Why Isn’t White Castle A Fast-Food Giant?

White Castle is widely considered to be the first hamburger fast-food chain in the United States. It's famous for small, cheap hamburger sliders and its role in the 2004 stoner comedy "Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle." Despite its notoriety, the brand has a limited footprint in the Midwest and Northeast. So why is White Castle not nearly as big as rivals like McDonald's and Burger King?
» Subscribe to CNBC: cnb.cx/SubscribeCNBC
» Subscribe to CNBC TV: cnb.cx/SubscribeCNBCtelevision
» Subscribe to CNBC Classic: cnb.cx/SubscribeCNBCclassic
About CNBC: From 'Wall Street' to 'Main Street' to award winning original documentaries and Reality TV series, CNBC has you covered. Experience special sneak peeks of your favorite shows, exclusive video and more.
Connect with CNBC News Online
Get the latest news: www.cnbc.com/
Follow CNBC on LinkedIn: cnb.cx/LinkedInCNBC
Follow CNBC News on Facebook: cnb.cx/LikeCNBC
Follow CNBC News on Twitter: cnb.cx/FollowCNBC
Follow CNBC News on Instagram: cnb.cx/InstagramCNBC
Why Isn’t White Castle A Fast-Food Giant?




  • Half a billion dollar sales is nothing to sniff at...

    Adrian JarvisAdrian Jarvisวันที่ผ่านมา
  • White Castle made a mistake opening in China. Bad idea. Get out of China!

    The SentinelThe Sentinel2 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • theres a white castle in tennessee

    poopshizlmnoppoopshizlmnop2 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • tHeRe are SeVeRaL wHiTe CaStlEs WiTiN 5 mIlEs Of Me.

    Milo HansenMilo Hansen2 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • I am surprised that the frozen items are selling as well as they are. I have tried them and while good, it is not the same thing as having one that is fresh.

    Jose’s Gaming ChannelJose’s Gaming Channel2 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • We have like 5 store in Tennessee

    Jose RamirezJose Ramirez3 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • I want one in my country

    Storr's altStorr's alt4 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • I have one in my town and i see cars go through the drive through but I literally have never met a single person that goes there.

    AdonisGaming93AdonisGaming936 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • Come to California!

    KavikaKavika7 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • Wish there is a white castle in Colorado.. gosh just the East Coast

    LTATJ's JaYsLTATJ's JaYs7 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • I use to love 2 by 2 inch cheese burger when I was in Louisville for my Master's degree. It was low priced and very tasty. Good luck to the fourth generation. Good to learn about the family business. I didn't know anything about it when I use to visit the place on Bardstown road near the U. of Louisville, Speed Scientific School near the movie theatre at the corner. I know it won't work in india.

    Ravi ChananaRavi Chanana7 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • I wish I could suggest a store opening in my city!! The city I am, although small, is in between two major cities and gets a lot of traffic right off the freeway! We just recently opened a bunch of restaurants too so it would be a perfect time but alas it will never happen as its well far across from their main expansions

    Lightning GamerLightning Gamer9 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • I think this is interesting. I tried White Castle in NJ. I thought their burgers were doggy. It was small with holes in it. The buns were big. I didn't care for them.

    Thomas Lee MullinsThomas Lee Mullins9 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • Google review quotes such as "it made me pee out of my butt" ...keeps me far away from White castle!

    scarce911scarce9119 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • What an amazing marketing team, I hope they do well

    Dominic Ah Chong- Vitamin DDominic Ah Chong- Vitamin D9 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • It has been in business for almost 100 years and the current CEO is a family member related to the founder. Where as burger king and mcdonalds there CEO is unrelated to the family or founders and is usually chosen by a board of investors.

    NPAMikeNPAMike9 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • The base of the german economy are midsize family owned businesses

    PratzePratze9 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • In-N-out is like 👁👄👁

    Luis orozcoLuis orozco9 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • Man that peking duck looks delicious

    Faris AlianiFaris Aliani10 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • *White Castle Exists SJWs: Is this white supremacy?

