Shoney’s, Real American Food

Shoney’s is not what it used to be.  Once known for its Big Boy – the sandwich and the imposing figure in the parking lot – they separated from the franchise back in the 70’s.  Today there are only a few hundred restaurants left of the thousands that were in business back in the 90’s.

Am I too young to enjoy eating at Shoney’s?  I have fond memories of our local Shoney’s establishment in my home town of Calhoun, GA.  We didn’t eat out very often, so going to a restaurant was a special occasion.  It usually meant that my parents had company from out of town, someone from church took us out, or perhaps it was an adult’s birthday.  I might have ordered the Big Boy; I’ve been eating Big Mac’s since about age 5.  It’s more likely that I had the All American Burger.  I don’t exactly remember what the difference was, but the All American came with a tiny American flag.  A family trip to Shoney’s was a rare occasion and always exciting.

I went to work for Shoney’s during my senior year of high school.  Minimum wage at that time was $3.25.  McDonald’s starting salary was $3.30, while Shoney’s started it’s employees at $3.75.  Shortly after I started working, they shut down for a week and did a total redesign.  That store still looks great today.  I treat my mother to the breakfast buffet a few times each year.

My wife and I stopped in at a Shoney’s in Tennessee just the other night.  For around nine bucks you get an all you can buffet with hot food, salad bar, soup, fruit and dessert.  Kids 4 and under eat free.  You can’t beat it.  There hasn’t been a new restaurant opened in years, and like I said they are in fact in decline.  It’s a shame though.  The food is real, and not priced to kill.  The service is great.  And it’s way more family friendly than a grill & bar.


About Clark Bunch

Pastor (Unity Baptist) author (God is Near) husband, father, blogger, coffee enthusiast.
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4 Responses to Shoney’s, Real American Food

  1. My family used to stop at Shoney’s all the time on vacations. I miss Shoney’s.


  2. Dudley says:

    We used to go to Shoney’s before or after a trip to the movies at the Village Theater in Rome(a la Jerry Mcguire in the freezing cold). I haven’t been to the one in Calhoun in years but it appeared that it was the only one of any quality in our area. Going there to eat their breakfast bar was Heaven on Earth.


  3. remixedcat says:

    I know that the shoney’s in my area are good. The one nearest to me is really good ate twice there this week. It was good. I hope shoney’s stays! I even have them reviewed on my blog if you want to check them out. it’s linked in this post.


  4. john says:

    I will visit shoneys with my son shoney


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