John Galardi, the founder of restaurants such as Wienerschnitzel, has died at the age of 75.
According to the Galardi Group, Galardi died on Saturday after battling pancreatic cancer. He is survived by his wife, Judane, and four children.
Galardi founded his first restaurant, Der Wienerschnitzel, in 1961 at the age of 23. The business began as a stand in Wilmington, Los Angeles. The hotdog-based chain grew, and now has over 350 franchise restaurants located in California and the Southwestern U.S.
In 1979, Galardi founded The Original Hamburger Stand restaurants, which competed with other burger-based fast food restaurants in the U.S. Southwest. In 2003, the Galardi Group also acquired the Tastee-Freez company and has begun serving Tastee-Freez soft serve ice cream in Wienerschnitzel restaurants.
Galardi handed over leadership of his company in 1993, though he remained chairman of the Galardi Group until his death.