Category Archives: Press Release

Dick’s Drive-In Kicks off a Celebration of 70 Years with 19 Cent Burger Days at All Locations

King County – Dick’s Drive-In turns 70 years old this month and is kicking off a year of celebrations with 19 cent burgers at specific locations all day, January 23rd – January 25th.

January 23rd: Wallingford, Broadway, Lake City
January 24th: Holman Road, Crossroads, Federal Way
January 25th: Edmonds, Queen Anne, Kent

When the original founders, Dick Spady, Warren Ghormley and Dr. B.O.A. “Thom” Thomas opened the first Dick’s Drive-In location in Wallingford on NE 45th ST on January 28th, 1954, they sold hamburgers for 19 cents in Seattle’s first quick service hamburger restaurant. “The local price for hamburgers at the time was 35 cents,” said Jasmine Donovan, President of Dick’s Drive-In and granddaughter of the namesake Dick Spady. “Not many people believed that selling burgers for 19 cents, especially with a commitment to quality ingredients, could succeed, but for our customers it was love at first bite and here we are 70 years later.” 

To learn more about this event please visit https://www.ddir.com/19-cent-burgers/ 

Dick’s Drive-In plans to celebrate their 70th anniversary throughout the year in 2024. “We’re looking forward to celebrating with our customers, employees and communities, all the amazing memories from the last 70 years and imagining together what the next 70 years will look like,” said Donovan. The iconic local restaurant brand is soon opening reservations for the always sold out Ricardo’s Club 19 Valentine’s Day event, hosting car shows, and celebrating with a 70th Anniversary Party this summer!

In addition to serving quality food, fast and inexpensively, Dick’s Drive-In is also known for providing the best wages and benefits in the industry. Crew members start at $21 per hour and receive regular merit raises up to $26 per hour as they gain skills in the restaurant. All employees receive 100% employer paid health insurance, access to a $28,000 college scholarship benefit or child care tuition assistance, and promotion opportunities. All managers are promoted from within and every Dick’s Drive-In restaurant manager started as a crew member.

Dick’s Drive-In’s RoundUp for Charity program has raised over two and a half million dollars for nine local charity partners including Compass Housing Alliance, Mary’s Place, FareStart and Cocoon house. “Investing in our communities has been a part of our business model from the beginning,” says Donovan. “By cleaning up trash in our neighborhoods, creating high-quality jobs, improving access to educational opportunities through our scholarship program and donating to local charities, we know, when our community thrives our business will thrive.”

Dick’s Drive-Ins’ 10th Location will open in South Everett! Company Announces Agreement to Purchase Property on Highway 99 near Paine Field

Snohomish County – After the successful opening of the ninth Dick’s location in Federal Way (the second in South King County), Dick’s Drive-Ins is heading north. The company announced today that it has signed a purchase and sale agreement to acquire a site just north of Airport Road on Highway 99. The property is located at 1629 Center Road, Everett.

“We know our customers north of Edmonds have been waiting patiently for us to look north again,” said Jasmine Donovan, President of Dick’s Drive-Ins and granddaughter of the founder and namesake, Dick Spady. Edmonds was the first new location the beloved local burger restaurant chain opened in 37 years, back in 2011.

“My grandfather and his two co-founders believed they could provide value to customers by serving quality food, fast and inexpensively, in exceptionally clean kitchens. They also believed in investing in their employees and their community. Our customers tell us that these values are timeless,” said Donovan. “We’ve been working hard to build our capacity to grow sustainably and are very excited to bring Dick’s Drive-Ins to Everett.” Each new Dick’s Drive-In location creates about 50 new jobs.

The property purchase is contingent on the successful completion of various feasibility studies and obtaining all necessary permits from Snohomish County and the City of Everett. “Both Snohomish County and the City of Everett have been so welcoming. We look forward to working with their land use teams to find a successful path forward to opening this new location,” Donovan shared.

