The Building of a Cheesesteak Empire
Charleys Philly Steaks founder and CEO Charley Shin tasted his first Philly Cheesesteak back in 1985 while attending The Ohio State University. As a young undergrad with an appetite for success, Shin knew he wanted to share this sandwich experience with others in a big way. After experimenting with countless ingredients and perfecting his recipe, Shin turned his entrepreneurial dreams into reality in 1986 when he opened his first restaurant called Charley’s Steakery, a 450-square foot space near The Ohio State University campus. With the support of his mother, Charley’s Steakery became an instant hit with college students who craved the made-fresh Philly Cheesesteaks, loaded Gourmet Fries and all-natural Lemonades.
As the customers (and rave reviews) rolled in, Shin worked on a growth plan. In 1991, Charleys started franchising with like-minded partners to share the Philly Cheesesteak love. In 2002, Charley’s Steakery became Charley’s Grilled Subs, putting emphasis on our “grilled-fresh-in-front-of-you” transparency. In 2012, as a nod to its core menu offering, all domestic locations became branded as Charleys Philly Steaks.
No matter the name, we’ve stayed committed to quality over the past 30 years. The #1 Cheesesteak in the World is made with only premium ingredients, like 100% USDA choice steak*, 100% all-white meat chicken, all-natural cheeses, and hand-cut vegetables—always grilled-fresh-to-order.
With nearly 600 locations in 46 states and in 17 countries, Charleys can be found in retail shopping centers, airports, strip centers, and Army & Air Force bases worldwide.
Cheesesteaks aren’t our only passion. We strive to serve our neighbors in local communities in which we have stores, as well as share hope around the world.
In addition to in-store donation boxes, 20¢ from every combo meal sold goes to the Charleys Kids Foundation at participating locations. Charleys Kids Foundation partners with non-profit organizations with programs that strengthen communities by providing at-risk children with educational resources, food and mentorship.
In addition to these selected organizations, the Charleys Kids Foundation partners with a number of organizations throughout the United States and internationally, based on applications for grant funding. For more information on the Charleys Kids Foundation, visit www.charleyskids.org.
*All domestic and AAFES locations worldwide use 100% USDA choice steak. Although top quality product, international locations source beef in adherence to local regulations.