Sandy's Belgium

Sandy's Belgium

One of Sandy's proud moments came when the corporation began to expand into Europe. The expansion took place in Belgium and was headed by Bo Batchelder, former Univeristy of Illinois football star whose most famous moment came when he stripped the ball from a hated rival Perdue University player and ran for a touchdown which won the game. His father owned an advertising agency which was sold ads in New York City.

The following article appeared in the Peoria Journal Star on January 1st, 1970 and is used here as reference.

Sandy's hamburgers soon will be introduced to Europeans through Sandeuro Ltd., subsidiary corporation of the Batchelder Co., national transit advertising firm Peoria based at 502 E. War Memorail Drive.

The Batchelder company, headed by Joseph H. Batchelder Jr., chairman of the board, has the franchise for the continent of Europe and the British Isles for the established American Sandy's.

Batchelder, who will be chief executive officer of Sandeuro, said today the first two pilot Sandy's will be in Brussels and that "we are anticipating over a period of time the building of 60 stores in Belgium." He said the pilot stores are expected to be in operation next May.

Countries that Sandeuro Ltd. will look at next are Luxembourg, Holland, West Germany and Northern France. Don Ashley of the Batchelder firm will be executive vice president of hte European operation and Bo Batchlder, son of Joseph H. Batchelder Jr., will be vice president.

The senior Batchelder said one of the two Sandy's places in Brussels will be suburban, next to King's Forest, a vast forest area on the south side of the city on a four-lane highway to Waterloo, and the other will be next to the famous Stock Exchange building downtown.

There are 11,000 Americans living withing four miles of the suburban location for Sandy's in Brussels - employed by American companies or working for the government. Both NATO and SHAPE have headquarters in the city.

"All Sandy's stores in Belgium and other locations will be of completely new and different architecture than those in America, in keeping with European styling," Batchelder said.

They will have a seating capacity of 150 persons, unlike those here, and be operated in cafe style.

The main menu will be pretty much the same as in America, hamburgers being featured, but Sandy's in Europe will serve beer and wine. Batchelder pointed out that in Europe there is no liquor license required nor is there any age limit.

Another departure in the menu, for example, will be the serving of the Belgian waffle in stores in that country.

Batchelder said 95 percent of the equipent for the Sandy's shops overseas will be manufactured and ordered from mostly-American companies in West Germany.

Sandeuro will build its own commissary in Brussels to service all Belgian stores.

Recently, two officials from Brussels were here in connection with the Sandeuro operation - including Ernest Delville, vice president of hte Bank of Brussels, who came for a four-day trip to visit Sandy's local stores, eat their food and meet the people at the national headquarters of Sandy's Franchise, Inc., Kewanee.

Also here was Joseph Dieurkxen, project engineer for Armand Blaton Contracting Co. of Brussels, the largest in Belgium. The firm's head will be coming here soon.

Batchelder said the price of Sandy's hamburgers and other food items in Belgium and other spots in Europe will be - as the are in America - "less than they are at most other eating places there and in this country." However, the quality of beef will be high, Sandy's grinding their own, Batchelder said.

Sandeuro, Ltd. has a contract with Watney, a firm which runs breweries and also has the rights to Coca Cola products and two brands of coffee in the European market.

Sandeuro officials will commute between Peoria and Europe reularly in connection with new operation. Ashley returned only recently from Europe where he was preparing personnel and contacting suppliers.

All European Sandy's managers will be trained in the midwest. The first, Stephan Goson of Brussels, will be coming here in February.

Bo Batchelder for the last two and a half years has been in New York City with Metromedia, Inc., communications and entertainment conglomerate, and is a former nationally-known football star.

He was ALl-State on the football team at Richwoods Community High School, captain of the University of Illinois team in 1966, All Big 10 end and voted by Sports Illustrated magazine, AP and UP lineman of the week as a result of the Illinois-Purdue game in the fall of 1965.

He resides with his wife Judy and their six month old son Bret. He is 25.

Sandy's midwest operation headed by the Batchelder company includes stores in Freeport, Burlington and Ft. Madison, Mattoon, Charleston and Centralia and the company is preparing to locate stores in Dixon, Mt. Vernon, Keokuk and Austin, Minn. The company also has a Kentucky Fried Chicken place at Ft. Madison.

Ashley, who resides at 727 W. Fairmont, has supervised the Sandy's midwest stores.

08/27/2008

Sandy's fan Christopher Smith most likely has found one of the lost Belgium locations!!!!

Here is a pic of what I think was the suburban Brussels location, Waterloose Steenweg 246a, B-1640 Sint-Genesius-Rode. This is 14 km south of the Brussels city center on the N5, which turns into a four-lane just before leaving the south edge of Brussels, and 3 km north of Waterloo. There is a "Restaurant Sandy" on the northwest side of Brussels but doesn't appear to have been related to the chain. - Chris

Notice the striking resemblance to Sandy's 4th generation building which were built in the United States at the same time that the Belgium locations were being built!

If you have any memorabilia, pictures or stories of Sandy's in Belgium or elsewhere, please email me!