The original Dick’s Drive-In opened in January 1954 on Northeast 45th Street in Seattle’s Wallingford neighborhood. The company will kick-off its 70th anniversary celebrations later this year. Dick’s Drive-In is known for serving delicious burgers made from fresh-never-frozen certified angus beef, hand dipping and individually whipping its signature milkshakes and hand cutting its french fries from local Washington potatoes. They are also known for paying the best wages and benefits in the industry, including a 100% employer-paid medical insurance plan, and a $28,000 college scholarship program for both part-time and full-time employees. Dick’s Drive-In also invests in charities serving our local communities through its RoundUp for Charity program, having raised and donated over $2.9 million dollars since it was created.

Dick’s Drive-Ins Selects Bellevue’s Crossroads Shopping Center for Eastside Location!

Bellevue – Dick’s Drive-Ins will open its much-anticipated Eastside location in Crossroads Shopping Center in Bellevue. “We are so thrilled to announce our next location,” said Jasmine Donovan, President of Dick’s Drive-Ins and granddaughter of the namesake Dick Spady. “It will be wonderful to be back in Bellevue again after almost 50 years. We can’t wait to build new delicious memories with our customers, employees and the Eastside community.”

In September of 2020, Dick’s announced it was searching for a new location on the Eastside. They asked fans to send them potential sites and vote with their feet when the Dick’s Food Truck visited their cities. “Since we started growing again with our Edmonds location opening in 2011, we’ve really relied on our customers to tell us where our next location should be built,” said Donovan. “First our customers chose north, then they voted South, and we promised we would build on the Eastside next.”

“On behalf of the City of Bellevue, I am pleased to welcome Dick’s Drive-In back to the Eastside!” said Bellevue Mayor Lynne Robinson. “The new restaurant location will be right at home in the thriving Crossroads neighborhood of Bellevue. Like many others in the community, I look forward to enjoying some classic burgers, fries and shakes with family and friends.”

“Dick Spady was a long-time resident of Bellevue, and a friend, who tirelessly engaged community members to facilitate broad civic engagement throughout King County,” said Councilmember Conrad Lee. “Dick’s Drive-In is not only known for good food at low prices, but for investing in its employees and the community. Bellevue welcomes Dick’s Drive-In Restaurants at the new location at Crossroads that represents the return to the City of Bellevue after 50 years. Bellevue is really a big deal, now that we have our very own Dick’s Drive-In!”

In an unusual move the 67-year-old, family-owned company is leasing the space at Crossroads for its eighth restaurant. “We typically buy our real estate,” said Donovan, “But on the Eastside it made more sense to lease, and we were thrilled to find a great partner in Crossroads Shopping Center.”

Stuart Tanz, CEO of ROIC, owner of Crossroads Shopping Center, stated: “We are absolutely thrilled that Dick’s Drive-In is coming to Bellevue and has chosen Crossroads Shopping Center as their new Bellevue home.  ROIC proudly has a long tradition of seeking out and bringing popular businesses to Bellevue to help enrich the community.  Dick’s Drive-In will be a wonderful addition to Crossroads’ diverse mix of essential, dining and entertainment tenants.  Along with all of Bellevue, and greater Seattle, we love Dick’s burgers and can’t wait for them to open!”

Donovan shared, “We hope to be open by the end of 2021. It really depends on the permitting process and the construction process in the world of COVID-19.” The restaurant will look almost identical to existing locations, with customers walking up to service windows on the exterior of the building.

Dick’s Drive-Ins is known not only for its low prices, instant service and quality food, but also for offering the best wages and benefits in the industry including 100% employer paid health insurance for all employees and a $28,000 scholarship for all employees working at least 20 hours a week. “This new location will add close to 50 jobs,” said Donovan. “Some people have wondered why we would continue to grow while we’re still in a pandemic and there’s all this uncertainty. We are proud of the jobs we provide and want to provide more opportunity to people, especially during these challenging times.” All of Dick’s managers are hired from within.

Dick’s Drive-Ins serves a delicious and limited menu of burgers made from fresh-never-frozen USA certified Angus ground beef on fresh and locally made buns, as well as hand-cut fries from Washington potatoes and hand-dipped and individually whipped milkshakes.

