Well, if you were around from 1975 through 1981, then there’s a good chance you’ll remember Florida-based Wuv’s Hamburgers. Jack Penrod was the founder of Wuv’s Hamburgers.
He got his start in the restaurant industry at McDonald’s in 1961. At the age of 20, he was the grill man.
Jack Penrod then worked his way up to Manager and eventually the largest franchisee of McDonald’s in South Florida. He owned a total of 16 McDonald’s.
By early 1974 Jack Penrod was planning to open his chain of burger restaurants called Wuv’s. However, in May of 1975, the McDonald’s corporation purchased all of Jack’s stores, and a few days later, Wuv’s Inc was incorporated in Florida.
The first location opened in Boca Raton, Florida, on December 10th, 1975.
Wuv’s was known for its fresh, never-frozen burgers, the toppings bar, fresh-cut fries, chili, biscuits, and Wuv Juice (a Passion fruit-based drink), amongst other things. Some locations featured a purple and white building, while others had a wood-paneled look below.
Do any of these Wuv’s Hamburgers catchphrases sound familiar to you?
“We wuv Wuv’s…and we’d love you to wuv Wuv’s with us!“
“A Fresh Idea in Fast Food“
“Get Fresh at Wuv’s“
Crawydaddyk on the Roadfood site left a great comment about why he loved Wuv’s:
They had great from scratch onion rings and biscuits (one of the first fast-food chains to offer biscuits with chicken most offered dinner rolls) there was one located close to Popeyes fried chicken headquarters in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana. The Popeyes execs would eat breakfast at Wuv’s and got the idea for biscuits with chicken from them. The rest is history. Someone asked why the name Wuv’s.
I was told that Jack Penrod, the originator for the chain, had bought a stuffed animal while on a plane trip, for one of his kids, and there was a tag that said I WUV YOU He liked that saying and decided to name his new chain WUVS. Their salad bar was awesome, and to correct another poster, Wuvs juice was not like OJ. It was made from ingredients flown in from Hawaii like passion fruit, mangos, guava, etc. If anything, it was a healthy version of Hawaiian Punch.
Their motto was “Fresh Never Frozen.” As you can tell, I loved the chain.
Their breakfast was awesome, nothing frozen everything made from scratch, and they also used the biscuits cut in half to make strawberry shortcake with real made from scratch whipped cream.
Also, while you were in the queuing line, you could look into the room where they washed and cut their French Fries and where they cut and battered their onion rings.
There was no doubt their stuff was “Fresh Never Frozen
The End of Wuv’s
On December 23rd, 1981, the Associated Press ran a small story in the New York Times about the demise of Wuv’s entitled Wuv’s Chain Files Under Chapter 11.
In it, Jack Penrod said
We got ourselves in a hole, and we can’t get out of it
Wuv’s had lost 1 million dollars in revenue, which had led to the dismissal of 30 of its 50 office employees. At the time of their closing, there were 70 locations, 14 of which were in the Detroit area.