George and Ruth Culver opened their first restaurant in 1961 in Sauk City, Wisconsin. Originally an A&W, the pair purchased the restaurant and renamed it Culver’s. The restaurant chain serves typical American cuisine such as hamburgers, French fries, and milk shakes. In 1984, son Craig Culver introduced frozen custard to the menu, a novelty at the time. The company specializes in fried cheese curds, fish, and veggie burgers.
In 1987, the first franchising operation began in Richland Center. The original franchiser walked away from the deal after one year because the Culver’s had not asked for any fees or royalty monies. After this, the Culver’s set up a franchising system. Today, the company has more than 500 franchises in 22 states, with approximately 40 more locations being added each year.