For kids growing up right now, the name Howard Johnson might not ring any bells at all. If it does, they may only associate it with the hotel chain and not the hugely successful restaurant chain of the 1960s. Howard Johnson's went public in 1961, boasting 605 restaurants across the U.S. and Canada. It was an American staple, and in 1965 their sales were greater than those of McDonalds, Burger King and Kentucky Fried Chicken combined!
Unfortunately, due to increased competition and a shift in how the average American family ate their meals, Howard Johnson's began disappearing faster than their famous hot cakes. Today, the last Howard Johnson's still operates in Lake George, New York under the ownership of John LaRock.