Wimpy was founded in 1934, in Bloomington, Indiana, by Edward Gold, as Wimpy Grills. The name was taken from the Popeye character, J. Wellington Wimpy. By 1947, there were 27 units, selling 8 million burgers per year. By the time of Edward Gold’s death in 1977, there were just seven locations in the USA and the brand disappeared, because Edward Gold had not made any arrangements for Wimpy, after his death.
In 1954, Gold licensed J. Lyons & Co to use the Wimpy name in Britain and the first Wimpy Bar, opened inside the Lyons Corner House, in Coventry Street, London W1.
Later, Edward Gold’s company, Wimpy Grills Inc of Chicago formed a joint company with Lyons, to handle worldwide locations outside the USA. Before he died, Gold sold his share to J Lyons & Co. By 1970, there were more than 1000 Wimpy restaurants, in 23 countries.
From 1977-1989 Wimpy UK was owned by United Biscuits. When Grand Metropolitan (now Diageo) acquired Wimpy, they started converting the counter service Wimpys to Burger Kings.
The 216 table service restaurants were bought via a management buy out in 1990. A second management buyout happened in 2002, when there were approximately 300 Wimpy restaurants.
In 2007, Famous Brands, a South African company, (which held the franchise for South Africa), bought Wimpy UK and updated the restaurants, to match Wimpy restaurants in South Africa, returning the logo to the logo used in the UK from the 1960s to 1980s, for example. In 2009, it upgraded 170 Wimpy restaurants, to resemble American diners. By March 2019, there were just 67 Wimpy restaurants in Britain, but more than 5000, within South Africa.
History over, on to the food..
The Wimpy Quarterpounder has 0g carbs per portion and 0g of carbs per 100g. The sliced bacon is 0.1g of carbs per portion or 0.2g carbs per 100g. The weirdly-named Pork bender is 2.7g carbs per portion or 2.9g carbs per 100g but it’s NOT gluten-free. The Breakfast Sausage is 5g carbs per portion or 9.9g carbs per 100g. Protein is 7.1g per portion or 14.1g per 100g. The sausages aren’t gluten free.
For Sausage, Egg and Chips it’s better to swap two breakfast sausages out (total10g carbs) for the pork bender (2.7g carbs) and hold the chips (fries) but this just leaves a sad plate of one fried egg, one pork bender and one tomato. Not the best value.
The All Day Breakfast seems better value. Two slices of bacon (0.2g carbs), one pork bender (2.7g carbs), 1 egg, half a griddled tomato, hold the Heinz baked beans and chips. Maybe add an extra egg or more bacon or another pork bender, (which is like a round frankfurter with slits, to make it resemble a cog).
The Great Wimpy Breakfast comprises 2 eggs, 2 slices of bacon, 2 sausages (total 10g carbs) and half a gridded tomato. Hold the Heinz baked beans and the toast. These sausages are good for protein and low in actual sugar, but there must be quite a lot of filler in them, to get 5g carbs per sausage.
Country Breakfast is simply 1 each of egg, bacon slice, sausage (5g carbs) plus half a griddled tomato. Just hold the beans. Should be a cheaper option.
Maison Keto favourite (and no payment is received for recommending it) International Grill – Quarterpounder (0g carbs), pork bender (2.7g carbs), 2 slices bacon (total 0.2g carbs), 1 egg and salad garnish. Hold the chips, and wait staff are usually amenable to adding extra salad in lieu of chips, usually at no cost.
Eggs and Toast Choice of fried or scrambled egg on toast. Hold the toast. If you’re partial to scrambled egg, it’s worth asking if you can have the scrambled egg as an extra. Might be advisable to ask if it’s pre-made reconstituted scrambled egg, or freshly made. In many Wimpy restaurants, you can watch the cooks working.
The Wimpy Grill is a simple Wimpy burger, with an egg, tomato and pork bender. Hold the chips. This, along with the International Grill, are useful hold one item meals, for the wait staff but also if you’re with friends or relies who start questioning your diet.
Gourmet Chicken Platter is a griddled roasted chicken breast with coleslaw and salad garnish. Hold the chips for sure.
It’s just common sense that low carbers should avoid the buns, breading, beans and sauces. That means, for example, that the Spicy Southern Fried Quorn Burger, Spicy Bean Burger, Breaded Chicken Fillet Burger and Fish Finger Burger are all OFF the menu.
It’s worth working out in advance from the website Home — Wimpy UK what you will order, especially if you have allergies. Here’s the 2019 Nutritional Booklet 81624 – Wimpy UK 2019 – A5 Nutritional Booklet V4_PRINT – YPS.indd (wimpy-uk.s3.eu-west-2.amazonaws.com)
During the pandemic, not all Wimpy restaurants are open and there’s a reduced menu. Some restaurants are operating a takeaway or delivery service, or both (18/07/20)