Culver's is a fast food restaurant chain located mainly in the Midwest region of the United States. The Culver family founded the chain in 1984, and today the chain totals over 235 restaurants across 13 states, making it one of the nation's fastest growing chain restaurants. The chain is known for their high quality frozen custard, and their "ButterBurgers."
George and Ruth Culver raised their family in the Sauk Prairie region of Wisconsin, managing supper clubs and other restaurants. The son, Craig, also developed an interest in the family business, and received a degree from U-W Oshkosh in 1973. In four years with McDonald's, Craig acquired many ides that he would later apply to his own set of restaurants.
On July 18, 1984, the Culver family reopened a closed A&W restaurant in Sauk City, Wisconsin, and began their own style of fast food. Named "Culver's Frozen Custard and ButterBurgers", the restaurant was a hit with the locals. In the early 90’s, the Culvers decided to start offering franchises to interested parties, but on their own terms. Franchisees were required to work in their restaurants full-time, restricting them from delegating their management duties. The chain expanded, yet the restaurants retained their family-owned atmosphere.
The key to the restaurant's success, as with any restaurant, was the menu. The restaurants sell the usual fast food items, but the quality is generally considered to be higher than that of a Burger King or Wendy's. The most popular items on the Culver's menu are the ButterBurger and the frozen custard. The ButterBurger is a chuck blend patty, grilled and served on a lightly buttered bun. The frozen custard is made with locally grown milk and egg yolks, and made fresh daily in each restaurant.
Culver's restaurants are also encouraged to participate in their communities. For years, the franchises in southern Wisconsin have contributed to the South Central Library System to encourage children to use their local library. The Culver family also created a scholarship program, helping to pay for the college education of their employees.