Runza Restaurants
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Runza Restaurants
Industry Fast Food
  • Runza Drive-Inn
  • Runza Hut
Founded Lincoln, Nebraska (1949 (1949))
  • Sarah "Sally" Everett
  • Alex Brening
Headquarters Lincoln, Nebraska, United States
Number of locations
83 (2017)
Area served
  • Nebraska
  • Western Iowa
  • Eastern Colorado
  • Eastern Kansas
Key people
Sally Everett, Alex Brening & Donald Everett, Sr.
Products Runza (Sandwich), Frings(TM), Sandwiches, Burgers, Chili, Desserts
Services Fast Food
Divisions Braeda Fresh Express Cafe

Runza (; previously also Runza Hut) is a Mid-western fast food restaurant chain specializing in ethnic cuisine once served by the Volga German immigrants to the United States.


In the years following the Civil War, the Burlington and Missouri River Railroad allowed German Russian migrants to colonize throughout Nebraska, specifically in the frontier settlement in Sutton, Clay County, Nebraska. Sarah "Sally" (Brening) Everett, was born in Sutton, NE and lived with her family on a farm. Her ancestors were Germans from Russia (near the Volga River region) and her parents (Brening family) migrated from Russia to the United States. Growing up, Sally's mother taught her how to make the traditional beef, cabbage and onion sandwich baked in homemade bread, following the family recipe.

In 1949, Sally and her brother, Alex Brening, opened the first Runza Drive-Inn in Lincoln, Nebraska, and began serving Runza sandwiches, a type of pastry filled with ground beef, onion, and cabbage from a small building near Pioneers Park. Though there are several names for similar products (bierock, pierogi and krautenruns), Sally was the one who coined the final spelling and pronunciation of her product and trademarked the Runza name. The menu was simple - Runza sandwiches, Hamburgers, Polish Dogs, Footlong Hot Dogs, Knockwurst, Pizza Burgers and French Fries.

In 1966, Don Everett Sr. (Sally's son) opened his first Runza car hop location at 56th & Holdrege in Lincoln, NE. In 1979, he sold his first franchise in Grand Island, NE and Runza grew rapidly during the 1980's. As of August 2017, the company operates and franchises 83 locations.[1] There are 78 locations throughout Nebraska with one location in Colorado (Loveland), two in Iowa (Council Bluffs and Clarinda) and two in Kansas (Lawrence and Mission).

The menu offers several types of Runza sandwiches, 100% beef hamburgers, grilled chicken sandwiches, homemade onion rings, chili, and milkshakes and their famous "Frings"(TM).

The Runza sandwich is also one of the staple foods at Memorial Stadium, Lincoln along with Valentino's Pizza and Fairbury Hot Dogs. The meat and cabbage sandwiches are popular with sports fans, as the Western Illinois University's student newspaper, the Western Courier, reported that 10,000 Runza sandwiches were sold at vending stands in the stadium during the September 2004 football game between Western Illinois and the University of Nebraska.[2]

Runza carries the tradition of the former Lincoln-based Miller & Paine department store's trademarked cinnamon rolls by using the same recipe and methods of baking, to which it purchased the rights in 2006.[3] The rolls are also served at Runza's sister chain, Braeda Fresh Express Cafe, which has one location in Lincoln.

The original Pioneers Park location closed in 1992. The building was demolished when Van Dorn Street was renovated as an elevated roadway.


External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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