1936 – 1967
Big Boy is a restaurant chain started in 1936 by Bob Wian in Glendale, California, as Bob’s Big Boy. Marriott Corporation bought the chain in 1967. One of the larger franchise operators, Elias Brothers, purchased the chain from Marriott in 1987, moving the headquarters of the company to Warren, Michigan, and operating it until declaring bankruptcy in 2000. Following the bankruptcy, the chain was sold to investor Robert Liggett, Jr., who took over as Chief Executive Officer (CEO), renamed the company Big Boy Restaurants International and kept the headquarters in Warren. The company is the franchiser for more than 455 Big Boy restaurants in the United States and Canada. In September 2008, then current CEO Tony Michaels was let go and a search for a replacement began.