The Untold Truth Of Freddy's Frozen Custard & Steakburgers

Lots of great fast food chains seem to start in Wichita, KS, including Freddy's Frozen Custard & Steakburgers. This hamburger and custard joint was created in 2002 by Kansas native and World War II veteran Freddy Simon along with his two sons, Bill and Randy, and a family friend Scott Redler (via Freddy's). The foursome firmly placed the restaurant's roots in the Sunflower State. Named after co-founder Freddy Simon, the franchise has built a reputation that centers around the work ethic Freddy cultivated during his youth working on a farm near Colwich, Kansas. He joined the U.S. Army and earned both a Purple Heart and Bronze Star for his service during World War II. His drive and dedication carried over to the creation of the franchise. The chain's retro décor, which features photos of the decorated veteran in his uniform, is a nod to his enduring patriotism and service to his country. Even the service pins given to longtime employees (via Franchise Times) and the dedication to hard work and "honest hospitality" – aka great customer service -  are part of the Freddy vibe the chain has striven to create (via Freddy's). 

Today, from coast to coast, there are well over 300 franchises across the United States (via Forbes). But before this growing chain became a household name, did you know they had originally planned to just have one restaurant (via Business News Daily)?

The key to their meteoric rise

When the Simons and Redler began their fast food journey, they didn't dream about becoming a big chain. They just wanted to create something successful that hearkened back to the food of their youth. Redler believes the secret to their success lies in the fact that all of the partners were already successful businessmen. No one's mortgage was riding on the success of this venture. This allowed for the project to be a labor of love, meaning they didn't need to compromise on their vision (via The Wichita Eagle). For example, they liked chewable ice for sodas, so they purchased special ice machines that were more expensive, and they didn't skimp on the type of hot dogs they wanted to sell or the way the French fries were made either. They wanted everything to be perfect. 

Those decisions are a huge part of the chain's unyielding success. The quality of a restaurant's food is what keeps customers coming back and from their made-to-order cheeseburgers to the shoestring fries and their special "fry sauce" that's also sold at grocery stores, to the iconic frozen custard swimming in hot fudge and gummy worms, Freddy's has created the perfection they set out to achieve. 

Freddy's is international

While turning Freddy's into a franchise business may not have been the end game of this venture, the Simon brothers hailed from successful careers in doing just that. Bill Simon had spearheaded franchisee efforts with Pizza Hut and Rent-A-Center (via Freddy's) while Randy Simon had launched a Pizza Hut franchise that exploded to 42 locations in Texas and New Mexico, as well as his work to grow franchises like Panera and Rent-A-Center (via Freddy's). And Scott Redler brought a wealth of restaurant industry knowledge to the table, having been a sole proprietor of a quick service Chinese restaurant, and the executive vice president of American Cafe in D.C (via Start-up Grind). They were clearly poised for success.

And proof of that success is Freddy's Frozen Custard & Steakburgers expansion internationally. In 2018, the chain signed its first agreement to develop its family-friendly, nostalgic brand abroad in Dubai. Additionally, their agreement extends to the Middle East countries of Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates (via Nation's Restaurant News). Freddy, along with his son Randy and their friend and partner Scott Redler are proud of how their concept has grown while staying true to its origins. Sadly, Bill Simon succumbed to cancer in 2016, but his legacy lives on in Freddy's Frozen Custard & Steakburgers.