Published on 8 Apr 2022 Time 3 min read Last update by 26 Apr 2024

Is White Castle a Franchise? The Most Influential Burger Chain in America (2024)

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White Castle is an American fast-food and regional burger chain founded in Wichita, Kansas, in 1921 by Walter Anderson and Billy Ingram. It is popular for its small, square burgers. It currently has more than 400 active locations in 13 states and the District of Columbia.

White Castle is credited with being one of the first companies to use a limited menu, standardized operations, and supply chain management to sell a product en masse. In 2014, Time Magazine labeled The White Castle Slider as the most influential burger of all time in America. It ranked just ahead of The McDonald’s Burger and The In-N-Out Burger.


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The White Castle Brand


The company’s first location was a small stand that sold burgers for five cents each. White Castle quickly became popular for its burgers, which were made with fresh beef and onions grilled on a bed of hot coals.

In 1924, the company began using gas-fired grills, which allowed them to expand its operations to include drive-in restaurants.

Today, the company is headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, and is owned by CKE Restaurants Holdings, Inc. It’s current CEO is Lisa Ingram.

The Modern Fast-Food Phenomenon

White Castle franchise

Walter Anderson is credited with the invention of the burger bun as well as “the kitchen as an assembly line, and the cook as infinitely replaceable technician”.

Due to White Castle’s innovation of having chain-wide standardized methods, customers could be sure that they would receive the same product and service in each of its restaurants. Ingram’s business savvy not only was responsible for its success but for the popularization of the burger.

White Castle also markets its sandwiches in 30-burger boxes, called a Crave Case. A “Crave Crate” is also offered, with the contents being 100 burgers. A variety of its products (mostly frozen) are also sold in grocery stores.

The Estimated Cost of Castle White (If it were a franchise)

To become a White Castle store owner, the initial investment is estimated to be between $374,050 and $2.45 million. This includes the cost of setting up the restaurant, purchasing equipment, and stocking the menu.

The franchise fee for a store is $30,000. To be approved as a franchisee, you must have at least $1.0 million in net worth and $250,000 in liquid assets.

It typically takes about 18 months to open a new White Castle location once you are approved as a franchisee.


White Castle is not yet a franchise. But that doesn’t mean it never will be. Based on it’s growth rate, there is potential to be a very profitable investment.

In addition, it is a well-positioned and recognized fast-food chain in the United States and other countries around the world. Because of its corporate culture and excellent treatment of employees, many people want to be involved in the company. If you are one of them, keep an eye out for a White Castle franchise.

Are you thinking about investing in a grocery store franchise, or are you interested in exploring more options? Be sure to check out the Vetted Biz website for a list of other similar franchises in the Food and Beverage sector.

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