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From wholesome family Dishes to 4 a.m. pit stops, Steak ‘n Shake was serving up all-American fare to generations of hungry diners. But there is more to the throwback franchise than hand-dipped shakes, yummy steakburgers and those fantastic paper hats.
It started as a gas station serving fried chicken and beer.
Creator Gus Belt and his wife, Edith, around the time of The Great Depression, started offering fried chicken, chips and coleslaw at their Normal, Illinois Shell for $.45. Beer was just $.09. After the city council voted 2 to 1 to prohibit the sale of alcohol, then the Belts decided to open a burger restaurant, and in 1934 Steak ‘n Shake was born.
Hamburgers were widely (and justifiably) seen as low-fat fare. To exacerbate clients’ worries, Gus Belt created an open kitchen so that they could watch their steakburgers being cooked–a layout that still exists now in Steak ‘n Shake restaurants, reflecting Belt’s motto, “In Sight It Must Be Right”.
After the restaurant was occupied, Belt liked to roll a cone full of all t-bones, sirloins and round steaks into the restaurant and then grind everything in full view of patrons. Regrettably, this practice does not still exist at Steak ‘n Shake, or even in any American restaurant.
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Gus wasn’t scared to get dirty.
Writer of Selling Steakburgers, Belt used to go through the restaurant’s garbage and returned plates to determine what customers weren’t eating. He used his disgusting findings to decorate the menu.
Gus Belt died in 1954, leaving Edith to operate the business. After Gus died, his wife ran the company for 15 years.
Steak ‘n Shake nearly became another fast food restaurant.
Beneath Longchamps, Steak ‘n Shake started cheapening food prep (it created shakes from a mixture instead of employing ice cream, for example) to reduce costs and to compete with favorite fast foods restaurants. After Longchamps sold to Indiana-based Franklin Corporation in 1971, CEO Robert Cronin took the series back to its roots and introduced menu items such as baked beans and cottage cheese.
“Love their shakes. And who could blame me. I understand that their Shakes are rated Number One by Zagat, the people who understand their food and restaurants. There are so many great choices but I prefer a Peanut Butter Shake! I went through their drive thru window and I found the service to be friendly and fast.”
Website : https://www.steaknshake.com/
Address: 503 MO-76, Branson, MO 65616
Hours : Mon – Sun: 10AM – 10PM
Address: 1386 Hwy 376, Branson, MO 65616
Hours : Open 24 hours