As part of the KMUW Entrepreneurship Series, Wichita Public Radio 89.1 FM will feature the story behind Freddy’s Frozen Custard and Steakburgers on Friday, May 13.
Award-winning reporter Abigail Wilson sat down with Freddy Simon and the Freddy’s team at one of their restaurants in east Wichita to learn about one of the fastest growing chains in America. In just the past few years, the restaurant saw a growth in sales of close to 40 percent. And while Freddy’s now has locations in 29 states, the roots of the business are in Wichita. Four humble men had a vision of a simple burger joint, but no intentions of starting a franchise.
Since opening in 2002, there have only been 13 menu changes, and of the nearly 200 locations, just one has closed. Co-founders Randy Simon, his brother Bill Simon, and family friend Scott Redler willingly admit running the chain has taken quite a bit of sacrifice and risk, but that’s all part of being entrepreneurs.
As far as the reason for their success, all three men credit the restaurants namesake, honorary chairman and guiding light, 91-year-old Freddy Simon, a WWII veteran and native Kansan with a gentle and caring heart. “My dreams are finally coming true,” Freddy says of the business. “I’m the luckiest guy in the world.”
The Freddy’s feature is the third in our Entrepreneurship Series, following our stories on Dan Carney and Charles McAfee. To hear other stories in the KMUW Entrepreneurship Series, and to see videos of Freddy and more, go to KMUW.org.
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