Located at 432 N. Gilbert Street in Danville, Illinois. Visited September 3, 2005.
Henry Schroeder opened this restaurant as a Burger Chef in 1960. The store operated as such until the franchise contract expired in 1992. Today, Henry's son, Butch Schroeder, continues to run the restaurant under its new name. Butch graciously agreed to meet with me over Labor Day weekend to reminisce and share his collection of Burger Chef memorabilia.
When I arrived, I waited while Butch personally helped his kitchen staff through a rush. It's just that sort of personal attention that won his store highest sales volume of any Burger Chef in the nation for over a decade. Unlike other franchisees, the Schroeder's deliberately stuck to one store. This allowed them to concentrate on the most minute details and ensure quality service. Butch understands that when you over-reach, you can lose the personal touch and attention necessary to run a top notch operation. Scattered among his collection of Burger Chef mementos were a number of awards and well-deserved recognition:
Among Mr. Schroeder's collection are a number of photographs. As he shared them with me he'd point out teenagers on his crew from the 70's and tell me of their current success, as lawyers and such. He humbly tried to hide a grin of satisfaction. Visiting with Mr. Schroeder was an absolute joy. I greatly appreciate the time he took to meet with me.
Photo from Burger Chef newsletter Front Page, caption reads, "Hardee's Food Systems Chairman and President Jack Laughery, Burger Chef President John Martin, and Imasco Ltd. President and Chief Operating Officer L. Edmond Ricard put the ink to the parchment just to make the Hardee's/Burger Chef merger "official."