Defunct Concepts

I wanted to create a entry where we could list known defunct franchise concepts.  This thread has the potential to be informative, reflective, and pleasantly nostalgic.  Please keep it alive and contribute.

Please post the category and name of the franchise.  Here is the updated list from the posts below:


  • Snow White (sort of like a DQ brazier setup)
  • Prince Castle (hamburgers)
  • Geri’s Hamburgers (hamburgers – carry out only)
  • Zuider Zee
  • Burger Chef
  • D'Lites
  • Dog 'N Suds
  • Henry's Hamburger
  • Lum's 
  • Jim Dany Fried Chicken
  • Minnie Pearl's Chicken
  • Jim Dandy Fried Chicken
  • Red Barn
  • Sandy's
  • Minute Man
  • Cedric's Fish & Chips
  • Judy's and Cindy's Hamburger


  • Shasta Pet



Does anyone know if the

Does anyone know if the remaining "Dog n Suds" are franchises or did the franchise  go away and are the remainders independents?FuwaFuwaUsagi

on April 28th, 2007


I would really like the complete history on this franchise, if someone would care to share. What I know is:

  • Started as an independent
  • Bought and franchised by John Y. Brown of KY
  • Bought out by Lums and incorporated into their fare (?)
  • Lums goes out and independent Ollie Trolley operators continue on

That sound right? So, how do you then becoma an independent Ollie Trolley/Ollieburger operator? Who has to say 'yes' and how is that accomplished?

Just call me Curious George......



Posted by Curious George on December 22nd, 2007

Here's a couple for the List

Here's a couple for the list! 

Red BarnSandy'sBurger ChefMinute Man 

Believe & Succeed,DaleFranSynergy, Inc.Synergizing Franchising!

Posted by FranSynergy on April 12th, 2007

Burger Chef

Doh!! I was going to say Burger Chef. BC had salad bars way back in 1974. I believe what was left of the franchise/franchisees were acquired by Hardee's / CKE. Some stayed independent. Anyhow, enjoy this piece of tv nostalgia:

How about Paper Warehouse and Peter Piper Pizza?

on April 12th, 2007

Henry's Hamburgers

Here is one form the 50's.  Actually I am not sure if they were a franchise, though I suspect they were.  At one time they were all over the place: Henry's Hamburgers.Actually I bet this exact concept done today would do very, very well as far as fast food goes.   Sort of a retro Sonic.FuwaFuwaUsagi

on April 12th, 2007

Past Concepts

More History-Lum's - Hot Dogs steamed in beer, etcMinnie Pearl's - The first big franchise disaster that I recall. I believe their failure caused the SEC to change accounting rules on franchisee fees. D'Lites - Low fat hamburgers, yogurt, big salad bar, etc.  Tried to be a healthy Wendy's and when Wendy's reacted (anybody remember getting multi-grain buns at Wendy's), their stock tanked, expansion stopped, and soon they were on the way out. An important lesson, if your real success is contingent upon doing something that no one else is doing, could an existing player easily modify their platform to kill your concept by utilizing their advantages of size, etc. Zuider Zee - Fast food seafood in Texas, Oklahoma area (maybe other places?) that spun off of a full service concept. Notable buildings that include a large Dutch style windmill. Jim Dandy Fried Chicken - Another Texas based concept that sold a couple of times, and eventually (I believe) was rolled into the Church's system. A couple of the guys there started Grandy's in Lewisville, Texas.

Posted by franchise vet on April 13th, 2007

What is Defunct?


We need to define what exactly is a defunct franchise concept. I think a defunct company is one in which their sign no longer hangs out the franchise door. In other words, the brand name is dead.

If Burger Chef or MBE is acquired by another company and their names are changed, is that a defunct concept? Burger Chef was acquired by another burger franchisor in which some owners changed the signage to Hardee's, and the majority of MBE stores changed their signs to the name of a postal service corporation, UPS.

de-funct - longer in existence; dead; extinct:a defunct person; a defunct tribe of Indians. –noun

[Origin: 1540–50; < L défunctus discharged, dead (ptp. of défungī), equiv. to dé- de- + functus performed; see function] Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2006.

