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FRED ELIAS SR., ONE OF THE FOUNDERS OF THE ELIAS BROTHERS BIG BOY RESTAURANT SYSTEM, SUCCUMBS

 WARREN, Mich., June 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Fred Elias, Sr., 79, chairman of Elias Brothers Big Boy Restaurants, Inc., died today in William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Mich., after being admitted Wednesday, June 16, for heart complications.
 In 1938, Fred Elias, Sr., along with his brothers Louis and John were the "Elias Brothers" who opened their first restaurant, Fred's Chili Bowl, at Livernois and Michigan Avenues, in Detroit.
 In 1941, the Elias family opened the Dixie Drive-In a 16-stool diner, located at John R and Stephenson Highway. Unbeknownst to them, the diner was to become the prototype of Michigan's largest family- restaurant group.
 Over the next fifty-five years, Fred, Louis, president and CEO, and John (who died in 1974) guided Elias Brothers Restaurants into one of the largest restaurant systems in the world.
 In 1952, the Elias brothers became the first Big Boy Restaurant franchises. In 1987, Fred and Lou became the exclusive worldwide franchisors of the Big Boy Restaurant system which operates 925 Big Boy Restaurants in the United States, Canada and Japan.
 Fred was the eldest of the six Elias children. He is survived by his wife Samira; their two adult children, Christopher (exec. vice president) and Lisa; Fred Sr.'s three children from a previous marriage, Fred, Jr. (exec. vice president) Susan and Candace; his brother Lou, three sisters Mary Kassab, Ann Hanson and Helen Morgan; brothers-in-law Gabriel Kassab (sen. exec. vice president) and William Morgan (sen. exec. vice president).
 Until he became ill Wednesday, Fred Sr. continued to be an active chairman of the company, putting in full eight-hour days that included his traditional daily tour of the 300,000 square foot commissary housed in the company's Warren, Mich., headquarters.
 Throughout the company's growth and success Fred remained an affable and approachable chairman, the kind employees of all levels were encouraged to call by his first name.
 It was under Fred's direction that Elias Brothers Restaurants began its concessions operations that are today a burgeoning division of the company. In 1974, Fred developed the first piece of business for the concessions division with Michigan International Speedway (M.I.S.). Today, Elias Brothers Restaurants, Inc. serves as the concessionaire for M.I.S. ITT Automotive Detroit Grand Prix, Detroit Budweiser APGA Gold Cup, Montreaux Detroit Jazz Festival, Detroit-Windsor Freedom Festival, Cleveland Grand Prix, several gold events, as well as serving as the exclusive concessionaire at all events held at the Pontiac Silverdome.
 Another of Fred's hallmarks was the philosophy of "total quality management" -- long before the concept became the popular management credo that it is today.
 Fred and Lou insisted on controlling and maintaining the quality of all the products and services provided in every Elias Brothers Big Boy restaurant. For that reason, "the brothers" insisted on creating a commissary in 1953 from which would come every ingredient for every dish served at every Elias-operated franchise.
 The idea of a self-sustaining commissary fill the needs of all company-operated franchises was virtually unheard of in 1953 and still remains unusual today.
 The commissary's sauce room alone produces more than 75 different products used in 300 Elias-operated Big Boy restaurants and in many other Big Boy restaurants around the world. In the commissary's lab, food samples from every department -- sauce kitchen to ice cream factory to butcher shop -- are put under a microscope. A technician tests batches in progress every 20 minutes. This commitment to quality and insistence on attention to every detail is Fred Elias' legacy. It will continue under the direction of the remaining "brother," Lou and other family members and professional management executives, many of whom have been with the company for several decades.
 Lou and Fred Elias took "brotherly love" seriously. They currently have homes next door to each other and they ate lunch together every day in the Big Boy restaurant adjacent to headquarters. In business, even when John Elias was alive, projects would only proceed when all three were in complete agreement.
 Arrangements are pending. All media inquiries should be directed to Tony Michaels, vice president of marketing for Elias Brothers Restaurants, Inc. (313) 755-8124. After business hours Michaels can be reached at (313) 651-8694.
 -0- 6/19/93
 /CONTACT: Nikki Grandberry, 313-362-4242, for Elias Brothers Big Boy Restaurants/


CO: Elias Brothers Big Boy Restaurants ST: Michigan IN: FOD SU:

JP -- NYSA003 -- 3820 06/19/93 12:23 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jun 19, 1993
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