McDonald’s was late in coming to my city. One had to drive 150 miles to get to one when I was growing up. But that’s not to say my town was fast food-less. In addition to locally-owned establishments, our first burger chain entry was Henry’s, followed a few years later by Sandy’s.
Both were Midwestern chains, eventually both reaching between 150-200 outlets before fading from the scene. Sandy’s was started in Illinois by a couple of guys who had one of the first McDonald’s franchises, got mad at Ray Kroc, sued him, then started up their own deal.
Henry’s was started as an off-shoot of Bressler’s Ice Cream, in order to cash in on the drive-in craze, and to have additional outlets to sell their ice cream. In the early days, Henry’s outlets far-outnumber McDonald’s.
I remember our family going to Henry’s on very rare occasions, probably when my mom was managing the brood because my dad was out of town. I do remember the sign that touted the 15 cent burger, or ten for a buck promotion.
Sandy’s was a bit more full-line, with a “Scottish” theme, eventually sold out and converted the units to Hardees.
Here’s an old Sandy’s commercial.