Bob's Big Boy
Places to Eat Out

Bob's Big Boy

The Original Double Deck Cheeseburger

Updated July 2024
Posted May 2024

Bob's Big Boy Starters Menu
Bob's Big Boy Menu
  • Starters
  • Salads
  • Burger Combos

Bob's Big Boy Entrees Menu
Bob's Big Boy Menu
  • Famous Fried Chicken
  • Entrees
  • Famous Chili

Bob's Big Boy Sandwich Menu
Bob's Big Boy Menu
  • Sandwich Combos
  • Famous Big Boy

Bob's Big Boy Dessert Menu
Bob's Big Boy Menu
  • Fountain
  • Other Beverages
  • Desserts
  • Breakfast

Bob's Big Boy Breakfast Menu
Bob's Big Boy Menu
  • Eye Openers
  • Eggs and More
  • Pancakes or French Toast
  • Belgian Waffles

Bob's Big Boy Specialties Menu
Bob's Big Boy Menu
  • Specialties
  • Omelet or Scramble
  • Sides
  • Famous Ham

Bob's Big Boy Old Menu 35c Hamburger
35c Hamburger

Bob's Big Boy Old Menu 50c Hamburger
50c Hamburger

Bob's Big Boy Old Menu 55c Hamburger
55c Hamburger

Bob's Big Boy Old Menu Hamburger 55c
55c Hamburger

Bob's Big Boy Old Menu 75c Hamburger
75c Hamburger

Bob's Big Boy Water
Bob's Big Boy Ice Water

Bob's Big Boy Original Big Boy Combo
Original Big Boy Combo
The original double-deck hamburger
  • Two "Never Frozen" Burgers
  • Lettuce
  • Cheese
  • Mayo
  • Our Special Red Relish
Bob's Big Boy Original Big Boy Combo

Bob's Big Boy Original Big Boy Combo
Bob's Big Boy Original Big Boy Combo

Bob's Big Boy Eggs Benedict
Eggs Benedict
  • Toasted English Muffin
  • Lean Ham
  • Poached Eggs
  • Hollandaise Sauce
Bob's Big Boy Eggs Benedict

Bob's Big Boy Fruit Cup
Fruit Cup
Bob's Big Boy Fresh Fruit Cup

Big Boy Restaurants

WIKIPEDIABig Boy Restaurant Group, LLC
American casual dining restaurant chain headquartered in Southfield, Michigan. The Big Boy name, design aesthetic, and menu were previously licensed to a number of regional franchisees.

Big Boy began as Bob's Pantry in 1936 by Bob Wian in Glendale, California. The restaurants became known as "Bob's", "Bob's Drive-Ins", "Bob's, Home of the Big Boy Hamburger", and (commonly as) Bob's Big Boy. It became a local chain under that name and nationally under the Big Boy name, franchised by Robert C. Wian Enterprises; Wian only required franchisees to use "Big Boy" and not include his name "Bob's".

Marriott Corporation bought Big Boy in 1967. One of the larger franchise operators, Elias Brothers, purchased the chain from Marriott in 1987, moved the headquarters of the company to Warren, Michigan, and operated it until bankruptcy was declared in 2000. During the bankruptcy, the chain was sold to investor Robert Liggett, Jr., who took over as chairman, renamed the company Big Boy Restaurants International and maintained the headquarters in Warren.

In 2018, Big Boy was sold to a group of Michigan investors and renamed Big Boy Restaurant Group, with David Crawford as chairman, CEO, and co-owner of the new company. The company is the operator or franchisor for 66 Big Boy restaurants in the United States and two in Thailand. In January 2020, Tamer Afr replaced Crawford as chairman, CEO, and co-owner.

Immediately after Liggett's purchase, Big Boy Restaurants International - then known as Liggett Restaurant Enterprises - negotiated an agreement with the other large franchise operator, Frisch's Restaurants. The Big Boy trademarks in Kentucky, Indiana, and most of Ohio and Tennessee transferred to Frisch's ownership; all other Frisch's territories transferred to Liggett. Thus Frisch's is no longer a franchisee, but Big Boy Restaurant Group and Frisch's are now independent co-registrants of the Big Boy name and trademark. Frisch's operates 90 Big Boy restaurants in the United States, which 10 are franchised.

Big Boy Japan, also independent of Big Boy Restaurant Group, operates 274 restaurants in Japan.

The Big Boy Mascot
The chain is best known for its trademark chubby boy with a pompadour hairstyle wearing red-and-white checkered overalls holding a Big Boy sandwich (double-decker cheeseburger). The inspiration for Big Boy's name, as well as the model for its mascot, was Richard Woodruff of Glendale, California. When he was six years old, Woodruff walked into the diner Bob's Pantry as Bob Wian was attempting to name his new hamburger. Wian said, "Hello, Big Boy" to Woodruff, and the name stuck. Warner Bros. animation artist Ben Washam sketched Richard's caricature, which became the character seen on the company trademark.

In 1955, Bob Wian hired Manfred Bernhard, son of graphic designer Lucian Bernhard, to create a new public image for Big Boy. Bernhard was not impressed with Washam's mascot, saying it was sloppy and had a moronic expression. The "West Coast Big Boy" mascot was revised, fiberglass statues molded, schemes created for menus and building designs, and a comic book for children launched.

