IRVINE, Calif. (AP) — John Galardi, the founder of Wienerschnitzel and other fast-food chains, has died at age 75.
The Irvine, Calif.-based Galardi Group, parent company of Wienerschnitzel, said in a statement Sunday that Galardi died of pancreatic cancer on Saturday.
Galardi’s company bio says he had been working for Taco Bell founder Glen Bell when in 1961 he opened his first Wienerschnitzel hot dog stand at age 23 in the Wilmington section of Los Angeles.
He would go on to oversee the expansion of the franchise to some 350 stores in 10 U.S. states, primarily in the Southwest.
Galardi’s company expanded to include the fast-food outlets Tastee Freez and The Original Hamburger Stand.
He remained chairman of the Galardi Group until his death but stepped down from day-to-day operations in 1993.