IRVINE, Calif. (AP) – John Galardi, who opened a Wienerschnitzel hot dog stand in Los Angeles in 1961 and expanded it into a chain with more than 300 outlets in 10 U.S. states, has died, his company said Sunday.
Irvine, Calif.-based Galardi Group, parent company of Wienerschnitzel, Tastee Freez and The Original Hamburger Stand, said in a statement that Galardi died of pancreatic cancer on Saturday. He was 75.
A native of Kansas City, Galardi began working for Taco Bell founder Glen Bell at the restaurant Taco Tia in Pasadena in 1961, according to his company biography.
At age 23, looking to carve out a niche amid a fast-food landscape glutted with hamburger, chicken and taco restaurants, he opened his first restaurant, known as Der Wienerschnitzel, specializing in hot dogs and chili.
The stand in the Wilmington section of Los Angeles was the first of what would become a chain of some 350 restaurants selling more than 120 million hot dogs annually, the company statement said.
Most outlets are in California but they are found throughout the U.S. Southwest and as far east as Louisiana.
Galardi expanded the company to include The Original Hamburger Stand and ice-cream chain Tastee Freez.
He remained chairman of the Galardi Group until his death but handed over day-to-day operations to Chief Operating Officer Dennis Tase in 1993.
“Galardi built a brand representative of a time when life was simpler, a brand that holds a special place in the hearts of so many families in America,” Tase said in a statement. “He will be deeply missed.”
Galardi is survived by his wife Judane Galardi and four children.
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
- Celebrating Fourth of July is much cooler in these AZ towns
- Top ten road trip bathrooms in America
- Six things causing a pain in your neck
- 5 things to make your summer move easier
- Three elements of a strong timeshare exit guarantee
- Stretches and exercises for carpal tunnel syndrome
- The best Major League ballparks have their own personality
- Comparing the best regular seasons: The '96 Bulls and '16 Warriors
- 3 Arizona road trips and the vehicles to get you there
- Colon cancer is preventable. Check these signs and symptoms to stay healthy.
- 6 of the biggest skin cancer myths
- Affordable small home makeover ideas
- Locals helping locals: 6 success stories you need to know about
- Sunscreen facts that could save your life
- 6 energy saving hacks for your home
- 5 tips for choosing a company to end your timeshare
- Overlooked water tips to save you money
- 5 of the most adored gentlemen in professional sports today
- The real danger of sitting at your desk
- Most surprising NBA playoff performances of the last 40 years
- 11 classic baseball movies you must see again
- Finally getting rid of fat: 3 methods that actually work
- 4 reasons cancer survivors should focus on food
- 5 spring cleaning spots everyone forgets
- 5 reasons to look forward to watching the D-backs this season
- Common virus attributed to spike in head and neck cancers
- 5 signs it’s time to end your timeshare ownership
- 3 most overlooked ways to keep your home healthy
- 6 ways the air in your home could be making you sick
- CrossFit dangers: 5 common injuries and how to deal with them