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10 Things Clevelanders Should Know About Culver's

Thanks to our Senior Vice President, Steve Altemare, Wisconsin’s well-known Culver’s is headed to Northeast Ohio soon. The chain, represented exclusively by Altemare in Northeast Ohio for all of its transactions, features buttery cheeseburgers and smooth custard with enough variety to make dairy lovers swoon. But there’s more to this family-owned business than just cheese curds and fries. Click "Continue Reading" to learn 10 interesting facts about Culver's that will have you jonesing for your very own ButterBurger.

1. THE CULVERS SHARE A LOVE FOR DAIRY.

Four members of the Culver family - George, Ruth, their son Craig, and daughter-in-law Lea - banded together to launch the first Culver’s restaurant in 1984. The Wisconsinites planned out the most regional, dairy-laden menu possible: burgers topped with cheese and butter, fresh custard, and fried cheese curds. The first blue-roofed Culver’s restaurant popped up in Sauk City, Wisconsin, close to the family’s hometown, and still serves the famed ButterBurgers more than 30 years later. Now there are over 600 locations in 24 states. 

2. WANT TO OWN A CULVER'S? YOU'VE GOT TO ENLIST IN BOOT CAMP.

To ensure interested parties are a strong fit for the chain, potential owner-operators have to work 60 hours in a Culver’s restaurant, without pay, before moving on to four months of training in every restaurant role. Plus, Culver’s only accepts 36 people into boot camp each year.

3. IT TAKES A LOT OF COWS TO MAKE ALL THOSE FROZEN TREATS.

Because Culver’s serves up 150 million scoops of ice cream each year, there are 5,400 dairy cows, working full-time, to be exact. The chain offers 80 different frozen flavors, but each restaurant only serves three per day: chocolate, vanilla and a random flavor that varies by location. 

4. CULVER'S MASCOT IS A GIANT SCOOP OF CUSTARD.

Because what other mascot would do for a burger and custard place than a cone called Scoopie? The giant vanilla scoop attends children’s and philanthropy events, and once IN early 2013, he made his own Harlem Shake video.

5. CHEESE CURDS

Culver’s created the first National Cheese Curd Day in 2015. A Culver’s Wisconsin Cheese Curd contains one of two types of fresh, un-aged cheese: white or yellow cheddar. Culver’s Cheese Curds are breaded with a signature blend of herbs and spices. Culver’s served over 17.7 million orders of Culver’s Cheese Curds in 2015. Laid end-to-end, that would stretch to the moon, back to Earth, then back to the moon!

6. THE MARKETING DEPARTMENT REALLY LOVES MOVIE PUNS.

Culver’s Community Theater isn’t exactly what it sounds like. The chain’s YouTube channel features a bunch of animated spoofs starring Culver’s menu items, like “Lord of the Onion Rings,” “The Wizard of Cod” and “Frytanic.” Sounds like a perfect dinner and movie date night.

7. THE FLAVOR OF THE DAY

Made from their traditional custard base, each flavor of the day is hand crafted by each Culver's restaurant and no two are the same each day. If you do not like the flavor at one Culver's, drive to the next town to try their flavor. Each day the flavor changes. They do reuse flavor ideas, but they also take special requests. 

8. CONCRETE MIXERS

Think of this as a flavor of the day you get to make yourself. Picking either vanilla, chocolate or the flavor of the day, you get to add any toppings you want and they mix them into the custard so it is like you have just created your own personalized custard flavor.

9. THEIR DAILY SPECIAL SIGNS ARE KIND OF HILARIOUS

Every day, Culver's offers a different featured frozen custard, which they usually display on a sign out front. But they often tack on an entree to try as well, leading to such surreal flavors of the day as "Mint Chip Chicken Dinners" and "Brownie Thunder Pork."

10. THEIR FRANCHISEES JUST DON'T FAIL

When the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel took a deep dive into the Culver's franchise network in 2010, they uncovered a pretty amazing stat. Looking at loans guaranteed by the US Small Business Administration to franchise owners, they found the rate of failure among Culver's franchisees was just 1.7%. Meanwhile, the average rate of failure for all franchise loans was over 17%. Industry insiders credited the success to Culver's intense vetting process for franchisees and careful expansion plan, but we can't help feeling that it has more to do with their large quantities of fried cheese.

 

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December 13, 2017
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