Genetically, the Mohican Indians may still be existing in the soup of DNA among the American population, but as a tribe they are defunct. And if a few were absorbed into the Sioux, the Mohicans are still a defunct people. At least that is what the book title Last of the Mohicans implies.  By the way, watch the movie with your wife. It's a good chick flick with an adventure story for the guys - scalping, hunting, running, war -- you know, the good stuff.

on April 13th, 2007

Shasta pet

Shasta pet was a franchise that never really got off the ground.  It was a pet store that seemed to concentrate on selling pets more than staples.  I remember that distinctly.  You can see the difference when you look at modern chains.  They tend to carry a lot of pet food and accessories in terms of floor space.  Shasta had row after row of fish, a few puppies and kittens, birds, lizards and a relatively small food section.  My understanding is it had about 3 franchises that paid a royalty for a long, long time.  The franchise no longer exists although one Pet Store still carries that name.   One of the original owners was a childhood acquaintance of mine.  By that I mean I use to go into there as a kid and into adulthood, it got to the point when I was a young man I use to bring him a cheap bottle at Christmas and he would give me a bag of feeder goldfish as a Christmas gift.  When I was in my early 20s we would chat a bit about business and he told me how he got into it and how he was the only one of the zees still left.   FuwaFuwaUsagi

on April 13th, 2007

History's Franchises


OK. So far we have...

  • Burger Chef
  • D'Lites
  • Dog 'N Suds
  • Henry's Hamburger 
  • Lum's
  • Jim Dany Fried Chicken
  • Minnie Pearl's Chicken
  • Shasta Pet
  • Zuider Zee

... to add to your list above of franchise chains of yesteryear that have now gone to the pages of history. Pages that are recorded right here.


on June 8th, 2007

Re: Defunct Concepts


on March 3rd, 2008

DOGnSUDS (Sonic Like)

My understanding is that the remaining locations are operating as independents in a 'cooperative' manner.  I also believe that there was an attempt to 're-franchise' in the late late 90's early 2000's.  According to our records the Corporate site from which the 're-franchising' efforts were based was, but it is no longer active.  The Franchise Fee at that time was $25,000 with a sliding scale royalty of 3 to 5%.

You can read a little about the History of Dog n Suds, Current Locations, Menu etc at

Believe & Succeed,DaleFranSynergy, Inc.Synergizing Franchising!

Posted by FranSynergy on April 28th, 2007

The trademark registration seems to be dead

Visit if in fact Ollie Trolley & Ollieburger are dead these marks do not enjoy trademark protection. They also likely have little value other than nostalgia for some old folks. 

The Truth Shall Set You Free!


Posted by Truth in Franchising on December 22nd, 2007

Burger Chef Locations

Before General Foods Junked Burger Chef by selling it to Imasco/Hardee's there were roughly 500 stores operating in various parts of the U.S. primarily in the Midwest. So, the story told of a few straggling stores barely hanging on is a widely spread misconception.

on May 18th, 2007

New Pepperoni

Peter Piper Pizza is alive and well.  In fact they recently received some NEW PEPERONI, when acquired by ACON Investments, a Washington D.C. based - Private Equity Firm.

Paper Warehouse was acquired by Party America in 2003.

Believe & Succeed,DaleFranSynergy, Inc.Synergizing Franchising!

Posted by FranSynergy on April 12th, 2007

Broken Arches

That was what people called Burger Chef's sign. Also we can add
H. Salt Fish & Chips
Cedric's Fish & Chips
Judy's and Cindy's Hamburgers (both Wendy's rip offs)

on April 12th, 2007

Burger Chef History

In the case of Burger Chef I believe it would qualify as DEFUNCT.  No clear cut acquisition, very fractured before totally disappearing!


Believe & Succeed,DaleFranSynergy, Inc.Synergizing Franchising!