Photo Credit: Dick’s Drive-In: Mock-up of the future Dick’s Drive-In

EASTSIDE, YOU ARE NEXT! DICK’S ANNOUNCES SEARCH FOR NEW LOCATION

East King County – Dick’s Drive-Ins announced today that, in addition to launching a Food Truck this fall, Dick’s has selected East King County for the location to build its next new restaurant. “Our customers on the Eastside have been waiting a very long time,” said Jasmine Donovan, President of Dick’s Drive-Ins. “We’re excited to finally start the official search.”

 

The eastside territory includes cities as far north as Bothell, as far south as Newcastle and as far east as Redmond, Issaquah and Sammamish. Just last week, Dick’s announced the launch of a new Food Truck coming this fall and a poll for customers to vote on where it goes first. The top five cities to get a visit from the new Food Truck were announced earlier today.

 

Donovan says the new mini, mobile version of its iconic restaurant will help scout potential home cities and sites on the Eastside. “Places where the Food Truck serves the most customers on the Eastside are places where we’ll seriously look for a permanent Eastside location,” she said.

 

The local, family owned company does not have a specific timeline for when the new location will open. “It depends a lot on how long it takes us to find a good piece of real estate for our new location and whether we can find it at the right price,” said Donovan. “We paid $1 million for almost an acre of land in Edmonds, and less than that for 2 acres of land in Kent. We know land on the Eastside is very expensive right now. Although, we are prepared to spend more for a good site, we are not sure we can afford the land that we need.  We are asking for help from our Eastside customers and cities to help us find an affordable location.” Customers with specific property suggestions or tips should go to ddir.com/Eastside.

 

Both of the properties for Dick’s newest locations, Edmonds (2011) and Kent (2018), were not officially available on the market when the company started searching for those locations after online customer polls showed the most support north (in 2010) and south (in 2017). “Our customers gave us great leads and the city mayors, council members and development directors were exceptionally helpful in connecting us to great potential sites,” said Donovan.

In addition to offering some of Seattle’s best burgers, fries and shakes since 1954, Dick’s is known for offering the best wages and benefits in the fast food industry. “We have been truly blessed to continue to be open and serving customers in this time of uncertainty,” said Donovan. “We want to continue to create jobs and new opportunities for people in the communities we serve.  And we want to bring those jobs to a new community, hopefully on the Eastside.” A new Dick’s Drive-In location creates about 50 new jobs that include benefits such as 100% employer paid health insurance for all employees and $28,000 scholarships for employees working at least 20 hours a week.

Dick’s Drive-In Food Truck Announced

Puget Sound – Dick’s Drive-In Restaurants is launching a food truck this November to bring their iconic Seattle burgers and shakes to you. And Dick’s wants your help deciding where it should go first. Online voting starts today at www.ddir.com/FoodTruck.

Customers can choose from a list of cities where they would like the food truck to make its first stops. Dick’s intends to send the truck all over the region to serve customers and fans who can’t make it to one of their 7 current locations in Seattle, Edmonds and Kent.

“When we built our restaurants in Edmonds and Kent, our customers helped us decide where those restaurants should be,” said Jasmine Donovan, President of Dick’s Drive-In. “And while it takes over a year to build each new restaurant, with the food truck, we can reach customers all over the Puget Sound region beginning this fall.”

The Dick’s Drive-In food truck will serve the full menu of burgers, shakes and Coca Cola beverages. “Unfortunately, we could not include our signature fries on this one, but we will have chips,” Jasmine Donovan shared. “However, if this truck is successful, we have plans for more in the future including a fry truck.” The first truck is going through its final construction at NW Mobile Kitchens, Portland and should be ready by mid-November to head out to one of the new customer-nominated locations.

Dick’s Drive-In is known for its quality food, instant service, low prices, investing in their community and being an excellent employer, with the highest pay and benefits in the industry, including 100% free health insurance for all employees and a $28,000 scholarship and childcare assistance program.

The first location opened in Wallingford in 1954 and today the family business has five locations in Seattle, one in Edmonds and one in Kent. The company was in the news recently for enlisting the help of customers to send “Burger Love,” boxes of cheeseburgers and hamburgers, to hospital heroes and first responders across the Puget Sound region in response to the COVID crisis. Over 48,000 burgers were delivered.

