The Wimpy brand began in Coventry Street, London in 1954. The name was inspired by the character of J. Wellington Wimpy from the Popeye cartoons. Originally the bar was a special fast-food section within the more traditional Lyons Corner House restaurants, but the success soon led to the establishment of separate Wimpy restaurants serving only hamburger based meals. By 1970 the business had expanded to over a thousand restaurants in 23 countries.
In 1977, the business was acquired by United Biscuits. In 1989, the business was sold to Grand Metropolitan (now Diageo). In 1990, the remaining 220 "table service" restaurants were purchased by a management buy-out backed by 3i. A second management buy-out occurred in 2002.
On 27 February 2007, Famous Brands, which owns the Wimpy franchise in South Africa, announced that it had acquired Wimpy UK.
Wimpy has been part of the South African way of life since the 1960's and as with the UK has a strong place in the country's heart. It is reassuring that generations have been brought up on, and love, Wimpy burgers in both nations.
We are currently bringing in 'New Look' restaurants in the UK. The number of restaurants is constantly increasing with many more openings and revamping planned this year! For every re-opening Wimpy has a special launch day, with different events and offers available, to ensure our customers can help us celebrate a new opening.