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Type Private
Founded 1947 in Charleston, West Virginia
Headquarters Nashville, Tennessee
Key people Alex Schoenbaum, Founder
Raymond L. Danner, Longtime CEO
Industry Casual dining restaurant

Shoney's is a restaurant chain, operating in the Southern United States and its adjoining regions, that once had a franchise with the Big Boy chain. It is named after Alex Schoenbaum, the owner of the original chain of Big Boy restaurants in the southeastern United States in the 1950s.

Shoney's owned the Big Boy franchise in most Southeastern states. In other states, other chains owned the franchise and Shoney's expanded under the name "Shoney's Town and Country Restaurants" which were identical, except for the lack of the Big Boy iconography. Some Shoney's Big Boy restaurants were sold, such as one in Salem, Virginia, which was renamed Lendy's.

In 1976 a dispute arose among the several Big Boy franchise holders about this practice and as a result, Shoney's gave up its rights to the Big Boy name, thus Shoney's restaurants no longer have a statue of the Big Boy mascot in front of the store. The restaurants were all simply renamed "Shoney's", the Big Boy sandwich was simply renamed the "double decker hamburger" and "Shoney Bear" was developed as a corporate mascot. From this point, the company was effectively separate from Big Boy.

The company formerly operated the Captain D's fast food seafood chain.

Formerly it operated a motel chain as "Shoney's Inn" (properties rebranded as Guesthouse International Inns), three casual dining chains (The Sailmaker, Pargo's and The Fifth Quarter), and fast-food chain Lee's Fried Chicken. However, these assets have been sold in recent years with the majority being owned by ShoLodge, Inc. These motels began operating in 1976. Two Shoney's Inns continue to operate, one in West Monroe, Louisiana and one in Winchester, Virginia.[1]

In 2000 the company went bankrupt and was acquired by a private investor group. Two years later, the Texas-based investment group Lone Star Funds purchased the chain. On January 1, 2007, Lone Star announced that the Shoney's chain — by now down to 282 restaurants, down from its peak of more than 1,000 in the 1990s — was being sold to David Davoudpour, founder and CEO of Atlanta, Georgia-based Royal Capital Corporation, the largest franchisee of Church's Chicken restaurants. Davoudpour set up a new company, Shoney's North America Corporation, as a subsidiary of Royal; Davoudpour will serve as chairman and CEO. Lone Star had originally planned to sell the chain to Centrum Properties, a Brentwood, Tennessee investment group, but Centrum later sued to get out of the deal.[2]


  1. ^ "Shoney's Inn & Suites". Retrieved 2009-09-27.  
  2. ^ [1]

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