Sunderland’s South station entrance is currently being rebuilt. We all agree it’s long overdue. The box like structure was hastily built in the 1960s as a makeshift necessity following the destruction of the city’s historic station entrance in World War II. Now, a much more promising future awaits.
But that doesn’t mean we don’t have particular memories of that station. Long before it became Burger King, Sunderland used to have a “Wimpy Burger”. Also an American fast food chain, Wimpy dominated the British market in the 1970s and 80s, which included an outlet at our very own Sunderland station.
In today’s terms, Wimpy food seems to be incredibly cheap. But why did it decline? The answer is because in terms of fast food” Wimpy wasn’t “fast enough”.
As a table service restaurant, it was surpassed by the much more competitive McDonald’s and Burger King who’s business models were able to serve food at the counter rapidly. Wimpy was left behind, literally and figuratively, and declined from the 1980s onwards.
Nowadays, there are 64 Wimpy restaurants throughout the UK, having once peaked at over 1000.