When Dick’s announced its most recent new location, the online poll asking customers where it should be built received 100,000 votes in 24 hours and almost 200,000 votes total. The winner was South King County and the Kent location opened in December 2018.

For more information check out www.ddir.com and follow us on social media: Facebook/Instagram: @dicksdrivein
Twitter: @dicksdriveins

Dick’s Drive-In Customers Donate Over 1,000 Burger Boxes for Hospital Heroes in under Four Days – That’s a Lot of Burger Love!

Dick’s Drive-In customers purchased over 1,000 boxes of burgers to donate to local hospitals and fire stations in less than four days. The local restaurant and its long-time key suppliers, Macdonald Meats and Franz Bakeries, are matching those donations and sending over 2,000 boxes to Hospital Heroes and first responders on the frontlines of the battle against the Corona virus.

“We knew our customers wanted to help,” said Jasmine Donovan, President of Dick’s Drive-In Restaurants and granddaughter of the namesake Dick Spady. “It is amazing how much love they are sending!”

“Employees at Seattle based MacDonald Meat Company are proud to be a partner of Dick’s Drive-In and honored to help support the community in such an impactful way,” said Josh Melnick, Executive Vice President of MacDonald Meat Company, Inc. “Seattle’s healthcare workers are the real heroes and we hope to bring some joy to them during this time.”

Franz Family Bakeries has been a local bakery serving the Pacific Northwest since 1906. “We say that it’s a family affair at Franz Bakery,” said Todd Fultz, Account Executive at Franz. “We are proud to support the local community and our community members working on the front line.”

On Friday, April 3rd, Dick’s Drive-In announced on social media and with signs at their restaurants that customers could purchase a box of 24 burgers for Hospital Heroes. The beloved local restaurant chain would deliver those boxes to local hospitals and match up to 500 boxes. By Saturday, customers had already purchased over 500 boxes.

On Sunday, Dick’s announced it would expand the match to 1,000 boxes and would include deliveries to first responders at fire stations as well. By Monday afternoon, over 1,000 boxes were donated. The team at Dick’s is working with hospitals and fire stations around their 7 locations to distribute all of that burger love. “We are sold out for now,” said Donovan. “And we are so excited to get those burgers out there as quickly as possible.”

Dick’s Drive-In has served Seattle area customers for over 66 years. The local, family-owned restaurant chain serves burgers made with fresh, never-frozen high-quality beef on locally made buns, fries that are hand-cut from real Washington potatoes and shakes that are hand-dipped and individually whipped. The company is equally well known for investing in their employees with the best pay and benefits in the industry and as well as for their support of the local community.

Longest Serving Dick’s Drive-In Employee Celebrates 40 Years with the Company

Seattle – On Thursday June 6th, 2019, Pam Rall will celebrate 40 years working for Dick’s Drive-In Restaurants. She is the longest serving employee in company history. Originally hired to work at the Queen Anne location near the Space Needle, she has worked at many of the Seattle restaurants and has been the Day Manager at the Queen Anne location since 1999.