Posted by FranSynergy on April 13th, 2007

Paul and Michael (and other legal eagles) your input requested

I believe is a concept is absorbed it would count as a defunct concept because the "brand" disappears and "in general" business format franchising comprises the bulk of franchises.  But our legal scholars might have a different take and I would appreciate them chiming in.The primary reason I wanted this thread was to develop a list we could tabulate listing known franchises that no longer exist.  I tend to think it might tend to make prospective franchisees think a little more about what some of the realities of franchising and also aid people's research efforts.  If we get this up to 50 or so I'll start tabulating the names.  The reality is, with effort we should be able to build this to several thousand names.  I think this would be a worthwhile endeavor.Regards,FuwaFuwaUsagi

on April 13th, 2007

Minnie Pearl's chicken / Franchise Times new look

FranchiseVet wrote: Minnie Pearl's - The first big franchise disaster that I recall. I believe their failure caused the SEC to change accounting rules on franchisee fees.

There is an excellent historical feature article in the new issue of Franchise Times on Minnie Pearl, with interviews with the surviving players. (Also, they say they will be running more such pieces... keep that up and I just might renew after all!)

By the way, the editorial content is shifting. FT has (wisely, I think) moved in the direction of Time and the Wall St Journal with the new issue; a lot more analytical content which you wouldn't find on blog sites.

And although FT is now on the web, it is worth paying for the print version, which has more stuff. (For example, look at the print version of the now-famous "Africa" piece and you get a different gut reaction than the FT internet version)

on June 8th, 2007

Co-op Franchise Model

"locations are operating as independents in a 'cooperative' manner"

Anyone know why the "re-franchising" efforts failed?

Seems to me, if co-op standards, product distribution, operational training and local marketing are in order there would be little need to send 5% to corporate. 

Could this be the beginning of the "Co-op Franchise Model"?


Posted by jbm on April 28th, 2007

Thanks Dale FuwaFuwaUsagi

Thanks DaleFuwaFuwaUsagi

on April 28th, 2007

Guest writes: H. Salt Fish

Guest writes: H. Salt Fish & Chips Cedric's Fish & Chips Judy's and Cindy's Hamburgers (both Wendy's rip offs)My reply: H. Salt Fish & Chips are still running in southern california.FuwaFuwaUsagi

on April 20th, 2007

Well, since you mentioned

Well, since you mentioned Minnie Pearl :)

on June 8th, 2007

Minnie Pearl ---FT ----- Whores and Virgins

Thanks, Paul, for the reference to this excellent historical review of the Minnie Pearl failure and the SEC's investigation, etc.. and the quoted perceptions of those involved in the offense and the defense.
I expecially enjoyed the reference to "whores" and "virgins" and I believe this is one of the big problems in franchising today. The whores are out there mixing with the virgins but representing themselves as virgins and the buyer can't tell them apart until an intimate relationship is sealed into contract.

on June 8th, 2007

Burger Chef's Big Shef Is Back!

Speaking of Burger Chef, today's news release is that Burger Chef's Big Shef is back as of today, care of Hardee's.

It's almost as if some marketer at Hardee's read this column in Blue MauMau and wanted to show that Burger Shef is alive and well - in Hardee's.Frankman

on April 25th, 2007

Too Funny - Co-op Franchise Model

So you think that a group of individuals under one banner could build an empire based on a co-op franchise model? You are out of your mind you can't get a group of franchisees to agree on what time it is let alone challenging issue faced by a franchise-type network.

Do you really think that franchisee people somehow have a different mindset than franchisor people? Are the franchisee types more honest, trustworthy and less capitalistic? I think not!

Check on Little Scoops and Gound Round if you think they will take over the world with their programs.

on April 28th, 2007

Whores or Virgins ----

I do so miss Les Stewart. If he were still with us, I'm sure that he would point out that while it is dangerous to buy a Virgin, it is even more dangerous to buy a Whore and to become a guaranteed "franchise fool!"

on June 8th, 2007

Proven System!

Personally, I think most of us can tell the difference between a 'Whore' and a 'Proven System'

If you buy a 'Whore' you knew what you were buying. And when you buy a Virgin, you have no idea what you're getting. Go with the "Proven System".

