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

  • Published on Nov 16, 2019
  • 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?

Comments • 4 558

  • 4vsbs2
    4vsbs2 21 minute ago

    It sounds like a good business. A business of the type that existed 100 yrs ago. Not like today's business which seems to be only interested in profits and income for those at the top. Customers are unimportant in today's businesses.

  • XtremeConditions
    XtremeConditions 32 minutes ago

    Man, White Castle is always going to be one my favorites. :)

  • midnight runner
    midnight runner 35 minutes ago

    It's great that they've been around 100 yrs, I've been eating them since I was a kid. But gotta tell you they are not the same they taste very different.

  • Lint licker
    Lint licker 51 minute ago

    Dem eyebrow doe

  • chevy
    chevy 53 minutes ago

    Please bring White castle to Nebraska.

  • jeff dp
    jeff dp 3 hours ago

    love the chicken and waffle sliders, everything is expensive though so I don't eat there much ☹️

  • Queen_Ally
    Queen_Ally 3 hours ago

    White Castle is a classic.
    Their chicken rings are just as good as McDonald's chicken nuggets

  • Priestmajic 76
    Priestmajic 76 3 hours ago +1


  • Randall Cheuvront
    Randall Cheuvront 4 hours ago

    I could never stand the smell of the place from the outside so I never ventured in.

  • Nichole Green
    Nichole Green 5 hours ago

    Are Krystal and white chaste the same thing?

  • Robbie's Incoherent thoughts

    Don't forget the southern brother Krystal.....

  • Jack Tarasar
    Jack Tarasar 7 hours ago

    In the late 1970's and early 1980's, I used to go to White Castle in Rahway, N.J. after the nightclubs closed. I/we would each order a BAG o burgers cheeseburgers, fish sandwiches and fries. Burgers were $0.05, cheeseburgers were $0.06. So, we ordered like 6 burgers, 6 cheeseburgers, 2 fish and one fry, for around $2.00. The canned onions made a HUGE stink the next morning in the outbound stage in the bathroom. But, they tasted GREAT the night before.
    Flash forward to 2006, on a business trip to Chicago, I stopped into a White Castle. The burgers, still 2 bites and gone, were NOW $0.80 EACH!!!! Cheeseburgers NOW $1.00 EACH. I turned around and left. WAY overpriced for the size and quality. White Castle and other FAST FOOD stores were successful because they were CHEAP and FAST. Pull off the highway, order a sack, get back on the road and continue onward. NOW, a Burger King Big Whopper is nearly $5.00!!!!! With fries and a soft drink, nearly $10.00. Where in most restaurants one can order a fresh cooked sit down meal for around the same price. I no longer order any Fast Food.

  • Vythz
    Vythz 7 hours ago

    I’d love to try McDonalds back in 1955😜

  • Rick Beaulieu
    Rick Beaulieu 7 hours ago

    Worst burgers.

  • Roger Bahr
    Roger Bahr 9 hours ago

    Still sucks it was started in wichita is and we dont have one here any more.

  • Thaddeus Lehman
    Thaddeus Lehman 14 hours ago

    Im about to go by the frozen ones right now

  • Vegas X
    Vegas X 16 hours ago

    McDonald's is far better. White Castle is Garbage.

  • Yuko Abundis
    Yuko Abundis 18 hours ago

    Being able to draw a straight line should be part of the hiring process

  • Josh Done
    Josh Done 19 hours ago

    They need to stop putting every burger in those little boxes. WAY too much waste for the environment.

  • YoungBreezzy66
    YoungBreezzy66 23 hours ago

    Kinda feels like White Castle doesn’t know what they are doing, and a bit timid to do any crazy

  • King Plop
    King Plop Day ago

    So many people want it in Texas

  • Alx Jetson
    Alx Jetson Day ago

    The holes in the pattie cheapen the burger.

  • DoNot Need
    DoNot Need Day ago

    They're also in Tennessee and the map does not show it. I put their taste in the same category as Krystal: YUCK! They both have the same taste of onion and Their bread comes from the same place by the way...

  • Jim Dandy
    Jim Dandy Day ago

    For reason I'm done

  • James Strain
    James Strain Day ago

    I’m eating a White Castle right now. Ya got me cravin.........
    And White Castle why no frozen jalapeño sliders ?

  • Shawn McGovern
    Shawn McGovern Day ago

    I'm surprised your Executive team hasn't told you to spring a few dollars to work on those eyebrows. Let's call those "cry brows". Ha Never had a White Castle, here we have Krystal's.

  • - P
    - P Day ago

    White castle good company weekly pay for employees

  • Digital Candy
    Digital Candy Day ago


  • The guy
    The guy Day ago

    I have never tried white castle

  • Ed Styre
    Ed Styre Day ago

    If their frozen burgers are anything like their burgers in the restaurants...they can keep them!

