As you walk through the streets of Seattle, you're likely to hear the following at some point: "Hey, do you want to go get some Dick's?" Dick's Drive-In is one of Seattle's favorite fast food spots, and you shouldn't leave the city without giving it a try.
The first Dick's opened on January 28, 1954, and it was one of the first drive-in restaurants in Seattle. In fact, it was the second fast food joint in the city. The incumbent, a fish and chips spot, eventually closed. Drive-ins were becoming popular as more and more Americans were using cars to get around. They wanted to get their food fast!
Despite the restaurant's early success, the founders of Dick's didn't set their sights on national franchises. Dick Spady (after whom the company is named), explained that he and his family weren't traveling types. They were content to remain in Seattle.
Incredibly, Spady evidently paid McDonald's $50 so that he could work there. He wanted to get experience that he could use in his own restaurant. It may seem ridiculous, but it certainly paid off.
Dick's never really spent much on advertising. They got their customers through word of mouth.
Not much has changed at Dick's over the years, including the menu. The options (burgers, fries, and shakes), has remained largely unchanged since 1971. The last change to the menu was the addition of Diet Coke in 1982. There's something to be said for consistency.
The classic order is the Dick's Deluxe, which has two 1/8 pound grilled patties, cheese, lettuce, mayonnaise, and relish. Why not add some fries and an old-style milkshake to round out the experience? Dick's is a Seattle tradition that should not be missed.
Dick's now has several locations in Seattle, each of which stays open until 2am. Especially on weekends, Dick's stays busy late into the night.
Cover photo by Micheile Henderson on Unsplash