On Pam’s first day in 1979, the Dick’s on Queen Anne Ave was only four years old. The Deluxe and Special burgers were new menu items and the Sonics still played at Key Arena.“Onmy first day, the manager asked me to‘openone of the windows,’” she recounts.“Isaid‘excuseme sir, but I didn’t think the windows in the dining room actually open.’ Then I learned he meant to open the cash register and serve customers.” Queen Anne was the first Dick’s Drive-In restaurant that had indoor seating and not the traditional drive-in look with windows to serve customers.
Hired by one of the three original partners, Warren Ghormley, she distinctly remembers her interview with him at the main office.“It was at the end of the day and he kept checking things from the manual to talk to me about,” she shared.“Atone point I said‘Sir,are we going to be done soon, because the Sonics are playing tonight and I’d like to get home to see the game.’ He said“The Game!” and promptly ended the interview, leaving it to his assistant to close the office for the day.” That was the night the Sonics won the NBA Championship. 
40 years later she is serving Deluxes, Fries and Shakes to customers in the shadow of Key Arena, now under renovationto play host to the NHL team coming to Seattle in 2022. Much has changed in the city she’s called home, but her commitment to Dick’s high standards of customer service and food quality has not waivered. She has mentored hundreds of young people who have started their careers at Dick’s in her position as a Day Manager. And she has served countless delicious memories to thousands of customers. Pam also raised two daughters,“Anda husband,” as she likes to say. They also live in Seattle. 
“I just love working for this company,” said Pam.“Customers want good food and quick service and low prices as much as they did when I started. That hasn’t changed. And they take good care of their people.”
“It is amazing to think that Pam started serving great food and making memories with customers before I was born,” said Jasmine Donovan, President of Dick’s Drive-In and granddaughter of one of the three original founders, Dick Spady.“Weare honored that she continues to commit her time and energy to ensuring our customers get instant service and great food every day. It‘s just one of many examples that the value we provide to customers and employees is not‘old-fashioned,’it’s timeless.”
Queen Anne was the last Dick’s Drive-In location built by the original three partners. In the early 1990’s Dick Spady and his family bought out the other two original partners. In 2011, with a lot of customer participation in site selection, they opened the first new location in 37 years in Edmonds. In December, 2018 Dick’s opened another new location in Kent. 
Pam Rall Original Employee Photo June 6th 1979.
Photo Credit: Dick’s Drive-In Restaurants
Any media interested in interviewing Pam Rall may do so on Thursday, June 6th from 11AM to 11:30AM at the Queen Anne Dick’s Drive-Ins 500 Queen Anne Ave N Seattle WA 98109. Please e-mail [email protected] or call(206)877-2101 with questions.

Dick’s Drive-In & Doordash join together to support PNW bands at SXSW.

[Austin Texas, March 11-16]

For the third year in a row, Dick’s Drive-In is featuring local bands on their own live stage at SXSW.  Bands include The Spider Ferns, Terrance Brown, Healr, General Mojo’s, Spencer Shangrow, Dirty Dirty, Scarlet Parke, Cumulus, Pale Mountain, Trick Candles, Merrily James, Harrison B, La Fonda, and All Star Opera.

Experience the next level of Seattle music & technology as Seattle icon Dick’s Drive-In hits the road to SXSW alongside local Seattle musicians.  For the third year in a row artists will gather as we create the Seattle House @ SXSWa music experience exclusively for PNW musicians, artists & creators. Performances will be broadcasted on the 12th-16that 5pm and 7pm (PST) from to the Dick’sDrive-In Facebook page.

“At Dick’sdrive in we’re incredibly proud to support our artists and musical community by going to SXSW” says Saul Spady, “We want to support our local musicians as they reach out beyond our community and many of our local budding musicians come to SWSW with no support.  So I had the idea to build an experience for our community and then broadcast it back to Seattle. Dick’s Drive-In knows the music community has always depended on a delicious burger, good fries, and cold shakes after a show.”

Past artists include Seatte Symphony musician Nathan Chan, Manatee Commune, Gifted Gab, La Fonda, Monster Watch, All Star Opera, Plastic Picnic, Lion’s Ambition and more.

 

Links:

Click Here  and Here for 2018 live streamed performances from SXSW.

Click Here for a recap of our visit to SXSW 2018.

Dick’s Drive-Ins Opens in Kent on Wednesday morning!

King County – Dick’s is ready to open its first ever drive-in south of Seattle, after the “south” region won the customer vote for its 7th restaurant. The grand opening festivities begin at 10:00 AM this Wednesday, December 12th.

​​Join the celebration including: high school bands, bag pipes, ribbon cutting, a pop-up swag store and more. Kent Mayor Dana Ralph, King County Council members Von Reichbauer, Upthegrove, Dembowski, Coolbird (the Seattle Thunderbirds’ mascot), Highline College President Dr. John Mosby, and of course the 12 winners of Dick’s Orange Ticket contest will help us cut the ribbon to open the new restaurant!

​​ “We’re so excited to open!” says Jasmine Donovan, Executive Vice President of Dick’s Drive-In and granddaughter of its co-founder and namesake, Dick Spady. “For our fans in south King County we know it’s been a long wait and we thank you for your patience. We also want to thank everyone at the City of Kent for all of their hard work in helping us reach this milestone, as well as our fantastic construction team.”

