The Real Reason White Castle's Famous Sliders Have Holes

Even though White Castle is such a legendary name in the food business and has been a name to reckon with since 1921, they were, from the beginning, in the pursuit of better and more efficient methods without compromising on quality. Founded by an innovative entrepreneur, Billy Ingram, the original idea was to create scrumptious, affordable hamburgers for the public. As per White Castle, Ingram's innovation with just $700 and his desire to feed people. 

As the demand for White Castle burgers grew over the years, the time constraints were becoming a serious issue for the business. They needed to look beyond the traditional method that involved simply flipping the burgers. Per Taste of Home, in a bid to combat this problem, the White Castle burgers eventually evolved to include five holes in the patties — yes, really. But how did this idea take root?

Way back in 1954, one of the staff members at a Cincinnati-area White Castle restaurant, Earl Howell, tipped off managers by suggesting that it would be possible to keep up with the increasing demand and popularity of their sliders with a neat hack which would also help add more flavor to the hamburgers by enhancing the taste of the onions in the dish.

This hack helps the chefs make burgers faster

According to Thrillist, White Castle did directly address the fact that the burgers have holes in them. "Why do we have holes in our burgers?" White Castle Vice President Jamie Richardson once asked. "Well, there's the metaphysical answer, which is: They simply do." This was before he finally led the public in on their secret and said, "OK, there's also a functional answer, too."

Richardson then brought up how they decided to implement the change in 1954 thanks to their staff member, Earl, as it then meant they would no longer have to flip the burgers — instead, the holes allowed them to cook through without flipping. "At that time, we were having a major burger boom," Richardson explained. "Earl was trying to figure out ways for us to get our burgers out faster because the store was having trouble keeping up with orders. We tested out his theory, and well... he was right." And there you have it. White Castle's square hamburgers have holes in them for very strategic reasons and looks like this hack has done wonders for them so far!