White Castle, America’s first fast-food hamburger chain, opened its restaurant in Orlando, Florida, to much fanfare on May 3, 2021, and the excitement has yet to subside. In nearly 12 months since the grand opening, the restaurant has become the top performer among White Castle’s more than 350 restaurants, on pace to sell 5 million Sliders by its anniversary date.
Besides selling a record number of hot-and-tasty Sliders of all varieties, the Orlando location used 40,000 freshly cracked eggs to make its tantalizing breakfast Sliders, which are sold all day long – a new White Castle record. If stacked end to end, the eggs used since last May would encircle Lake Eola more than once.
“We had so many loyal fans in Central Florida who were eagerly anticipating White Castle’s arrival, but the response this past year has far exceeded our expectations,” said Jamie Richardson, vice president at White Castle. “Everyone in the Orlando area has been so warm and welcoming, and they have a Crave the size of the Sunshine State.”
Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings said, “We salute White Castle on a record-breaking first year in Central Florida and thank them for creating jobs for our residents. White Castle’s presence has added to a blockbuster year for our hotels and convention business, and we expect that pace to continue this summer.”
The opening of the Orlando Castle – the largest free-standing White Castle in the world – marked the beloved brand’s return to Florida since operating four restaurants in Miami in the 1960s. White Castle, a 101-year-old family-owned business, has more than 350 restaurants in 13 states.
Located in southwest Orlando at Unicorp’s $1 billion The Village at O-Town West mixed-use development, White Castle employs 120 team members and managers, accommodates 200 guests, and features televisions, free WIFI and a kitchen that’s entirely visible from the dining room. It has a Coca-Cola® Freestyle machine that has served over 63,000 gallons of Coca-Cola® Freestyle soft drinks the past year – enough to fill the average residential swimming pool 3½ times!
“Our vision at White Castle is to ‘feed the souls of craver generations everywhere’ and our mission is to ‘create memorable moments every day,'” Richardson continued. “We have loved every minute meeting our new neighbors, whether long-time Cravers or new to the Castle.”
Those minutes with Cravers — along with ordering options — are about to expand, said company officials. To satisfying the crave of White Castle fans morning, noon and night, the Orlando Castle is scheduled to shift to 24-hours-per-day operations this summer, a customer benefit for which White Castle is famous. The Orlando Castle is currently open for take-out, dine-in and drive-through service seven days per week from 7 a.m. to 4 a.m.
In addition, and in response to the overwhelming popularity of the Orlando location, White Castle plans to launch online ordering with pickup and delivery service out of approximately 1,800 square feet of in-line space located directly behind the Orlando Castle. When ordering online, customers can opt to pick up their orders by parking and entering the new store or have one of four delivery partners (DoorDash, Uber Eats, Grubhub and Postmates) bring the Crave to their door. Dine-in, take out and drive-through options will continue to be available at the adjacent Castle.
The new in-line store adds to the existing White Castle Virtual Kitchen located at 18 N. Dollins Ave. near downtown Orlando in operation for online ordering, delivery and carryout service.
“We are so glad to have a Castle in Orlando,” Richardson said. “Even through and beyond the height of the pandemic, we continue to renew acquaintances and make new friends every day. We’re so thankful for our team members and all they do to serve up that one-of-a-kind, steamed-grilled taste our customers love and crave.”
Editor, International Bakery
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