​​The ceremony includes performances by the Thomas Jefferson High School and Kennedy Catholic High School bands and the King County Firefighters Pipes and Drums.

​​“We know from the enthusiasm on social media that many of our customers are excited to join the celebration,” says Donovan.  In addition to the bands, VIP’s, and inaugural burgers, fries and shakes, the event will include the Agitator Hydroplane and crew from nearby Steve Huff motorsports, a Dick’s pop-up apparel store, artist Jen Clement creating Orange Ticket replicas for sale, and music by Meglados Music.

​​To ensure that everyone will have a chance to enjoy a burger, fry and shake during the opening days, order quantities will be limited per customer. Please check information at the store daily.

​​When Dick’s announced in March 2017 that they wanted to open a 7th location, once again they asked their fans to decide where to build it.  The online customer poll resulted in over 170,000 votes.  On March 27th, 2017, the company announced the south region had won with 60% of the vote. On April 3rd, 2018, a groundbreaking ceremony was held to officially begin construction of the new restaurant.​​

​​The original Dick’s Drive-In location opened in January 1954 on NE 45th street in Wallingford. The new restaurant will open on Wednesday, December 12, 2018 serving south King County and everyone traveling past the Kent-Des Moines exit on I-5 and nearby Highway 99.

​​Dick’s new Kent restaurant is located at 24220 Pacific Highway South, about 5 miles south of SeaTac airport and close to Highline College. The crew of the new Dick’s Drive-In includes many local students, who have been training at Seattle locations since May, as well as some veteran employees who are lending a hand during the opening weeks.

DDIR Kent Groundbreaking Ceremony!

Construction Begins on the new Dick’s Drive-In in Kent with ground breaking ceremony!

King County – On Tuesday, April 3rd at 11:30AM members of the Spady family, Dick’s Drive-Ins employees, the Mayor of the City of Kent and five memory fan winners will break ground on the new Dick’s Drive-In’s in Kent, located 24220 Pacific Highway South, in the Midway shopping center, next to Lowe’s. 

“We’re so excited to begin construction,” says Jasmine Donovan, Executive Vice President of Dick’s Drive-In and granddaughter of the co-founder and namesake, Dick Spady. “For our fans in south King County we know it’s been a long wait and we thank you for your patience. We want to thank everyone at the City of Kent for all of their hard work in helping us reach this milestone.”

“It’s a great day for our company! We look forward to bringing great food and great first-time jobs to the communities of south King County with the opening of this new location in the fall,” said Jim Spady, President of Dick’s Drive-In and son of Dick Spady.

“Dick’s Drive-in has been a Seattle icon since the 1950s. We are beyond excited that the Dick’s family has chosen Kent as its next location, and we are honored to be a part of today’s event. I am sure the entire Kent community joins me in welcoming Dick’s to Kent’s West Hill. We can’t wait to order our first Dick’s Deluxe burger and fries so close to home, and we wish you many years of success!” – Mayor Dana Ralph, City of Kent

When Dick’s announced last March that they wanted to open a seventh location, once again they let their fans decide where to go. The new site selection process included an online customer poll that resulted in over 170,000 votes, 100,000 of which came in the first 24 hours. On March 27th, 2017, the company announced on Facebook Live that the south region had won with 60% of the vote.

When it came down to finding the right site, Dick’s Drive-In enlisted the help of a great team from the Kidder Matthews’ Tacoma office, Jeff Kraft and Cramer Foster.

The original Dick’s Drive-In location opened in the 1954 on NE 45th street in Wallingford. The most recent restaurant built was the Edmonds location which opened in 2011 after a similar customer poll directed the company to find property to the north of Seattle. The new location in Kent will maintain the original restaurant’s iconic 1950’s look and architecture.

We are also excited that Highline Community College student body president Vanessa Primer and Cool Bird will be joining us.  Click HERE for our announcement video and a video of the Thunderbirds’ mascot campaigning for Dick’s Drive-In to open its next location in Kent.