What was breakfast like at a Howard Johnson’s Restaurant (HOJO’s)?
I’ve heard so much about lunch, dinner, and ice cream at HOJO’s. I’ve heard nothing about breakfast. Very little information is available about what was served in the heyday of these restaurants. I have been able to find some pictures of menus, but none that answer all my questions. The piece of the puzzle that always seems to be missing is the one that talks about breakfast.
I know it might seem silly for me to worry about what was served at a restaurant chain that is on the brink of extinction. I don’t care. To me, HOJO’s is an American institution that does not get the respect it deserves. In order to tell the entire story of a restaurant, you can’t focus solely on its history. You have to look at what they served throughout the day. After all, without the food, nobody would have a reason to go to a restaurant.
Based on advertising alone, it doesn’t appear that HOJO’s wanted to highlight what they served for breakfast. I’ve looked at all their advertising and it’s devoid of any mention of their morning dining options. I firmly believe that what’s available online is not a complete representation of how HOJO’s presented themselves to the masses.
After delving into the deepest depths of the internet, I came across a one page listing that has some breakfast items with the HOJO’s name at the top. I don’t know where this came from or whether it’s accurate. I would have to see a similar listing in the context of a complete menu.
Regardless of what was served at HOJO’s at breakfast time, I can imagine that it was grand. A big part of what makes a meal enjoyable is atmosphere. If there was anything at which HOJO’s excelled, it was atmosphere. They created an environment in which their guests could have the best possible experience. People couldn’t wait to get down to their local HOJO’ s.
I will continue to dig into this issue. When I find out more, I will post a follow up piece. I want to devote coverage to each meal served at HOJO’s. In doing so, I’m hoping I will be accurately and completely represent why Howard Johnson’s Restaurants were so great and why we need them now more than ever.