Benders, Brown Derbies and Whippsies – check out this 70s wimpy menu


American-style fast food is everywhere these days, from the busiest malls to the quieter roads.

But that infatuation didn’t come with Ronald McDonald’s clown shoes, or the Burger King crown, or the benevolent smile of Colonel Sanders of KFC.

It was Wimpy who brought it to our shores and popularized it – first time in the 1950s.

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The brand struggled to take off in its native United States, but enjoyed great success internationally. This includes the UK, with a maximum number of restaurants of almost 400 locations.

Coventry got its fair share of branches – three appeared in the 1960s and 1970s, with restaurants in Trinity Street, Fairfax Street and Ironmonger Row.

Live Chronicle I came across a wimpy menu from the 1970s showing all your old favorites and how much they cost.

A 1970s Wimpy restaurant menu

All the old classics are there – from burgers, grills and brunches to these two classic desserts and a variety of drinks.

On a budget? The basic Wimpy burger costs 16 and a half cents – remember those half cents?

Get the Sugar Rush of a Brown Derby for 17p and a Coke for 8p to wash it off, and you’ve been fed and watered for under 50p. It sounds cheap, but the average UK weekly wage in 1972 was just over £ 36.

By pushing the boat a bit, you can get the Wimpy Bender for 16.5 pence – a frankfurter sausage in a bun.

And for those with a sweet tooth, you can try the famous Whippsy milkshakes for 15p.

A Telegraph advertisement for the Wimpy on Fairfax Street in 1970.
A Telegraph advertisement for the Wimpy on Fairfax Street in 1970.

Sadly, Wimpy’s golden age will not last. When its big American rivals took note of its success in the UK, McDonald’s and Burger King rushed to take a slice of the UK fast food market.

Wimpy slowly fell in the face of increasing competition. The number of branches has dropped over the decades from heights of around 380 restaurants to just 67 across the UK today.

If reading this gets you in the fast food mood of your youth, you better jump in the car and be ready for a day trip – The closest Wimpy to Coventry is in Milford, outside Stafford.

You can also travel on the M40 to Bicester.

What do you remember about Wimpy restaurants when you were younger? Which order sums up you best? Comment below or speak to us on social media.

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