  • Amy Sternheim
    Amy Sternheim Day ago +1

    Sliders burgers a way to sell hamburgers with more bun and condiments and less ground beef.

  • Sergio macias
    Sergio macias Day ago

    white castles needs to come to cali

  • no one
    no one Day ago +1

    "they were very persuasive" and I think he mentioned it was a "family" business on the strip.. lol White Castles first franchise owned by the mob lol

  • Tory Livingston
    Tory Livingston Day ago

    Bring White Castle to Seattle! :D

  • Jay Bee
    Jay Bee Day ago

    Burgers never got bigger but the price has risen.

  • Alex Gray
    Alex Gray Day ago

    The only problem with White Castle is if you have two or three vehicles in front of you in the drive thru, it’s guaranteed you’re gonna be there a while.

  • No Name
    No Name Day ago

    Probably because noone wants gray meat

  • Daniel Stack
    Daniel Stack Day ago

    If their were White Castles in every state diarrhea numbers in this country would explode, and I do mean that literally.

  • Chad Quick
    Chad Quick Day ago

    I can’t speak for all of them but the ones I’ve been to around the Louisville area have really declined in quality. The price is still expensive for what you get and the good managers all seem to have retired or left. Quite sad for me as I really used to enjoy them.

  • Drew Wachter
    Drew Wachter Day ago

    Bring one To CANADA Or a Couple!

  • Kiss two Gays
    Kiss two Gays Day ago

    White castle is kind of grimy tbh...

  • Moe Whitfield
    Moe Whitfield Day ago

    Simple, you have 1 store in vegas on the west coast, you have east coasters that are transplants and can not get white castle, plus generations of people that have never had them. Time to rethink the game white castle. I'll even manage one and I live in a college town where only place open 24 hours is mcdonalds, you have almost no other competition.

  • T Bozeman
    T Bozeman Day ago +1

    "I was the first one who gave Mr. Anderson the idea to build white Castle" - TK Kirkland 😅

  • djbhe
    djbhe Day ago

    I grew up eating White Castle in Chicago and I haven't eaten it in about 15 to 20 years because the last time I ate it I had gas so bad my side was cramping for a couple of days. I use to love it but it will give you gas real bad.

    NOVA_ RED Day ago

    CONNECTICUT has to drive in to the bronx for white castle

  • Don ellis
    Don ellis Day ago

    White Castle burgers used to be cheap now they're over price they have pretty much priced themselves out of business now nobody goes there except for their chicken and waffle sandwich and mozzarella sticks

  • khure
    khure Day ago

    Wish they had one in the Pacific Northwest so I could try it. I’ve tried the frozen ones and they were terrible.

  • Erik Majestic
    Erik Majestic 2 days ago

    can you guys do IN&OUT RESTURANTS

  • Harry Peach
    Harry Peach 2 days ago

    If wanted a burger and i saw a white castle and a burger king beside one another there would only be one choice..

  • Matthew Howell
    Matthew Howell 2 days ago

    I walked by a way Castle on the Fremont strip in Vegas and it smell like armpits that's probably why they're not a fast food giant. If I won't eat it when I'm super drunk on vacation in Las Vegas it's a good indicator that I won't eat it ever

  • Josh Stoltzfus
    Josh Stoltzfus 2 days ago

    Because their burgers are terrible....

  • Richard Kafka
    Richard Kafka 2 days ago

    Please Please Please come to Maryland! I miss my sliders so much since I moved from NY!!!!

  • C.J. O'Dell
    C.J. O'Dell 2 days ago

    I’m sure the main reason may boil down to quality over quantity

  • Pepper Grinder
    Pepper Grinder 2 days ago +2

    I haven't eaten at McDonalds in 30 years. Terrible food.

  • William Morris
    William Morris 2 days ago

    Why isn't White Castle being sued for using the word WHITE in the name?No lbtard or "person of color" catch this yet?LMAO

  • Caliado
    Caliado 2 days ago

    5:15 please someone fix this poor woman's eyebrows

  • Sjrick
    Sjrick 2 days ago

    But why cant i get one without onions. I hate onions

  • michael birdsong
    michael birdsong 2 days ago

    heard they opened a krystal in las vegas they ran out of food in 2 hrs. oh yeah in nashville they used to have churchs chicken inside as well the honey butter biscuits were fire

  • Jb88
    Jb88 2 days ago

    Wow.. CNBC with some real journalism for a change. Very refreshing!

  • Ricardo Polanco
    Ricardo Polanco 2 days ago

    White Castle closed so many stores in New York City.