How Fast Food Joints Got Their Names
From Arby’s to Wendy’s, we love our fast food. Ever wonder how these restaurants got their names? Dictionary.com explains what’s in a name — specifically, how 10 of our favorites got their name.
The chain was founded by the Raffel Brothers. The name comes from the enunciation of the initials of two words…RB.
Three New Jersey high school friends founded the subway sandwich chain in 1964. They decided against using the words “hoagie” or “subway,” and settled on Blimpie when one of them saw the word “blimp” in the dictionary and thought it sounded like a sandwich.
3. Burger King
It was founded in Jacksonville, Florida in 1953 with the name Insta-Burger King. After it was sold to new owners, they shortened the name.
The name comes from the founders, Dick and Mac McDonald. The brothers started the restaurant in 1940 and sold it to Ray Kroc in 1955, who (obviously) kept the name.
Contrary to conventional wisdom, the chicken chain, founded by Alvin Copeland in 1972, was named after the character Popeye Doyle in “The French Connection” and not after the cartoon character. Eventually, Popeyes management gave in and licensed use of the cartoon character.
The name comes from the “Moby Dick” character Starbuck because it “evoked the romance of the high seas and the seafaring tradition of the early coffee traders,” says the company’s website.
On the advice of a friend named Peter Buck, Fred DeLuca started a sandwich shop in 1965 because he wanted to go to medical school. Buck thought it would be a good way for DeLuca to earn the tuition money. Because of his friend’s encouragement and financial assistance starting the restaurant, DeLuca named it Pete’s Super Submarines. The name was changed to Subway in 1968. DeLuca never went to medical school.
8. Taco Bell
Glen Bell, the founder, just combined the No. 1 menu item with his last name.
Originally the acronym meant “This Can’t Be Yogurt,” but after the company was sued by a similarly-named competitor, it was changed to “The Country’s Best Yogurt.”
Dave Thomas, who founded the business in Columbus, Ohio in 1969, named it after his daughter, Wendy.