The company originated with a drive-in restaurant called "Parkette" in Charleston, West Virginia. Alex Shoenbaum opened the restaurant in 1947, then acquired a Big Boy franchise in 1951. Two years later, Shoenbaum renamed the Parkette "Shoney's Big Boy." During this time, Ray Danner was building a restaurant business in central Tennessee and opened his first Big Boy franchise in 1959 in Madison, Tennessee. He incorporated his privately owned company in 1968

Headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee, Shoney's, Inc., is one of the restaurant industry's most respected companies. As of 1998 the restaurant chain operated or franchised over 1,300 restaurants in 34 states, including Shoney's, Captain D's, and the Pargo's and Fifth Quarter specialty restaurants. The company owned 893 restaurants and franchised 494 others.



New Menu Items at First Watch

First Watch New Items:

  • Cinnamon Chip Pancake Breakfast: Two eggs with cinnamon chip pancake and choice of bacon, turkey sausage or sausage link
  • Classic Steak & Eggs: Seasoned and seared flat iron steak with two eggs, seasoned potatoes and whole grain toast
  • BLT Benedict (pictured): Two poached eggs on toasted ciabatta with bacon, tomato slices, hollandaise sauce, lemon-dressed arugula, avocado and herbs, served with lightly dressed mixed greens

Availability: Through Jan. 4, 2016

Get a Jump Start on 2016 with First Watch’s New Menu

First Watch, the popular breakfast, brunch and lunch concept, today introduced four fresh, new dishes nationwide as part of its limited time Jump Start menu. Like all the traditional First Watch favorites, the seasonal menu keeps things fresh with high quality ingredients while introducing new, mouth-watering flavors to celebrate a new season, and this year, it brings back a customer favorite – Avocado Toast.

First Watch introduced its Fresh Juice Bar in 2015 and has since been juicing in-house daily from fresh fruits and vegetables sourced locally whenever possible. Since the program’s launch, the restaurant has extended its Fresh Juice Bar offerings, which now include two permanent juices – Day Glow and Kale Tonic – and a number of seasonal options throughout the year. This season, First Watch is featuring a light, sparking beverage, available for a limited time:

Cucumber Mint Refresher – English cucumber, lemon and mint. Sparkling and lightly sweetened.

First Watch customers can find the following seasonal offerings in addition to the traditional favorites at their local First Watch through Sunday, March 20:

Avocado Toast – Our thick-cut whole grain toast topped with fresh smashed avocado, EVOO, lemon and Maldon sea salt. Served with two basted cage-free eggs.

Smoked Salmon Benedict – Wild Alaska Smoked Sockeye Salmon, red onion, tomato and two poached cage-free eggs atop toasted ciabatta. Served with lightly dressed organic mixed greens.

Steel-Cut Oatmeal & Marinated Berries – Made-to-order topped with house-marinated berries, fresh sliced banana and pecans. Served with low-fat milk, brown sugar and a fresh baked muffin of the day.

First Watch serves its entire menu seven days a week until 2:30 p.m. The restaurant also offers customers complimentary newspapers and free Wi-Fi Internet access.

About First Watch

First Watch specializes in award-winning, made-to-order Breakfast, Brunch and Lunch. A recipient of more than 200 “Best Breakfast” and “Best Brunch” accolades, First Watch offers traditional favorites, such as omelets, pancakes, sandwiches and salads, and unique specialty items like Quinoa Power Bowls, Avocado Toast and the Chickichanga. First Watch was named a 2015 Top Consumer Pick by Nation’s Restaurant News and has received other recognition including being named a 2013 “Next 20” Emerging Brand by Nation’s Restaurant News and a 2014 Top Franchise Value by FSR Magazine. First Watch is the largest and fastest-growing daytime-only restaurant concept in the U.S. with more than 270 restaurants in 26 states, including more than 140 First Watch restaurants, 116 The Egg & I Restaurants, 18 The Good Egg restaurants and one Bread & Company restaurant in Nashville (with another one under construction). For more information, visit

New Menu Items at Shoney's

Shoney's New Items:

  • Ranch Cheeseburger: A 6 ounce beef patty with hickory smoked bacon, American cheese and ranch dressing
  • Smokehouse Cheeseburger: A 6 ounce beef patty topped with Swiss cheese and smoked ham 
  • Sunrise Cheeseburger (pictured): A 6 ounce beef patty topped with American cheese, hickory, smoked bacon and a fried egg

Availability: Through July 31, 2015

The Great American Burger Tribute

America’s Dinner Table for 67 years, Shoney’s announced it is introducing the new burgers, all served with choice of hand cut, hand breaded onion rings or fries, starting at $7.99, for a limited time in what the iconic All American brand is calling The Great American Burger Tribute.

Beginning May 4 through July 31, 2015 participating Shoney’s will amp up its burger efforts with the following:
  • Ranch Cheeseburger – served with hickory smoked bacon and American cheese, topped with Ranch dressing.
  • Smokehouse Cheeseburger – topped with Swiss cheese and smoked ham.
  • Sunrise Cheeseburger – topped with American cheese, crispy hickory smoked bacon and a fried egg.