In 1951, Bob Wian's original franchisee Dave Frisch developed a slightly different Big Boy character. He was slimmer, wore a side cap, saddle shoes and striped overalls. Having reddish or blonde hair, he was portrayed in a running pose. Known as the "East Coast Big Boy", he was copyrighted by Frisch's and used for statues and comic books for Frisch's, and its subfranchisees Manners and Azar's. Before 1954, Parkette (Shoney's) used both versions, though never together. Since 1956, the Wian "West Coast Big Boy" design was used exclusively by all franchisees other than Frisch's, Manners and Azar's. In the late 1960s, both characters were redrawn to appear similar, incorporating the checkered outfit, pompadour and hamburger above the raised arm from the West Coast design, and the running pose and direction of the East Coast design. In the 1980s, the hamburger was removed from the West Coast design; representing a de-emphasis of the hamburger in North American Big Boy restaurants, it also accommodated the Japanese Big Boy restaurants, which do not serve hamburgers on a bun.

Wikipedia Bob's Big Boy Mascot

The Evolution of the Big Boy Mascot

  • 1937 A The first Big Boy (left) was derived from a sketch by Warner Brothers animation artist Bennie Washam in 1937. A frequent customer, Washam doodled the character on a napkin for Bob Wian for a free lunch. The logo, redrawn holding a hamburger (right), was typically used by Wian and several early franchisees: Parkette (Shoney's), Elias Brothers and Frejlach's. The orientation was also reversed.
  • 1952 B Wian's first franchisee, David Frisch, developed his own Big Boy character. Dated 1952, the design was copyrighted in 1951 and became known as the East Coast Big Boy. He was the model for fiberglass statues used by Frisch's, and subfranchises Azar's and Manners. This Big Boy varied between blond and reddish blond hair. Unlike West Coast designs (A) and (C), he held the hamburger in both hands and was always running to his left.
  • 1956 C This scheme introduced the modern Big Boy character and is the model for the iconic fiberglass statues. It replaced Wian's original figure (A), and was actually seen in 1955 Shoney's advertisements. Typically drawn with the hamburger atop his right arm, occasionally the hamburger was raised atop his left arm. Shown is a common version of the several renderings used. By 2009, a new styled version is sometimes being used again.
  • 1969 D Revised East Coast Big Boy.
  • 1969 E Revised West Coast Big Boy.
    The differences between the East and West Coast designs, including the statues, created confusion along the Ohio-Michigan border where Frisch's and Elias Brothers operated. This motivated a common Big Boy mark, derived with elements of both predecessors, (B) and (C). He retained the look of the West Coast figure (C) but assumed the running pose and orientation of the East Coast figure (B). Nonetheless, similar West and East Coast versions were realized, maintaining the facial style of the previous marks, respectively. Frisch's continued to use (D) through 2016.
  • 1981 F To emphasize a full menu the hamburger was removed from the West Coast design.
  • 1988 G After buying Big Boy, Elias Brothers lowered the left arm completely.

The Big Boy Hamburger

The novel hamburger started as a joke. In February 1937, some local big band musicians, who were regular customers of Bob's Pantry, visited the restaurant. When ordering, bass player Stewie Strange asked, "How about something different, something special?". Bob Wian improvised, creating the first (then unnamed) Big Boy, intending the thing "look ridiculous, like a leaning tower". Demand for "the special" soared but Wian sought a "snappy" name, which became Big Boy. In 1938, the Big Boy hamburger cost 15¢. Several slogans were used from the 1950s through the 1970s to promote the Big Boy hamburger, such as, "A Meal in One on a Double-Deck Bun" and "Twice as Big, Twice as Good". On menus from that period, it was called, "...the Nationally Famous, Original Double-Deck Hamburger...".

The Signature Big Boy Hamburger is the original double deck hamburger.

The Big Boy hamburger inspired and was the model for other double deck hamburgers. This includes McDonald's Big Mac, Burger Chef's Big Shef and Burger King's Big King.

Two thin beef patties placed on a three-layer bun with lettuce, a single slice of American cheese, and either mayonnaise and red relish (a combination of sweet pickle relish, ketchup, and chili sauce), Big Boy special sauce (often called thousand island dressing) or (at Frisch's, Manners and Azar's) tartar sauce on one or each slice of bun. (Regardless, the Big Boy condiment used was often simply referred to as "special sauce" on menus chainwide.) Wian used a sesame seed bun while Frisch's used a plain bun and included pickles.

The Big Boy hamburger originally called for a quarter pound (4 ounces) of fresh ground beef, but later, franchisees were permitted to use frozen beef patties, and the minimum content reduced to a fifth of a pound to offset increasing food costs. Other specifications were exacting, such as the bun's bottom section being 1 1/2 inches high and the center section 3/4 inches, and 1 1/2 ounces of shredded lettuce used.

Wikipedia Bob's Big Boy Franchisees Logos Bob's Big Boy Franchisees Logos
Franchisees were once required to use their own name with the Big Boy name and character. Some changed logos periodically and these show designs used while a Big Boy affiliate, most dating from the mid 1950s to the mid 1960s. Eat'n Park, Shoney's and JB's are no longer affiliated with Big Boy. Logos for Adler's, Arnold's, Bud's and Chez Chap were not available to the artist.

Other Wikipedia Citings

Bob's Big Boy Thousand Oaks Statue

Bob's Big Boy Statue Sighting

Northridge, California