More than 1,500 Hwy 55 Burgers, Shakes & Fries employees from Texas to Florida gathered at the Durham Performing Arts Center for the third annual Rally—an Oscars-type award ceremony to thank them for being a part of the Hwy 55 family. Hwy 55 locations were closed for the day to allow for franchise partners and hourly-wage employees to attend the Rally.

“Hwy 55 is not a franchise concept, it's a true American success story and our employees are the reason why we are successful,” says Hwy 55 president and founder Kenney Moore, who flipped every burger himself at Hwy 55 for the brand’s first two years of business. “We appreciate what our employees do on a daily basis to make this the best burger company in the country. The Rally is our way to honor what they do.”

Celebrating their 25th anniversary, Hwy 55 has a long history of putting employees front and center as nearly 50 current franchise owners started as hourly-waged employees.

Awards presented at the Rally include:

Sales Increase Leader for 2015: Hwy 55 of Oxford, North Carolina. Given to the store that showed the most improvement over the past year. This was the first year that the store was owned by Ryan Clark, who started working in the company as an entry-level employee.

Andy's Foundation Humanitarian Award: Hwy 55 of Hampstead, North Carolina.  Given to the store that raised the most money for the Andy's Foundation last year. They raised over $7,000 and presented the Miracle League of Wilmington with a $2,000 check at the Rally.

Frozen Custard Flavor of the Year: Hwy 55 of Jacksonville, North Carolina.Mud Slide was the flavor. J.R. Cottle, owner, and Lee Webb, operator.

Single-Unit Franchisee of the Year: Doug and Renita McPherson, Hwy 55 of Tarboro, North Carolina. They also won Store of the Year last year.

Multi-Unit Franchisee of the Year: Rich's Food Stores. Stores located in Apex, Fuquay-Varina, Burgaw, Hope Mills, Holly Springs, Dunn, and Wallace, North Carolina. All have exhibited huge turnarounds in service and quality in the past year.

Store of the Year:  Hwy 55 of Goldsboro (Wayne Memorial Dr.), North Carolina; Hwy 55 of Lexington, South Carolina. Given to the stores that exhibit excellence in operations, service, and the Love Your Neighbor mission. Hwy 55 of Goldsboro (Wayne Memorial Dr.) is owned by Matt Crawford, who started in the company in high school as an entry-level employee. Lexington, South Carolina, is owned by J.R. Cottle and Chris LaCoe, and is operated by Jay Webb.

With 128 units and growing quickly, Hwy 55 boasts a fresh, All-American diner experience with fresh, never-frozen burgers, premium sliced cheesesteaks piled high on steamed hoagies, and frozen custard made in-house every day. With its open-grill design, the kitchen's dedication and care when hand-crafting meals is front and center.          

Casual Dining, Chain Restaurants, Industry News, Hwy 55