Shoney’s also features a BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger (with crispy hickory smoked bacon and American cheese, topped with tangy BBQ sauce), a Turkey Burger (100 % ground turkey grilled to perfection on a brioche bun with honey mustard dipping sauce), a Mushroom Swiss Burger (topped with sautéed mushrooms and covered with Swiss cheese) and Shoney’s Sliders (three fresh, mini burgers topped with American cheese and served on toasted mini buns with pickles and mayonnaise.)

Seafood Choices for Lent

At the time of year when everyone is looking for and expecting to find great seafood, Shoney’s is saying look no further. The iconic brand is inviting America to Get Hooked on its new, freshly prepared, quality seafood selections and to enjoy its weekend buffet for a limited time.

Beginning Ash Wednesday and through Easter weekend 2015, Shoney’s will feature the following seafood selections:
  • Wild Pacific Salmon – Seasoned filet served with rice pilaf and steamed vegetables. Includes Soup, Salad and Fruit Buffet.
  • Pile O’ Shrimp – A dozen large shrimp, hand breaded and lightly fried, served with cole slaw and cocktail sauce. Includes Soup, Salad and Fruit Buffet.
  • Fish Sandwich – Shoney’s fried cod fillet sandwich served on a toasted hoagie with lettuce and tartar sauce, served with choice of side.
  • Fish N’ Chips – Codfish fillets, hand breaded in homemade bread crumbs and lightly fried, served with French fries and tartar sauce.

Guests can enjoy all of these seafood items à la carte all week and even more, all for a great price, with Shoney’s Weekend Seafood Buffet, beginning at 4 pm each Friday.


Classic Buffets

Buffets are a fun way to bring family and friends together. Shoney's has been referred to as the poor man's buffet. I beg to differ. The buffets at Shoney's are a good value for the price.Shoney's is a family restaurant in 18 states throughout the south and midwest. Their popularity comes from the all you an eat buffet with down home cooking along with the option of freshly prepared entrees from the menu. This site will discuss the various buffets and items available at the restaurant chain.

Breakfast Buffet

(Usually served Monday - Friday until 11 am and until early afternoon on weekends and holidays)
  • fresh seasonal fruits
  • pastries
  • scrambled eggs
  • bacon
  • sausage
  • biscuits and gravy
  • potatoes
  • pancakes
  • muffins
  • cereal
Cost in my area $6.49 during the week and $7.49 on the weekends

BDinner Buffets

Each nightly buffet features a variety of special items accompanied by a selection of hot soups, fresh salads and home style vegetables.
(Check with your local Shoney's Restaurant for days and times for their specific buffets at participating locations.)
  • Homestyle Dinner Night - Features a variety of home style meats such as meatloaf, pot roast, pork chips and cube steak.
  • Steak Night - Enjoy a variety of steak options straight from the kitchen like chopped beef, country fried steak, ribeye steak and a full baked potato bar with all the fixings.
  • BBQ Buffet - Make a meal of barbecued ribs, pork and chicken.
  • Breakfast for Dinner - More than the regular breakfast buffet because it includes fried chicken and vegetables.
  • Family Favorites - A buffet of favorite Sunday dinners like fried chicken, meat loaf and turkey and dressing.

Seafood Buffet Offers:

(Usually on the Friday and/ or Saturday Evening)
  • Buttermilk Oysters
  • Maryland Style Steamed Shrimp
  • Mussels
  • Popcorn Shrimp
  • Baked Fish
  • Catfish
  • Deviled Crab
  • Clams
  • Sirloin Steak
  • Hot Veggies
  • Soup
  • Salad
  • Bread
  • Desserts
Prices vary according to location

Buttermilk Ranch Potato Salad

Big Boy Restaurant Copycat Recipe

2 pounds new potatoes and Yukon Gold potatoes, diced into 1 inch chunks, skin on
2 bunches of green onions, trimmed and chopped fine
2 medium fresh tomatoes, diced fine
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup real bacon bits
salt and pepper, to taste
12 oz. Frisch’s Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

Wash and dice potatoes and boil in salted water for about 8 minutes, (until potatoes are cooked, but still firm). While potatoes are cooking, dice and chop the onions and tomatoes. When potatoes are done, drain and cool to at least room temperature. In a large bowl, add all ingredients, + dressing and gently toss with a rubber spatula to coat evenly. If needed, sprinkle with a touch of salt and pepper to taste.


Shoney's Restaurant Copycat Recipe

Serves 4 - 6

1 pound lean ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 (10 oz.) can condensed tomato soup
1 (10 oz.) soup can of water
1 (6 oz.) can of tomato paste
3 teaspoons chili powder (or to taste)
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 (15 oz.) can of red kidney beans

In a large 4 quart saucepan, brown crumbled ground beef and onion. Drain off excess grease. Add tomato soup, tomato paste, chili powder, cumin, salt and sugar. Mix well. Simmer for one hour.
Add drained kidney beans, and simmer one more hour.

Half a Pound Burger

Half-o-Pound Burger
A fresh ground beef patty topped with grilled sweet onions 
and mushrooms. cooked to order, either ”pink” or ”no pink.”