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During my K'Cafe search I found ...

Posted by on Jan. 21, 2014 at 12:14 AM
  • 33 Replies

 this...but it's not what I was talking about but how cool is this?  I'm sure you all remember my recent post trying to figure out the cafeteria that was in the back of Kmarts back in the 80's.  Well, I googled many times and didn't find what I was looking for but found this.  How cool!  I love the pics and I love the price of the burgers, lol!!!

Kmart...Eat Here and Get Gas!















You know, there’s really nothing like a Double K Burger when you’re craving that great Kmart taste! Mmmmmmm!

Yes, my friends, there really was such a thing as a “Kmart Chef”. After five years of outstanding growth, Kresge began to explore ways to leverage the success of Kmart. Though virtually all Kmarts had in-store snack bars and/or concession stands, Kresge figured that a free-standing fast food restaurant, complete with the Kmart brand name and located next to the main store, would be an effective way to snare those customers who managed to escape the store with their lunch or dinner dollars still in pocket. It was also assumed that the highly visible locations of the Kmarts – typically on high-traffic streets or adjacent to highways - would draw an ample number of customers as well. The first Kmart Chef, pictured above, was opened in October, 1967 next to the Pontiac, Michigan Kmart. Plans were announced for 10 more to open in 1968.

The stores were somewhat of a hybrid between a McDonald’s-type fast food restaurant and a cafeteria. Customers walked up to a counter (ala McDonald’s) but were given a tray to push along a stainless-steel cafeteria line. The Kmart Chefs did have interior seating, something that McDonald’s was in the process of a frenetic transition to as they replaced their famous red and white-striped walk-up drive-ins with sit-down restaurants. The initial “limited, high-turnover menu”, as Kresge described it, consisted of “hamburgers, cheeseburgers, frankfurters, fish sandwiches (gotta be ready for Lent), French fried potatoes, fried apple turnovers, assorted carbonated and fruit drinks, coffee, hot chocolate and milk”. As the outdoor sign said, hamburgers were initially 18 cents. That same year, in a controversial but fiscally necessary move, McDonald’s finally raised the price of their burgers from their traditional 15 cents to 18 cents as well.

As it turned out, only a small number of Kmart Chefs were ever opened, with the 10th store, an Albuquerque, New Mexico unit, not even opening until 1971. At that time, there were Kmart Chefs in Pontiac, Clemens and Warren MI, Erie PA, Moline IL, Wichita KS, Kansas City MO, Houston and Lubbock, TX. It was truly a random strategy, to put it charitably. The Kmart Chefs were closed down in 1974.

More successful in the long run were the Kmart gas stations. Many Kmarts had auto centers, generally free-standing units, and the addition of a Kmart-branded gas station was first tried in April, 1967 in the parking lot of an Atlanta Kmart. Pictured above is the original gas station (Check out the 100 octane gas - that stuff would probably be eight bucks a gallon now!). Two more Kmart gas stations were opened in the Metro Atlanta area the following January, beginning a strategy that Kmart has employed on and off ever since.
by on Jan. 21, 2014 at 12:14 AM
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Replies (1-10):
momofnatalie
by Lisa on Jan. 21, 2014 at 1:04 AM
2 moms liked this

How cool is that!  Hamburgers were only .44, what a steal!

Jukebox_Jenny
by Jenny on Jan. 21, 2014 at 1:06 AM
1 mom liked this
Neat!
SarahSuzyQ
by Sarah on Jan. 21, 2014 at 7:15 AM
1 mom liked this
This was before my time, lol!
ablackdolphin
by Platinum Member on Jan. 21, 2014 at 7:31 AM
1 mom liked this
cool!
proudmommy690
by Christa on Jan. 21, 2014 at 7:39 AM
1 mom liked this
That's awesome!
Madelaine
by Ruby Member on Jan. 21, 2014 at 9:43 AM
1 mom liked this

Neat!

wandep
by Pam on Jan. 21, 2014 at 9:46 AM
1 mom liked this

Well, I was born in 1970 but I don't really remember them. LOL 

celestegood
by Ruby Member on Jan. 21, 2014 at 11:10 AM
1 mom liked this
I'm not old enough to remember this. I was born in 1978.
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
alliesmom112
by on Jan. 21, 2014 at 11:12 AM
1 mom liked this

how cool!! 

taKENheart
by Platinum Member on Jan. 21, 2014 at 1:23 PM

I think that was the Double K cheeseburger.  Can you imagine paying less that .50 for a burger?

Quoting momofnatalie:

How cool is that!  Hamburgers were only .44, what a steal!


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