    James SicatJames Sicat10 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • Good guy white castle just vibing and staying grounded. I stan an unbothered and an unproblematic company and leadership.

    swulabsswulabs11 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • White Castle walked so Macdonalds could fly

    Bronwen MartinBronwen Martin11 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • My type of company. Private and doing their own thing. Enough for the family to live quite comfortable.

    boo yeahboo yeah11 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • They were an still may be the highest paying fast food job.

    Maz TerbateMaz Terbate12 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • Ha ha I have one at the corner! And its nowhere near the block that's loaded with all the fast food businesses in my city. They are smart.

    Maz TerbateMaz Terbate12 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • Loved it when moms brought the little burgers after work. Guess I'm the adult now so I'll do the same.

    KawaiiMiriKawaiiMiri12 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • I Love White Castle. The food is delicious and it was a PLEASURE working for their company as a crew member the short time that I did. People should really support this family owned business, they really take care of their workers (even offered healthcare/dental plans to all workers after 6 months if I remember right, fast food job getting healthcare?) Go buy some sliders! :) White Castle/Ingram family rocks.

    TeeTee12 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • Please come to DC!!! Just one shop!

    John RadiJohn Radi12 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • Surprised no one hasn't complained about the name of White castle yet

    Luke WilkinsLuke Wilkins13 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • We have White Castle in the freezer isle

    CoCo JenkinsCoCo Jenkins13 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • harold nd kumar is why white castle became a cult favorite fast food

    kefu zzkefu zz14 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • Went to a White Castle once. Really wasn't impressed. Maybe I went to a bad one?

    Matthew BaqueroMatthew Baquero14 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • It’s called not being overly greedy simple as that

    David MDavid M15 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • Hope they come to Houston!!

    thefunnyman713thefunnyman71315 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • Cuz it sux

    Maury PontiffMaury Pontiff15 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • Need White Castle in more states

    Austin C. GrimmAustin C. Grimm16 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • Amd then Rona hit...

    xxevery9seconds87xxxxevery9seconds87xx16 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • It is crazy that i live in one of the only west state to have a white castle.

    LPSTEENSCREAM1000LPSTEENSCREAM100016 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • Look how empty the restaurant is 5:08 the prices are too high.

    Wow AmazingWow Amazing16 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • White castle has gotten very expensive. a small meal for 1 person is about $8.50. the cheese sliders are 1 dollar each. the cheese slider should be 3 for $2 dollars. if they would do the 3 sliders for $2 deal white castle would be super busy. white castle never has any special deals. I am amazed white castle is still in business. the small fries are about $1.69 the small soda about $1.79 white castle was very busy in the 80s because they did have a deal at that time (pick a pack). when I buy enough food to take home to the family of 4 (enough were we wont be hungry when we are done eating) it costs me $60.00. they are too overpriced. instead of deals and promotions they always raise their prices. KFC was doing the same thing. I wrote to KFC a few years ago because of their high prices and KFC listened to me and came out with the $5 deals. now KFC has a long line all day long. I eat KFC at least 2 times a week.

    Wow AmazingWow Amazing16 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • The white castle i know was the one with a lady riding a white horse..

    Noob BitaNoob Bita17 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • Brintonryan was the day

    Brinton RyanBrinton Ryan17 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • McDonalds first restaurant was in San bernadino CA not Illinois

    Edgar SaltoEdgar Salto18 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • Is Krystal's related to White Castles in any way

    Truck TaxiTruck Taxi18 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • Would be nice if they would move to the South. There is Krystal burger which is very similar but not completely the same. I was surprised about the freezer portion. I have them here and did not taste the same as when I would get it directly from a store.

    Jose’s Gaming ChannelJose’s Gaming Channel20 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • I know I'm being contrarian, but I think White Castle burgers are DISGUSTING!

    Paul ConnorsPaul Connors20 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • We did a first time reaction to White Castle on our channel! Check it out if you like mini burgers and bad manners.

  • Having grown up at the porcelain palace I was excited to see one open nearby. Until I saw what the 12c slider cost now. Swing by for s bank loan first. They closed, the juice just wasn't worth the squeeze.

    Arn WattersArn Watters20 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • Go south young lady go south.......

    Fish Out of WaterFish Out of Water22 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • wow those eye brows!

    Arron SomervilleArron Somerville22 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • OMG white castle sliders are effing disgusting. I could not even eat them starving and stoned.

