What You Don't Know About The Founders Of Culver's

Whether it is that first bite of a ButterBurger or a spoonful of frozen custard, Culver's restaurants are bringing those Wisconsin foods to people outside of the Frozen Tundra. Culver's was founded by spouses Craig and Lea Culver and Craig's parents, George and Ruth Culver (via Culver's website). The collective group was not a bunch of novices to the restaurant industry when they opened the first location in Sauk City, Wisconsin. As Thrillist reports, George and Ruth previously operated an A&W restaurant at the same location where the first Culver's restaurant was later opened. They also operated the resort Farm Kitchen. While Craig turned down an opportunity to work for his parents graduating from college, he worked at McDonald's for four years prior to starting his own quick-service restaurant concept (via QSR magazine).

Culver's set out to create a different kind of quick-service restaurant. With competition from a Hardee's located very close by, they knew that their new venture needed to stand out both with its menu and its mission. Using Ruth Culver's homemade recipe for the ButterBurgers, a burger was made equal in size to a single scoop of ice cream because a scoop was used to make them. Having become a massive fan of frozen custard while in college, Craig Culver was the person who decided it was the perfect treat to go with the signature Butterburger.  But, the food is only part of the Culver's success story.

Food is only part of the Culver's founders' story

Even though people focus on that Butterburger and frozen custard, Craig Culver relied on a saying from his father: "Don't mess with the quality or cheapen the product," per a document from Culver's Franchising System. Given that Culver shared in a QSR magazine interview that he started in the restaurant industry at age 11, he seems to have many years of welcoming guests, serving them good food, and providing them with "true hospitality." While the commitment to food that's "handcrafted with care" is always paramount, those other ingredients have no doubt led to Culver's being named as the "America's third favorite restaurant chain" by Restaurant Business in 2018.

According to Culver's, the "dedication to hospitality goes back to Craig's mother, Ruth Culver." Known as the "Queen of Hospitality," she "had a special way about her that made every guest who visited Culver's feel welcomed like a guest in her home." As guests enter a restaurant, that warm welcome is as important as a well-made meal. Lea Culver extended that concept to include community outreach, as seen with Culver's commitment to charitable endeavors, like the Culver's Foundation, which helps to provide "basic needs" to local communities. 

No matter which Culver's location you choose, guests should expect warm hospitality, a tasty ButterBurger, and a luscious scoop of frozen custard will be waiting for them with a welcoming smile.