Steak ‘n Shake was founded by Gus Belt in Normal, Illinois in 1934.
The companies’ original slogan was “In sight must be right,” which referred to Gus’ custom of grinding steaks and tenderloins into ground beef right in front of the customers. This was done to ensure them of the quality of the meat in the “steakburger.”
Gus Belt died in 1954 and ownership of the chain passed to his wife, Edith Belt, until 1969. The company was bought by Longchamps, Inc. in 1969, by Franklin Corporation in 1971, and by E.W. Kelley and Associates in 1981.
Today Steak ‘n Shake is owned by Biglari Holdings.
Steak ‘n Shake has more than 400 company-owned Steak ‘n Shakes and 100 more that are franchised, including 40 in the United Arab Emirates. Typical locations have sit-down restaurants, drive-thru, and front window service, making Steak ‘n Shake a combination of fast-food-to-go and diner-style-sit-down services.