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Rax Restaurants, owned by Carpediem Management Inc., is one of the older fast food chains that is still around today. The restaurants are located in the states of Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia. They serve unusual food for a fast food place: Mushroom Melt Sandwich (sautéed mushrooms in sauce, cheese, & sliced roast beef on a toasted corn dusted bun), baked potatos, chicken noodle soup, and such. They also claim to be the first place to have those glass greenhouse-like walls in the dining area (they call them "solariums"; today you see them at most Wendy's) in addition to pioneering the snaked ordering line and the salad bar. There is nutritional info for popular dishes on the web site (www.rax-online.com) that even lists approximate Weight Watchers' point values for select items. The corporate side of Rax says, "we work with passion to make the world in which we live a better place for all people," and has sponsored many charity organizations, such as the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, the American Red Cross, and the Alzheimer's Association.

But before you run to the nearest Rax (locations and maps available at the web site), read carefully: the food sucks. I've never heard anyone say anything good about anything they've made, except that it was inexpensive (and even then, it wasn't cheap enough to be worth eating). I've overheard people talking about how the lettuce is brown and the mashed potatos attach themselves firmly to one's fork. So think carefully about spending your hard-earned money on badly-made food; maybe you'd rather just sit at a table and soak up the atmosphere for a few minutes instead.

J. Patrick Ross founded the Restaurant Administration Corporation (RAC) in 1963. It first owned and operated a Burger Chef store in Wheeling, WV, but went on to open more Burger Chefs in Ohio, Kentucky, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. By 1977, RAC had built over a hundred new restaurants and operated 195, including Ponderosa Steak Houses, Patriot Steak Houses, Wendy's Old Fashioned Hamburgers, Long John Silvers and JAX Roast Beef Restaurants. JAX did so well that RAC sold the other chains and focused solely on the one enterprise.

The first JAX opened just four years after RAC was founded, in Springfield, OH. General Foods bought the concept in 1969 and changed the name to RIX Roast Beef and built nine more. When General Foods dropped the chain, RAC picked it up and changed the name back to JAX. The restaurants were revamped in 1976 and the success convinced RAC to franchise JAX nationwide. The next year the name was changed to RAX (better for trademarks) and in 1978, the first franchise opened and RAC also changed its name to RAX (in 1982 it would change one last time to Rax Restaurants, Inc.).

In 1992, Rax Inc. filed for bankruptcy and all but 56 stores closed. Aided by The MBC Group, the remaining stores found a new slogan, "Gotta Get Back to Rax," and tried to revive interest (they didn't do too bad, either). Rax's status as a little-known fast food chain has held steady for years.

Finally, for some strange reason, there is a rainbow-colored icthys on their Corporate Philosophy page.

Personal knowledge
Rax (official site}: http://www.rax-online.com/
BankruptcyData.Com: http://www.bankruptcydata.com/

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