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A slice of Americana is about to “leave the stage.” For those of you who are too young to remember, Howard Johnson is not an old movie star. It was a bustling restaurant chain across the U.S. Sadly, the last of two remaining Howard Johnson restaurants will close on Sep. 6, making it the end of an era, as well as the end of its fried clam strips, ice cream and other menu staples that nourished baby boomers.

1. Before Howard Johnson’s fell on hard times, how many restaurants did it have?
2. How did the chain go from so many restaurants to only one? What business concepts were probably at work to make this happen?
3. Where and when did the chain start?
4. Go to the website dedicated to HoJo’s restaurant history. What was the most remarkable thing you learned about the chain?

Sharp, D. (2016). Howard Johnson’s restaurant to close, leaving only 1 more. The Washington Post, Aug. 23 (Retrievable online at