It all reminds me of a little diddy by Tim Wilson called "100 Things To Remember" in which he says, "She didn't accidently get good in bed."

I encourage due-diligence in all aspects of life. No what you're buying, before you buy it!


on June 8th, 2007

Revisit the whore...

... virgin analogy, and you will see that the speaker was actually saying quite the reverse of what you think. His point was that they were inexperienced, made foolish (but innocent) mistakes and that the government demonized the franchisor, which is not the role of a regulator.

That's why I'm a fan of Dale Cantone (and I don't practice in Maryland, so this ain't sucking up): his office crafts narrow rulings, and you would never know what his personal opinions are about the regulated entity. Quite a difference from some regulators, including our former AG (now-Governor) Spitzer.

on June 8th, 2007

Big Shef = Big Mac?

Big Shef's "signature burger" looks like a Big Mac! Two all beef patties, special Big Shef sauce, lettuce, cheese on a non-sesame seed bun.

Me thinks McD was knocking the block off of Big Chef in the 70s when this thing was invented.

on April 25th, 2007

Such arrogant bias!

Such arrogant bias and this is intelligent discussion? You can see the contempt this person has for posters who advance anything that they are vehemently opposed to because of their own interests.

on April 28th, 2007

Too Funny is Insecure

JB really got to you "Too Funny"! Nothing scares franchisors more than the thought of the units in their network acting as one in any kind of collective bargaining.
The contract of adhesion is specifically designed to prevent this from happening and to allow franchisors to deal one on one with their franchisees. The very thought of any collective bargaining with the network as a whole is frightening and dangerous in their minds.
Franchisees are in buiness to produce profits for franchisors and while they don't mind if you make profits, they don't want any collective bargaining with the franchisees as a whole that would in any way reduce their profits.
In Franchising, the balance of power has been seized by the franchisors in the contracts of adhesion and they use this power to subjugate franchisees to the will of the franchisor and to keep franchisees in their proper place at all times.
This doesn't mean that they aren't some excellent opportunities in franchising but you really need experts to help you decide what is right for you and to help you to get into networks where most of the units are profitable.
This, of course, is not as easy as it looks.

on April 28th, 2007

Role of the Regulator ---Revisit the whore

But, if it is not the role of the regulator to demonize the franchisor for foolish but innocent mistakes and inexperience, etc... it is the role of the regulator to enforce the law, isn't it? In enforceing the law, the SEC was able to demonize the franchisor.

We see in the Minnie Pearl incident that politics played a big part in this episode. One would hope that politics are not involved with regulation but we know that "politics" are involved in developing regulation, if not in enforcing regulation.

Maybe we need a new thread to discuss the role of the regulator in regulating franchising for the public good.

on June 8th, 2007

that expression

What the expression:What's old is new again?FuwaFuwaUsagi

on April 25th, 2007

Tell me how a co-op would work?

You know it all so share with us as to how it would work. Who pays to create the concept before it is franchise ready? Who is in charge of marketing? How is it owned? What if you want to leave the co-op franchise network and go independent? What if you fail and want to sell your assets? Who is in charge and how are they chosen?

You and JB act as though franchising appeared as a new innovation on MySpace. You both had or have franchise units, but that does not mean you know the first thing about franchising.

on April 28th, 2007

$100 is not Too Funny

How many zees are even willing to write a check to AFA or AAFD? That is a lot less effort than organizing and cooperating.When zees decide to get off their butts (mmm, smoked with mustard and saurkraut on the side) and support Franchisee Associations, then something will be done about the imbalance. (Sorry, but that talk about the Wendy's finger is making me so hungry I could eat a horse)

on April 28th, 2007

Collective bargaining

Not likely to happen anytime soon. Once the franchisees agree on what time it is they have to find common ground. Individual franchisee's needs, wants and desires are parachiol in nature and they are not universal. There is little solidarity amongst the franchisees of a franchise network and one the they despise more than the franchisor are their fellow franchisees.

on April 28th, 2007

V go ahead start a new thread

Be my GUEST!

on June 8th, 2007

Isn't StrawHat pizza a

Isn't StrawHat pizza a co-op?FuwaFuwaUsagi

on April 28th, 2007

Collective bargaining

I don't agree with you at all! I think this is just wishful thinking on your part.

