The home of the Gino's Giant, the first fast-food triple-decker burger, is back after a near-30-year absence.
And Gino's Burgers and Chicken has Bensalem near the top of its list, bringing its third restaurant and 50 jobs to Street Road later this month.
“We're shooting for Sept. 27,” President and CEO Tom Romano told Patch.
“We are located at 1606 Street Road in Bensalem about a mile from the Parx Casino, between Route 95 and the Pennsylvania Turnpike, both of which have an exit to Street Road. In addition to an ideal demographic profile, this stretch has a traffic count by the location which we consider a regional draw which is more than double our standard,” said Romano, who joined the original company in the mid 1960s.
The new restaurant, across from Texas Road House, will be company-operated and comprise 2,800 square feet along with an outside patio that will seat more than 100 people, Romano explained. Spokeswoman Peg Varani said it also will feature the new company's first drive-through window which she acknowledged could present a challenge since Gino's touts burgers “hot off the grill.”
"But we're ready for it," she added.
Gino's was founded in 1957 in Baltimore by two former Colts football players, Alan Ameche and Gino Marchetti, and their longtime friend Louis C. Fischer. Several other stores were soon added in Maryland and within a year Gino's Drive-ins expanded to nearby states including Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware.
In 1965 Gino’s entered into a co-branding relationship with Col. Harland Sanders, founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken.
The Gino Giant was added to the menu in 1966. Another successful Gino’s innovation came in 1969 with the concept of inside seating.
To support its growth, Gino’s became a publicly held company having once traded on the New York Stock Exchange. As such, the company became a prime target for takeover, and in 1982 Marriott Corp. acquired Gino's to incorporate into their Roy Rogers brand expansion. At the time of its acquisition, Gino's had more than 500 restaurants and 20,000 employees, according to its website.
The first new location opened in October in King of Prussia, the same town as the original chain's headquarters. After Bensalem, next up are stores in Coatesville and Dresher, Pa., Perryhall, Md. and Voorhees, NJ.
“When Tom Romano called me and asked me to help bring Gino’s back, I thought wow, how cool is that? I thought of all the happy faces that Gino’s created from employees to vendors and most importantly for the millions of customers we served over the years,” NFL Hall of Famer Marchetti writes on the company website.
“Since July 2009, we have been busy at work doing what I like to do best which is to develop the menu and recipes. With the help of our suppliers and a full understanding of what Gino's Burgers & Chicken customers want today we have developed what I believe is a sure formula for success.”
Those interested in a job at the Bensalem Gino's need to apply in person at the Street Road facility between 8:30 am and 6:30 pm Mondays through Saturdays, and 11 am to 4 pm Sundays.