Howard Deering Johnson
(1896? - 1972)
Howard Deering Johnson was an American businessman who started in the drug store business in Wollaston, Massachusetts in 1924. He sold home made ice cream in his store, expanded to sell the ice cream on local beaches, and then roadside restaurants. (The ice cream had double the normal butterfat content, what we would today call a super premium iced cream).
He franchised 'Howard Johnson' restaurants, first on highways in Massachusetts, and gradually expanding nationwide. His main contribution to the fast food industry was the idea of a central commissary system of preparing food to insure uniform quality and low cost. Howard Johnson's was at one time the largest commercial food supplier in the United States.
Howard Johnson's opened its 351st restaurant in 1952 and became the world's largest food chain.