White Castle®, America’s first fast-food hamburger chain, opened its restaurant in Orlando, Florida to much fanfare on May 3, 2021, and the excitement has yet to subside. In nearly 12 months since the grand opening, the restaurant has become the top performer among White Castle’s more than 350 restaurants, on pace to sell five million Sliders by its anniversary date.
“We had so many loyal fans in Central Florida who were eagerly anticipating White Castle’s arrival, but the response this past year has far exceeded our expectations,” said Jamie Richardson, vice president at White Castle. “Everyone in the Orlando area has been so warm and welcoming, and they have a Crave the size of the Sunshine State.
Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings said, “We salute White Castle on a record-breaking first year in Central Florida and thank them for creating jobs for our residents. White Castle’s presence has added to a blockbuster year for our hotels and convention business, and we expect that pace to continue this summer.”
The opening of the Orlando Castle – the largest free-standing White Castle in the world – marked the beloved brand’s return to Florida since operating four restaurants in Miami in the 1960s. White Castle, a 101-year-old family-owned business, has more than 350 restaurants in 13 states.
Located in southwest Orlando at Unicorp’s $1 billion The Village at O-Town West mixed-use development, White Castle employs 120 team members and managers, accommodates 200 guests and features televisions, free WIFI and a kitchen that’s entirely visible from the dining room. It has a Coca-Cola® Freestyle machine that has served over 63,000 gallons of Coca-Cola® Freestyle soft drinks the past year – enough to fill the average residential swimming pool 3- ½ times!
“Our vision at White Castle is to ‘feed the souls of craver generations everywhere’ and our mission is to ‘create memorable moments every day,” Richardson continued. “We have loved every minute meeting our new neighbors, whether long-time Cravers or new to the Castle.”
Those minutes with Cravers, along with ordering options – are about to expand, said company officials. To satisfying the crave of White Castle fans morning, noon and night, the Orlando Castle is scheduled to shift to 24-hours-per-day operations this summer – a customer benefit for which White Castle is famous. The Orlando Castle is currently open for take-out, dine-in and drive-through service seven days per week from 7 a.m. to 4 a.m.
In addition, and in response to the overwhelming popularity of the Orlando location, White Castle plans to launch online ordering with pickup and delivery service out of approximately 1,800 square feet of in-line space located directly behind the Orlando Castle. When ordering online, customers can opt to pick up their orders by parking and entering the new store or have one of four delivery partners (DoorDash, Uber Eats, Grubhub and Postmates) bring the Crave to their door. Dine-in, take out and drive-through options will continue to be available at the adjacent Castle.
The new in-line store adds to the existing White Castle Virtual Kitchen located at 18 N. Dollins Ave. near downtown Orlando in operation for online ordering, delivery, and carryout service.
“We are so glad to have a Castle in Orlando,” Richardson said. “Even through and beyond the height of the pandemic, we continue to renew acquaintances and make new friends every day. We’re so thankful for our team members and all they do to serve up that one-of-a-kind, steamed-grilled taste our customers love and crave.”
About White Castle®
White Castle, America’s first fast-food hamburger chain, has been making hot and tasty Sliders as a family-owned business for 101 years. Based in Columbus, Ohio, White Castle started serving The Original Slider® in 1921. Today, White Castle owns and operates more than 350 restaurants dedicated to satisfying customers’ cravings morning, noon and night and sells its famous fare in retail stores nationwide. The Original Slider, named in 2014 as Time magazine’s “Most Influential Burger of All Time,” is served alongside a menu of creatively crafted Sliders and other mouthwatering food options, including White Castle’s Impossible™ Slider, named by Thrillist in 2019 as the “Best Plant-Based Fast-Food Burger.” White Castle’s commitment to maintaining the highest quality products extends to the company owning and operating its own meat processing plants, bakeries and frozen-food processing plants. In 2021, 100 years after the first Slider was sold, Fast Company named the fast-food pioneer one of the “10 Most Innovative Dining Companies.” White Castle is known for the legendary loyalty of its team members, more than 1 in 4 of whom have worked for White Castle for at least 10 years, and also for its faithful fans (“Cravers”), many of whom compete each year for entry into the Cravers Hall of Fame. The official White Castle app, available at iTunes App Store or Google Play, makes it easy for Cravers to access sweet deals and place pickup orders at any time. They can also have their orders delivered using one of White Castle’s delivery partners. For more information on White Castle, visit whitecastle.com.