque for yourself. Sitting in the booth will mean that you’re sitting in the same place that John, Paul, Ringo and George sat while enjoying their Big Boy food. Now that you know 10 untold truths of Big Boy, you’ve got the inside scoop on this popular burger restaurant chain. You may also find that you’ve worked up an appetite for Big Boy menu items, including the Classic Big Boy burger. Now’s the time to go and enjoy a Big Boy burger and fries. If you’re not lucky enough to have a Big Boy in your area, you may need to settle for a burger from another fast food chain, which doesn’t have such a cute mascot.

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