Burger Chef Restaurant

Burger Chef Restaurant

Burger Chef was once a nationwide chain based in Indianapolis, who at one point had more locations than McDonalds, but is now a relic of the past.

Founded in 1954, Burger Chef had four Muncie locations, with the first, on S Madison St, being the company’s 190th. Burger Chef was known for its burger called the “Big Shef,” as well as its animated ads featuring “Burger Chef and Jeff.”

Burger Chef was purchased by Hardee’s in 1982, and many of the franchise locations were converted to Hardee’s stores. Only three out of Muncie’s four locations were converted, with the Madison St. location remaining a Burger Chef until 1984, where it was reopened as “Debbie’s,” by local restaurateurs. 

The final Burger Chef location closed in 1996, and only two of the four buildings still stand, the Thrive Credit Union on Wheeling and Osteria32 on Kilgore were both sites of former Burger Chef turned Hardee’s. Hardee’s has offered promotions bringing back the “Big Shef” burger to honor the beloved restaurant.


Burger chef gallery (photos from lost muncie)

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