Dick’s Drive-In may be just a fast-food restaurant, but it’s a business done right and one that delves into community issues.
(Dick’s Deluxe. Freshly cut french fries. Hand-dipped strawberry shake. Five-cent onions, tarter sauce and ketchup. Sorry, did we break your concentration?)
That was the sentiment today during a groundbreaking ceremony for the Northwest icon’s first restaurant in Snohomish County and first since the Queen Anne location in 1974. Edmonds will be the restaurant’s sixth business.
Dick’s employees, local dignitaries and everyday fans joined in the festivities at the northeast corner of the Top Food and Drug parking lot at SR 99 and 220th Street SW.
“The people of Edmonds and Snohomish County have been welcoming,” said Jim Spady, vice president of Dick’s and son of co-founder and namesake, Dick Spady. The elder Spady, 87, one of three original co-founders, was in attendance and helped flip dirt with a shovel at the ceremony.
“It’s a tremendous honor to have Dick’s in Snohomish County,” said Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon. “We couldn’t ask for a better business partner.”
“This is the kind of business Edmonds wants to attract,” added Mayor Mike Cooper. “They take care of their employees and gets involved in the community.”
Carrie Howard Shaw, a publicist for Dick’s, says the restaurant has the highest hourly wage and benefits in the region's fast-food industry. “That includes generous health-care coverage, childcare support, paid volunteer time, and up to $18,000 per employee for education scholarships, even for part-time employees,” she said.
There will be 25 jobs at the new drive-in, Shaw said. Dick’s will begin accepting applications in October, and the restaurant is expected to open in early December or even late November if the weather cooperates.
Strom Peterson, Edmonds City Council president, said, “While I am looking forward to my first Edmonds Dick’s Deluxe, I know it couldn’t have happened without our Economic Development Director, Stephen Clifton, or the continuing work of our city staff to keep this project on schedule. I’m looking forward to my first Dick’s Deluxe. I know it will taste a little better here in southwest Snohomish County.”
Mayor Cooper said several possible locations for Dick’s in the city were discussed, including downtown, but the restaurant liked the location on busy SR 99 and its proximity to large businesses, as well as Edmonds-Woodway High School.
“I personally am looking forward to driving to Edmonds Dick’s instead of Holman Road (in Seattle’s Crown Hill) after football games,” Cooper said
The original Dick's Drive-in opened in 1954 on Northeast 45th Street in Wallingford. Like another burger icon, Southern California’s much larger In-And-Out Burger, which opened six years earlier, Dick’s has kept its prices low ($2.50 for a Deluxe Burger) thanks to its small square-footage (no dining-in except for Queen Anne) and independent ownership. As part of its low overhead, Dick’s also only accepts cash. Like the Queen Anne location, Edmonds will have an ATM, however. The other four Dick’s are expected to have ATMs by the end of the year, said Shaw.
Construction of Dick’s in Edmonds will be handled by Seattle-based Schuchart Corporation. Dick’s in Edmonds will maintain the original restaurant's iconic 1950s look and architecture.