As of 2015, White Castle does not operate any of its locations using a franchise system and does not offer or sell franchises using its brand name. All of White Castle's 420 locations are owned by the company and is based primarily in the Midwest, Tennessee and Kentucky. White Castle also operates a number of locations in the New York metro area and a single store in Nevada.
White Castle is a privately-owned company and is owned by the Ingram family who also serves on both the company's board and executive leaderships roles. White Castle's menu includes small-sized square hamburgers which are referred to as sliders. Unlike its competitors in the fast food industry, White Castle's menu does not vary from each of its locations and focuses on maintaining a small, but loyal customer base.
The first White Castle location was opened in Wichita, Kansas, in 1921 through a partnership between Edwar Waldo A. Ingram and Cook Walt A. Anderson. White Castle is also credited as being the first fast food restaurant in the United States. Anderson is also credited as the inventor of both the fast food kitchen assembly line and the hamburger bun. Ingram purchased Anderson's share in White Castle in 1933 and moved the company's headquarters to Columbus, Ohio.