The fact remains that most franchisees work long and hard days and don't have time to socialize with their fellow franchisees, and the franchisors like it that way. The franchisors want to deal with their franchisees on a one-on -one basis and it would scare the hell out of them if they thought their franchisees would join together in any serious collective bargaining.

This is why they so often just ignore the Network Associations and won't deal with them because the first time there are concessions, they know the franchisees will be back and the Association will gasin power.

Better to keep them divided and impotent to effect any real change and use the franchise agreements to keep them in line.

Someone indicated that dues to the AAFD or the AFD would help in gaining more power for franchisees and perhaps this is true. But, I believe that the policy of keeping the franchisees separated from each other and dependent upon the franchisor is central to franchising. The conflict of interest inherent in the franchisee's 100% ownership and the franchisor's 100% control silences franchisees in their own interests and the franchisors are very aware of this conflict that operates to their benefit.

The contract of adhesion gives them the clout and the control over these businesses in which they have no ownership and this control must be absolute to protect their position and profits to make up for their lack of any actual ownership in the network units.

It is a rumor that you are buying a a business of your own because it is the franchisor who controls the business in his interests in success and in failure. This is not hard to take if there are profits and you can sell your business at a profit but very hard to take when you are operating at a loss or break even to provide royalties, commissions, and fees for your corporate franchisor.

The only place there is any collective bargaining for franchisees is in the courts.

on April 28th, 2007

Co-op Model II

Guest, I agree...

My knowledge of franchising is very limited, I have only seen it from the trenches, but have a some idea of the weaknesses, and a some idea of the strengths.  Too much time in the trenches limits the MySpace time, so no, my franchising "opinions" did not come via MySpace, although your contempt and condescension are dually noted.

I also agree that a co-op model would not build "empires" or "take over the world".  However, if properly setup could yield a high percentage of profitable owners.


Strawhat Info:

"Straw Hat Pizza is totally owned and operated by its cooperative members; its “parent” company is the Straw Hat Cooperative Corporation. Each owner has a real say in his or her company’s future, and the Cooperative was recently awarded the prestigious seal of Fair Franchising by the American Association Franchisees & Dealers (AAFD). Very few other chains have received this honor, and it is a reflection of the pride and satisfaction Straw Hat owners hold in their company. It is a model organization in the industry."  Pasted from <>


I don't know how this particular Corporation is set up, but, but if I were to do it, I would compared it to - what  a "credit union" is to a "bank".  A credit union is owned by the members and the board of directors manages the administration of the operations.  The BOD answers to the owners.

And since you asked:

The unit owners would collectively own the Franchise.  A board of directors would be established, the brand would be trademarked, licensed and owned by the franchise owners.  Owning a unit would be a prerequisite to be a Co-op member.  Co-op shares would be issued and as the brand grew so would the owner's equity in the franchise.  Shares would be prorated on the amount of the royalties paid.  Each royalty draw would be an investment into the franchise itself.  If the unit is not yet profitable at the local level, the owner would still be building equity in the franchise itself with each fee, each product up-charge and each product "rebate".   A model of cohesion is formed as each unit goes to building the brand and increasing the equity of the owners.  Viability is maintained as expenses are kept to a minimum.

A vesting period would be determined to create stability.  If an owner wanted out, they could cash out the vested amount of shares, take the brand off his site and go independent - protected processes and IP would be terminated, and the former-owner could continue on with his own lease and his own equipment. 

Administrative services such as distribution, logistics, marketing, franchise recruitment, legal services, training, compliance would be contracted out or added to the admin staff and oversight administered by the BOD, and as mentioned above, answering to the owners.

A fixed number of units would be sold each year, with a pre-determined ranking of the best locations as strategically decided on by the co-op board of directors.  Prospective owner profiles would be strict to maintain the cohesion and the "cooperative" portion of the model.  The growth would be slow, but, it would be solid.