    SmellavisionSmellavision22 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • “You probably don’t have a White Castle in your town” *laughs in New Jersey*

    56Landon56Landon23 วันที่ผ่านมา
    • *laughs in NYC*

      Soap .Soap .15 วันที่ผ่านมา
    • got one down the road from me in ledgewood,nj lmao:)))))

      mahmoud faragmahmoud farag17 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • India's map is distorted. Correct this ASAP

    rishav mehrotrarishav mehrotra23 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • I just realized Lisa Ingram's eyebrows don't move at all.

    Shukri Jamal Abdul HakimShukri Jamal Abdul Hakim23 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • 2:34 hmmm 🧐

    Calvin WolfCalvin Wolf24 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • So basically White Castle is like In N Out because they both don’t want to become a fast food franchise.

    Andres BonillaAndres Bonilla24 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • White castle is not cheap lol. It used to be a good place to go to get a lot for little $$.

    EviscerateEviscerate24 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • I’m sorry but White Castle actually sucks and there are so many better places to get a burger. Happy none are around me

    SamSam25 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • Their burgers make people poop thats why

    Carl Fletcher JuniorCarl Fletcher Junior26 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • Those eyebrows are crazy! 5:06

    Pepe SilviaPepe Silvia27 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • This chicks eyebrows look like question marks.

    activationcodeactivationcode27 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • I have been craving White Castle since I was a child and saw Harold and Kumar. Too bad not one anywhere near me

    Thomas VictorianThomas Victorian27 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • 'Cause it's crap?

    Der GlücklicheDer Glückliche27 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • White Castle gives everyone i know diarhea when they eat the cheeseburger ,the chicken sandwich and the chicken rings are fine...this is your food when there is no other options

    YV-HE WYV-HE W28 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • Probably because their food Is disgusting.

    CamdenBlokeCamdenBloke29 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • This was very fascinating but i don’t even know why I’m watching this I’m vegetarian.

    Jada TolbertJada Tolbert29 วันที่ผ่านมา
    • Perhaps learn from them to make a chain of veggie burger restaurant?

      Thomas Lee MullinsThomas Lee Mullins9 วันที่ผ่านมา
    • Just because you don't eat meat doesn't mean you can't learn about it.

      Thomas Lee MullinsThomas Lee Mullins9 วันที่ผ่านมา
    • Ditto lol

      Steve NewtonSteve Newton17 วันที่ผ่านมา
    • Never hurts to know stuff.

      KritikittiKritikitti26 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • I remember well..... I grew up with White Castles in Columbus, Ohio. They were located at High Street and Arcadia Ave, right across from the street car terminal. It was a neighborhood treasure, and the greatest thing was to find a coupon in our local weekly newspaper, the Booster which offered 5 White Castles for twenty cents, something like 4 cents a burger. (This was in the early 40's, during the war.) Or was it 10 burgers for 50 cents? They grilled them up en masse, and there must have been at least 20 or 30 in a single frozen sheet, right out of the shipping container in the freezer........ So try to imagine it, as it was the first example of cooking multiple burgers I had ever seen. They first fried up the sheet of burgers on one side, then flipped them and spread onions on top, then came the sheet of buns, bottoms, then tops, and finally a metal cover that allowed them to steam for a couple of minutes. 'How many?' was the next thing we heard, and she shoveled them into a white White Castle bag. I later learned that Columbus was a regional office town and there were a couple of other stores around. Seems there was a white and black tile floor and the minute we opened the door the steamy burger smell overwhelmed us all. Originally there were only stools and a counter along the front window as it was a very small place, but when they rebuilt they added a large dining area, and many met there with friends often, for breakfast and BS.

    charles coryncharles coryn29 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • I think the first McDonald's was in San Bernardino,CA.

    Manny GManny Gหลายเดือนก่อน
    • The first McDonald's I ever saw was in Camp Hill PA. in 1966.

      Sonny PruittSonny Pruitt28 วันที่ผ่านมา
  • No ketchup No mustard No onions Extra pickle Steam the bun...

    ava skottava skottหลายเดือนก่อน
  • They’re poppin in Detroit...

    ava skottava skottหลายเดือนก่อน
Why Isn’t White Castle A Fast-Food Giant?