How far can a franchisee diverge from the corporate standard in a chain resturant?

Did anyone have a reason to lie? Harmon could have lied to improve his image. The writer could have lied to add something to the story. Sanders (or associates) could have lied for HIS image. Anyway, it sure seems like somebody lied for some reason.

Hard to tell, isn’t it? I’d like to know where that guy got the story.

My first impulse was to reply that Sanders had patented his process of pressure cooker-enhanced “fried” chicken, but the patent wasn’t granted until 1962, and this story claims the “theft” took place over a decade earlier. If it’s true, Sanders wouldn’t have been able to sue.

I’m still skeptical because Sanders reputedly traveled with his equipment and spices in his car, so he could whip up the recipe on short notice for prospective franchisees. Even if he was short of one spice, there was no reason to go out and buy all eleven*. And he couldn’t have made up his chicken his style without the pressure cooker, so he clearly had his kit with him.

*William Poundstone, in Big Secrets, says he got a sample of the coating and had it analyzed, and found only four spices. Of course, that was long after the Colonel relinquished control, and the recipe was possibly streamlined (although they still used the “eleven secret herbs and spices” line in the advertising).

There was a Sizzler in Carson City that was running a “starving artist” sale. The walls were plastered with the most God-awful horrid paintings everywhere. With price tags!

It went under a while ago.

About 5 years ago, I was traveling with the family and stopped at a Dairy Queen. They did NOT have “Hunger Busters” and “Belt Busters” on the menu, and they did have different sandwiches. I was thinking Dairy Queen was updating their menu, but the next one we stopped at was standard DQ faire. That seems to have been a one off, though there might have been a couple of local franchises owned by the same person.
I was watching “Undercover Boss” and someone said that Weinerschnitzel had 2 levels of franchise, a limited one where you were essentially a glorified store manager and had to do everything by corporate direction, and a full franchise where you had more autonomy. I assume that most chains have some similar arrangement, and some chains more tightly control their franchises than others. McDonalds is now very brand conscious, so I suspect you won’t find many variations in their offerings.

Come to Hawaii. SPAM, Portuguese sausage, and rice are on the breakfast menu at McD besides the usual.

My Dad is Gino’s second cousin. My family name even shares the last four letters “-etti” with his last name (along with half the Italians on Earth, LOL).

Around here you can see different menus at McDonald’s mostly centered around special deals. Most if then right around me have a bundle deal that you don’t see 2 hours away but they have things like a basket of french fries with cheese on their menu.

IIRC, Hunger Busters are specific to Texas DQ - in most of the rest of the country, the signature sandwich is called a Grillburger.

On a similar note, Taco Time granted exclusive rights to the western Washington market to a franchise called “Taco Time Northwest”, which runs its own advertising and has a lot of variation between its menu and the nationwide menu - the burrito line is completely different, for example, and they have things like chimichangas and corn chowder that the rest of the chain doesn’t have at all. Jack in the Box also has some products that are exclusive to certain markets - in Hawaii they have Spam and Portugese sausage on the menu, and in Texas they have/had a “Big Texas Cheeseburger” with mustard and pickles.

Here’s an odd one - about 15 years ago, I lived across the street from a Burger King that had Wendy’s chili and Jack in the Box tacos on its menu. Not knockoffs either - the genuine product, obviously from those chains’ suppliers. How the owner pulled that off, I have no idea.

IME on three continents, McDonalds and Subways have the most standardization. KFC somewhat less so.

I know there are some regional variances on menu, but the basic menu remains the same and the taste is the same.

Perhaps the owner owned Burger King, Wendy’s and Jack in the Box franchises?

I remember Gino’s, thanks for the memory. I don’t want to hijack this thread, but has it become common for francises to join together? For example, Baskin Robbins and Dunkin Donuts never used to be connected. Now, we see it a lot around here. In fact, just yesterday my daughter asked if they were always together, she can’t recall a Baskin Robbins not with a Dunkin Donuts. How does that work? It’s all under one roof are profits split?

The short answer is that Baskin-Robbins is owned by Dunkin’ Brands, which also owns Dunkin’ Donuts.

Similarly, one will frequently see restaurants that are combos of KFC, Taco Bell, and / or Pizza Hut, since all three of those are owned by Yum! Brands.

I grew up just west of Philly and I remember Gino’s. They went out business sometime in the late 70s or early 80s (if I remember correctly).

In more recent decades we’ve had a very good sit-down Italian restaurant named Gino’s which doesn’t appear to be part of a chain and as far as I know is unrelated to the old hamburger chain.

More recently, Gino’s hamburger joints have been popping up in the area. They don’t appear to serve KFC and I have no idea if they’re related to the old hamburger restaurants or not.

Not the menu, but the McDonald’s in Freeport ME is a little different.

You think THAT McDonald’s is different…

Yes, of course, that makes perfect sense.

In Moorhead, Minnesota, a “rogue” Dairy Queen operates under a 1949 contract. Despite not offering inside seating, the place keeps the customers coming with treats that have disappeared from (or, in some cases, never appeared at) more typical DQ locations.

Holy shit! That’s a pretty crazy McDonald’s!

Something similar happened about a decade ago with the Little Caesars franchisees in northern Michigan. After corporate took away the name and such, they rebranded as “spicy bob’s” though some new LC’s have sprung up in a few places up there (I assume more compliant to the official LC supply chain). Lot of hullabaloo over a $5 'za.

I just wiki’d Gino’s Restaurants. Founded in 1957, had over 300 stores when they were bought out by Marriott in 1982 and became Roy Roger’s restaurants. I had no idea.

After Gino and his group started opening Gino’s Burgers and Chicken in (2010?) and are still open today. Gino Marchetti is 90 years old and still among us.