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Franchise

Charleys Philly Steaks

An International Success Story

In 1986, Charleys Philly Steaks founder and CEO Charley Shin was a young undergrad who turned his entrepreneurial dreams into reality when he opened his first restaurant in a 450-square foot space near The Ohio State University campus. His restaurant became an instant hit with college students. While studying real estate at Ohio State University, Charley Shin worked in his mother’s Japanese/Korean restaurant in Columbus, Ohio. A wrong turn on a family trip to New York City resulted in Charley’s discovery of the Philly cheesesteak. Charley convinced his mother to take a break, sell the restaurant, and invest her life savings of $48,000 in“Charley’s,” a 450-square-foot (42 m2) restaurant across the street from Ohio State’s campus. Charley’s first decision in the restaurant was to turn the grill around to face the customers, so they could always see their food being cooked, a move that would later become the trademark of the Charley’s Philly Steaks chain.

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