The unique "loose meat" ground beef sandwich has been Maid-Rite's claim to fame since 1926, when company lore has it that barber Fred Angell combined a special cut and grind of meat with select spices to create a sandwich that a customer said was "made right." With retro décor—black and white tile floors, red diner-style stools and plenty of polished chrome—and an emphasis on customer service, the chain makes the most of its heartland roots. CEO and part-owner Bradley L. Burt is targeting the central and southwestern United States for expansion this year.

LocationDes Moines, Iowa
2007 Systemwide Sales$46,000,000*
% Change in Sales12.2%
2007 U.S. Units85
% Change in Units16.4%
2007 Average Unit Volume$575,000
% Change in AUV4.5%
Future 50 Year2008