Big Boy restaurant chain changes mascot

U.S. & World

WAYLAND, Mich. (WOOD) — The red plaid overall-laden Big Boy statue will no longer be the face of Big Boy restaurants starting Monday. 

Though the name will remain, the Big Boy mascot will be replaced with a girl named Dolly

The change does not affect Frisch’s Big Boy, which is a separate company with locations in Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky.

“You may have heard that some Big Boy restaurants in Michigan, not affiliated with Frisch’s, are temporarily changing their mascot. At Frisch’s Big Boy, which operates in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana, we’re remaining faithful to our beloved Big Boy. For more than 70 years, neighborhood Frisch’s restaurants have made memories with your family as the home of burgers, breakfast and Big Boy. We intend that to be the case for at least 70 more,” said Frisch’s President and CEO Jason Vaughn.

It’s part of a promotional campaign announcing the release of the chain’s new fried chicken sandwich, but Frank Alessandrini, Big Boy director of training, said Big Boy could be going bye-bye.

“We are rolling out a brand-new chicken sandwich. We’re calling it the best cluckin’ chicken sandwich around, and Dolly, who has been with Big Boys since the 1950(s) as far as we can go back with our comic books,” Alessandrini said. “We decided that she’s going to be the star of this sandwich as Big Boy was the star of his double-decker sandwich.”

Big Boy said it has “reignited” the fried chicken sandwich debate started by Popeyes late last year — with a twist. The first 20 people in line at 11 a.m. Monday will receive a free chicken sandwich every week for the rest of the year. 

“We felt it was necessary to give folks something new to try at a Big Boy, give them a reason to come,” Alessandrini said. “We wanted to continue to show that we’re still moving forward. We recognize the times that we’re in, hopefully, turning the corner in this pandemic and come out of it, but we want to set ourselves up for the future as well.”

Management said the switch in franchise faces has nothing to do with the nationwide push to remove offensive names, statues and logos. The change was strictly business. 

“It is Dolly’s time to shine now with our chicken sandwich. So, she’s taken the forefront right now. She’s in charge,” Alessandrini said. “The name will always be Big Boy, but as far as the logo, she’s leading the charge, and we’ll see when he comes back if he does.”

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