White Castle system, Inc. was founded in 1921 by E.W. "Billy Ingram" in Columbus Ohio. This burger competitor was known for the unique flavor of the small square burger (McDonald, 1998). White Castle had a rapid growth where 100 stores were opened by 1930. A slow down occurred during World War II because of the need to ration meat During that time, about 70 stores were opened. White Castle started to grow again after the Korean War. The company restaurants are located in urban areas and target upper lower class consumers. The company has a very loyal following and is an unusual competitor in the world of fast-food restaurants. White castle is a privately held company that has no franchises. The company has expanded internationally with restaurants opening in Malaysian and Bahamas. White Castles has been successful in the past and the bar graph below from the 90s' show the company's average sales of over 1.5
million from its 257 restaurant (University of Phoenix, 2006).
Figure 1 White Castle Revenues (McDonald, 1998)
White Castle's marketing campaign capitalizes on the unique qualities of its product. "The Crave" is depicted in radio and television spots as a sort of addiction to White Castle burgers. An individual afflicted by "The Crave" can only be satisfied by slyders. While "The Crave" marketing strategy is presented in a light hearted, tongue-in-cheek fashion, many loyal patrons of the restaurant contend they do become afflicted by "The Crave" from time to time. It is argued that the size, construction, and cooking method of White Castle burgers are unique among fast food products. Therefore, it is conceivable that "The Crave", in fact, is a specific yearning for the attributes possessed only by slyders. Another possible explanation is that affordability and convenience of White Castle burgers...