Shoney’s: Now Available in Fast-Casual Style

One of the oldest American family/burger restaurant brands embraces the new fast-casual philosophy tomorrow when Shoney’s opens its limited-service prototype, Shoney’s On the Go, in Houston.

Beginning as Alex “Shoney” Schoenbaum’s Parkette Drive-In in Charleston, W.Va., in 1947, the name became Shoney’s and the restaurant became a Big Boy franchisee in 1951. The Big Boy affiliation ended in 1984, but Shoney’s has continued as a Nashville-based, family-dining icon in the Southeast, known for its All-American burger.

Favorites such as the All-American and Shoney’s Double Decker burgers, the Slim Jim sandwich and Country Fried Steak platter are still on the breakfast/lunch/dinner menu at Shoney’s On the Go and are available via a drive-thru window.

“Our mission has been to restore the great American Shoney’s brand to its glory days once again. And I believe a fast-casual version of the iconic brand is a necessity to address America’s fast-paced lifestyle,” Shoney’s CEO David Davoudpour said in a release announcing the planned August 15 opening. He said the company intends to open 50 Shoney’s On the Go units—positioned as having “great Shoney’s food at an even better value”— in Houston over the next five years.

Source: The NPD Group/Fast Casual: A Growing Market

Shoney’s is just the latest of several family-dining brand to see the necessity of trying restaurants with lower menu prices that are less expensive to build and staff. Denny’s, which earlier tried and failed with a Denny’s Café concept, is trying limited-menu Denny’s Fresh Express restaurants in six locations. A similar concept, IHOP Express, opened in November 2011 and Friendly’s has Friendly’s Express. Read More