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Latest Deals | 28th June 2022




South Africa’s original burger shop has been operating in the market for more than 50 years.

Wimpy is a chain of fast food restaurants founded by Edward Gold in 1934. The first restaurant opened in Bloomington, Indiana, and was originally called “Wimpy Grills”. Within two years, Edward had expanded the concept to Chicago and relocated his company to the city. By 1947, the brand was well established in Chicago with 26 outlets. Wimpy expanded to the UK in 1954 when a license was sold to J. Lyons & Co. The company opened the “Wimpy Bar” on Coventry Street in London. The UK and US divisions came together to form a joint company, Wimpy International Inc., with the purpose of opening outlets in other countries. The first international Wimpy stores opened were in Ireland and France in the early 1960s. Next, the company set its sights on the South African market, and in 1967, opened the first Wimpy at Murchie’s passage in Durban.

Wimpy South Africa was successful, opening a number of restaurants throughout the 70s and 80s, and the restaurant partnered with Engen to have outlets operating from its service stations. While Wimpy continued to serve the burger meals and fries that were popular in the US and UK, the local outlets added breakfasts to the menu, and the Wimpy Breakfast and Famous Frothy Coffee became a hit. Wimpy’s ownership changed hands in the 1970s when it was bought out by Bakers SA Ltd, and in 1987, Juicy Lucy’s parent company, Pleasure Foods, took over the reins. Due to competition from chains such as Burger King and McDonald’s, Wimpy had vanished from the US market but it continued to thrive in South Africa. When Famous Brands bought out Pleasure Foods in 2007, the company also took over Wimpy UK’s operations and relocated the headquarters to Johannesburg. Today, Wimpy operates from more than 500 locations across South Africa.

Wimpy was the first fast food chain in South Africa to introduce espresso-based beverages through its Premium Blend Coffee Range.

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