Caspers Company McDonald's
4908 W. Nassau Street
Tampa, FL, 33607
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- Chicken Nuggets
- Kids Meals
In 1954, Ray Kroc, distributor of the Multi-Mixer, a five-spindled milkshake machine, headed west to California to learn about a hamburger stand called McDonald’s®. Kroc met with the stand’s owners, Dick and Mac McDonald, and pitched the idea of establishing these quick-service restaurants all over the country.
Kroc opened his first McDonald’s in Des Plaines, Illinois, in 1955. His first day’s revenue was $366.12. By 1961, his unshakable confidence in these restaurants led him to buy out the McDonalds brothers for $2.7 million.
At the same time that Ray Kroc was heading toward McDonald’s, another visionary entrepreneur named Fritz Casper was making his way as part-owner of a clothing store in Waukegan, Illinois. Fritz met Harry Sonneborn, CFO for Kroc’s expanding hamburger chain, and with Ray Kroc himself, striking a deal that made Fritz the second franchisee in Florida and the first in Tampa. Given Fritz’s love for golfing and fishing, he knew Tampa would make an excellent home for his family.
Fritz, wife Jane, daughter Shirley and sons Tom and Joe left Illinois in their station wagon and headed to Florida in 1957 to open Tampa’s very first McDonald’s. This flagship restaurant opened in March of 1958 on South Dale Mabry, near MacDill Air Force Base.
Fritz’s son Joe settled into life in Tampa and graduated from Jesuit High School in 1960. After graduation, he served in the navy and went on to graduate form Florida State University in 1969 with a degree in hotel and restaurant management. After weighing a variety of lucrative job offers, Joe made a decision that would change his life, and ultimately the growth of McDonald’s in Tampa Bay. Joe’s belief in McDonald’s, coupled with the theories and principles he learned at FSU, set the stage for a new era for McDonald’s in Tampa.
In 1976, at only 34 years of age, Joe bought out his father Fritz and began to expand McDonald’s and Caspers Company. When Joe joined the company in 1969, Caspers owned five McDonald’s restaurants. At the time that Joe assumed ownership, there were 14 McDonald’s in the Tampa Bay area.
Over his many years at the helm of Caspers Company, Joe was recognized as a pioneer in the industry and in the McDonald’s system. He served for more than nine years on the McDonald’s OPNAD (Operators’ National Advertising) Advisory Committee and as president and vice-president of the Tampa Bay Marketing Association for the first six years of its existence. Joe won the prestigious Ronald Award in 1998.
Sadly, in 1995, the founding father of Caspers Company, Fritz Casper passed away. Fulfilling the cycle of life, a third generation of the Caspers family joined the business in 1996, when Joe’s children Allison Casper Adams, Blake Casper, and son-in-law Robby Adams entered the operator training program.
In 2005, Joe Casper passed away but his spirit of innovation, determination and commitment to excellence live on in his family, friends, and the company he built. With 51 McDonald’s restaurants throughout the Tampa Bay area, almost 4,000 employees deliver that commitment to thousands of customers each and every day.