It's Edmond's 12th Birthday!
This week we take a quick break from all of the spooky to take a look back at one of the biggest moments in Dick's Drive-In History. After 37 years, the Drive-In finally expanded and opened a new restaurant in 2011. That restaurant was of course our Edmonds location, and this Friday, Oct. 20th, it turns 12 years old! Keep reading to find out more about that momentous occasion back in 2011.
It was clear from customer comments and the success of our other locations that there was a great demand for expansion. But investing in a new restaurant is expensive and we had not done it in 37 years. That being said, we felt an obligation to our customers and the community at large to grow. Dick’s offers good jobs and if we grew we could offer more and better jobs to the community. Plus it would make it easier for our more distant customers to get their favorite burgers, fries, and shakes and that is a serious win!
Since it had been so long since we had a new location there wasn't really a precedent for how to go about it. Sure, the restaurant, menu, and great service would all be the same, but where would we go? We decided the best ones to decide that were you, our customers, and so the North vs. South vs. East contest began. And oh boy did y'all have an opinion! We managed to crash Survey Monkey, which was new at the time, and then we found out we had two hackers crashing the party. One was near Boening North in Everett and one was near Boeing South in Renton and they were each casting 100s of votes by the second! This stopped the voting process until we could find their IP addresses and remove all the fake votes. After that, the voting was back on. Jim Spady said in media interviews "Hackers, we know who you are, and if you don't stop we will revoke your burger privileges forever!" As threats go, it worked! In the end, North won and in a twist of fate, announcing that we were headed north opened the doors to us quickly finding the Edmond's location. It happened so fast that some people thought the voting was fake and that we had already selected a location. But the owners of the property were huge fans of Dick's Drive-Ins and hadn't even listed the property for sale yet. When they saw the announcement it opened the lines of communication and off we went to Edmonds!
Now that we had the where, how were we going to celebrate? Well, in a big way of course! It started with a new idea, the Orange Ticket contest. Think very Willy Wonka and a golden ticket, but orange, because, well, you know. Following clues on Facebook, Twitter and radio, fans had to be the first to find 1 of 13 tickets that would get you a coveted place at the head of the line on opening day. Once opening day rolled around there was live music from the NW Junior Pipe Band, Edmonds Woodway High School band, and Lynwood High School Band, there were also speeches, and of course hungry customers! In fact, the first customer (other than Orange Ticket winners) showed up at 3 AM to secure their spot in line! Just to put that in perspective, the restaurant started serving at 3:30 PM, so they waited almost 12 hours straight for their food!
One of the best parts of the day was that Dick Spady, the last living founder of the company was in attendance to celebrate. He cut the ribbon to announce the official grand opening and had a great time among the happy customers. His son, Jim Spady said"He was energized and touched deeply by the outpouring of love from all the people who were there. Dick listened to everyone’s personal stories and signed autographs on memory books and t-shirts for hours until he was just too tired to go on. He had just turned 88."
The restaurant was an instant hit and the day after opening they broke company records for most burgers sold in a day. And not by just a little, by THIRTY percent! The fans had spoken and they turned out to show their love, support, and readiness for the next new location...in a few years.