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Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Flameout: The Rise and Fall of Burger Chef by John P. McDonald
Lessons on how to grow and then kill a restaurant chain
Published in 2011 by CreateSpace
In Flameout, John P. McDonald tells the story of Burger Chef, the one burger company that outpaced McDonald's and could have taken its place at the top of the fast food heap. In 1971 there were 1,200 Burger Chef restaurants and less than 1,300 McDonald's restaurants. By 1982, what was left of Burger Chef was folded into the Hardee's chain and was no more.
I was particularly interested in this book because when I was a kid, the Burger Chef Fun Meal with Burger Chef and Jeff and all of the punch out things you could make with the tray/box were just about the best restaurant experience a little boy could have.
This could have been a very boring tale, but McDonald makes it interesting. He tells about the innovations that took Burger Chef from being just a demonstration restaurant (it was designed to showcase the restaurant equipment manufactured by General Equipment) to the fastest growing restaurant chain in America. And, just as clearly, he details the leadership confusion that led Burger Chef to disaster.
This was a good read, especially for all of us fans of the Fun Meal!
I rate this book 5 stars out of 5.
This book can be found on Amazon.com here: Flameout: The Rise and Fall of Burger Chef
Reviewed on April 10, 2012.