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This Adored Burger Chain Celebrates 100th Birthday With Customer Perks

There's going to be punch, cake, and a chance to win $100,000.

Get ready to party like it's 1921. Family-owned fast-food chain White Castle is pulling out all the stops to celebrate its centennial birthday. The official date of its inception is March 10 but the company will be marking the occasion all year long. From giveaways to special deals and even employee perks, the oldest fast-food chain in the world is turning 100 in style.

Customers can look forward to new limited-time items on their next White Castle run. The celebratory Fanta Craver Party Punch hit menus March 1, while Birthday Cake on a Stick will be available starting April 18. Additionally, fans can participate in the Time Machine Sweepstakes for a chance to win several prizes, including daily prizes, dedicated restaurant booths, their name in lights on a White Castle reader board, and a grand prize of $100,000.

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Some other perks include a huge virtual party for customers and employees, which will take place on May 15, aka National Slider Day. The company is also releasing augmented reality cups that come to life when viewed through a smartphone and will partner with "iconic lifestyle brands" throughout the year. Employees will get a chance to earn perks as well, including $100,000 in college scholarships.

Over the years, White Castle has gone from a humble hamburger stand in Wichita, Kan. selling small, bite-sized burgers by the sack, to one of the most revered fast-food operations in the industry. Its impressive century-long run includes benchmarks like being the first fast-food restaurant to serve 1 billion burgers (a title achieved in 1961), and its Slider being named the most influential burger of all time by Time magazine. Just this month, the restaurant was named one of the Most Innovative Companies in the world by Fast Company.

But not much has changed at White Castle. You can still buy sliders sold in sacks, although many people prefer the massive and portable Crave Cases. The company innovates with the times but also sticks to what its customers love, which is why you still get those iconic sliders but can swap the beef for a modern, plant-based Impossible patty.

For more on the latest fast-food trends, check out 6 Most Anticipated Fast-Food Menu Items Launching This Year, and don't forget to sign up for our newsletter to get the latest restaurant news delivered straight to your inbox.

Paige Bennett
Paige is a Los Angeles-based editor and freelance writer. In addition to writing for Eat This, Not That!, she works as the content editor for Inhabitat. Read more about Paige