Arthur Treacher's Fish and Chips is a fast food seafood restaurant chain. As of 2008 , there were 45 stores in 8 northern states of the United States which serve fish and chips, (plus a post office box in Grand Cayman). Its main competitors are Long John Silver's and Captain D's.
The chain was named after Arthur Treacher (1894–1975), an English character actor who was known as "the perfect butler" for his performances as Jeeves, as a butler in several Shirley Temple films, and the role of Constable Jones in Mary Poppins. He served as a spokesman for the restaurant chain in its early years, underscoring the British character of its food.
Malin's of Bow, an enterprising restaurant in London, England, began wrapping fried whitefish filets in newspaper for customers to take with them in 1865. Over one hundred years later, Arthur Treacher's Inc. purchased Malin's of Bow and opened the first Arthur Treacher's restaurant. The location was Columbus, Ohio, and the year was 1969.
The franchise company was started in 1969 as National Fast Food Corp. National Fast Food's principals at the time included S. Robert Davis, a real estate developer who built and leased several Colonel Sanders Kentucky Fried Chicken properties, his friend Dave Thomas, who sold his Colonel Sanders franchises back to that company for $3,000,000 and went on to found Wendy's, and L. S. Hartzog, who at the time ran a chain of bakeries selling biscuits to Colonel Sanders franchisees nationally.
Fisher Foods involvement
In 1970, Fisher Foods swapped capital with and licensed franchises from National, with a total of 550 franchises sold (106 to Fisher alone), but only 99 stores were actually in operation. Apparently the time was ripe for the fish franchise concept: Long John Silver's, Captain D's and Skipper's all started about the same time. Aided by Arthur Treacher's advertisements, these companies introduced British fish and chips to America.
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