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Steak ‘n Shake

Steak ‘n Shake is a restaurant chain specializing in burgers and milkshakes. It was founded by Gus Belt in 1934 in Normal, Ill. Belt wanted to serve “the finest burgers and shakes in the business,” the company says, and would grind steaks into burgers in front of his customers.

Sardar Biglari of Biglari Holdings took control of Steak ‘n Shake in August 2008 and streamlined the chain’s menu. In 2018, the company tried to change its model to one primarily focused on franchising. Biglari Holdings offered to sell company restaurants to potential franchise partners who would pay $10,000 and commit to a six-month training program.

Many restaurants temporarily closed amid refranchising deals. In February 2020 the company announced plans to reopen some of the closed units with counter service instead of sit-down, to save on labor costs.

In the first quarter of 2020, due to the coronavirus pandemic, Biglari Holdings permanently closed 57 Steak ‘n shake units, 51 of which were company-owned.

Key data: Steak ‘n Shake

Headquarters: San Antonio

Segment: Midscale Dining

Restaurant segment: LSR Burger

Number of U.S. locations: 502

2020 sales: $769,266,000

Annual growth

Source: Datassential Firefly 500

CEO: Sardar Biglari (Biglari Holdings)

Parent company: Biglari Holdings