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This story is part of NRN’s Top 100 special report, a proprietary census ranking the foodservice industry’s largest restaurant chains and companies by sales and unit data, among other metrics.
Royal Castle and Sambo's
At one time a South Florida staple, burger specialist Royal Castle eventually grew to more than 185 locations. At one point it was owned by Grand Ole Opry star Minnie Pearl. One location still stands.
In the early 1980s, full-service chain Sambo’s had more than 1,100 units. But negative publicity over its name, which was associated with racism but was actually a contraction of its two owners’ names, helped to hasten its demise. One unit still operates in California.