A few ideas for the weekend discussions…


Posted by jbm on April 29th, 2007

Yes it is and so what...

A shining example of a commercial success!

on April 28th, 2007

What you say is simply not true...

Franchisees have plenty of opportunity to associate. The realtionship and contract quite frankly is between the franchisor and the franchisee and while franhisees do have the fact that they are all franchisees of the same brand they may have little in common with one another and sometimes compete for business with each other.

It would serve everyone's interest if you would refrain from overusing terminology as a perjorative e.g., "contract of adhesion" we all know most franchise agreements are one-sided and favor the franchisor. Your venom and vitriol diminishes any worthwhile points you may have.

on April 28th, 2007

Cogent response...

I enjoyed your response to my post. In a perfect and uncompetitive world your co-op model would be great, unfortunately the Straw Hat co-op simply will never be a competitive franchise with other franchised pizza brands. The facts of the matter are that franchise buyers are choosing traditional fee, royalty, ad fund, franchise agreement and franchisor controlled franchises, because they work!

on April 29th, 2007

Co-Ops & Franchising

There are many types of co-ops and many examples of successful co-ops within the various types.  Perhaps the best known types of co-ops would be Credit Unions, Rural Electric Co-Ops, Multi-Unit Residential buildings, and buying co-ops.

Comparisons of Co-Ops and Franchising and the use of Co-ops within franchising are nothing new. 

  • Many franchise ad funds are operated under a Co-Op.
  • Many franchisees have formed Co-Ops both with and without the support and assistance of the Franchisor.  IPC is an independent Subway franchisee-owned and operated purchasing cooperative.
  • There are many Co-Ops which have become franchisees; a co-op actually operates 12 IHOP locations in and around the Kansas City market.
  • Co-ops have been formed by franchisees to help maintain concept and operational viability after a franchisor’s demise.
  • ACE Hardware is often ‘seen’ as a franchise, yet actually operates in a co-op model.

JBM's concept although oversimplified and many of the challenges in forming a multi-jurisdictional co-op are not addressed, it is not without merrit.  The biggest challenge is launching from ground ZERO with a Co-Op.  You need a group, to synergize the concept. 

I do not believe that franchising will ever be replaced by Co-Ops, or that Co-Ops will ever become a significant alternative whereby one chooses between Independent-Franchise or Co-Op.  I do however believe that you will see an increased use of co-operatives in the future as a means of creating a competitive advantage to both independents and franchisees.

Believe & Succeed,DaleFranSynergy, Inc.Synergizing Franchising!

Posted by FranSynergy on April 29th, 2007

Are you stating that you

Are you stating that you have substantiation that Straw hat is not a financially viable model?

on April 29th, 2007

I'm saying that...

Straw Hat has average unit volumes of approximately $500K, was started in 1959, only has 50 locations run by 38 franchisees and has 5 people working at the franchisor. Straw Hat is certainly not on fire and has not caught on despite it purported franchisee-focused co-op model. The facts speak for themselves.

Meanwhile, Pizza Hut, Papa John's,Domino's, Papa Murphy's, CPK and Hungry Howies are all working on changing thier models to compete with Straw hat's co-op model, NOT!

on April 29th, 2007

Lost Franchises

I'd like to add another, H. Salt Fish and Chips. I only encountered this chain in the late 60's, on the Mississippi Gulf Coast and in New Orleans. They were very good, with Icelandic Cod and some tasty sides. Shortly after, Arthur Treacher's Fish and Chips opened up, and in a few of the H. Salt locations, but soon disappeared too.

I hate to say it, but we spend about four weeks per year in the UK, and I have never had better fish and chips, that H. Salt, so very long ago.


Posted by Guest on March 17th, 2011

H. Salt in Ithaca, NY till the early 1970s

Great fish and chips!

Posted by Guest on March 17th, 2011

H Salt fish & chips

There are still H. Salt fish & chips stores in California

Posted by Guest on March 19th, 2011

Henry's Hamburgers

I still remember the flavor 40 years later.
Best Shakes anywhere.

Posted by Guest on October 28th, 2011