Burger Chef Was The First Place To Have This Fast Food Combo

If you were born after 1996, then chances are you may have never even heard of Burger Chef. The chain once ranked toward the top of the booming fast food industry with 1,600 locations on the U.S. map — second only to McDonald's, according to MeTV — but even in its heyday, the burger joint did not exactly get credit where credit was due.

Burger Chef first made its way onto the scene in 1958 after opening its first location in Indianapolis. The new burger restaurant's mission was to serve customers a more distinguished, fresher fast food experience, especially in comparison to Burger King. Burger Chef took off, paving the way for a rapid expansion that would temporarily give McDonald's a run for its money (via TIME).

The magazine explains that Burger Chef's success was largely due to its innovation. The chain's menu introduced some fast food combos that America swears by today. As a matter of fact, Burger Chef was the very first fast food joint to offer the now-classic combo meal that consists of a burger, fries, and a drink, says TIME. It was known to patrons as "The Triple Threat" and — although present day fast food connoisseurs may scoff at this — it was sold for a whopping 45 cents (via TIME). Talk about cheap fast food!

Burger Chef pioneered more than just the combo meal

McDonald's is no stranger to court cases. With a corporation as big as Mickey D's, some legal drama is bound to pop up. But this one instance has likely long since been buried — chances are, you never even knew about it!

Believe it or not, Burger Chef was actually the first chain to offer a toy with a kids' meal, reports MeTV. Yes, you heard that right — McDonald's did not invent the premise behind the Happy Meal, after all.

According to Business Insider, Burger Chef introduced the kids' meal-plus-toy combo in 1973. The "Fun Meal" deal was so popular that the chain even collaborated with Star Wars to create exclusive themed kids' meals in 1978. But by the following year, McDonald's had stolen the chain's thunder with the introduction of the Happy Meal.

Burger Chef brought the battle to court, but the case was ultimately dismissed. The litigation did not stop there, though. In 1981, Burger King got in on the action with the addition of the Fun School Meal on their menu. The two Burger chains ultimately settled out of court, but the damage was long done to Burger Chef, who originally invented it all. Business Insider reports that the last and final Burger Chef location shuttered its doors in 1996, leaving its legacy completely unheard, even among fast food fans nationwide.