George Webb begins Brewers burger countdown

Following a tradition that dates back to the 1950s, George Webb Restaurants is preparing to give away thousands of free hamburgers next week if the Milwaukee Brewers win their 12th game in a row Saturday.

For years, the company has operated with a tagline and printed napkins that proclaim, “George Webb predicts the Brewers will win 12 straight games.”

Since shortly after its inception in 1948, George Webb Restaurants has held a special attachment to baseball, supporting the original Milwaukee Brewers minor league team. Founder George Webb, who was a devoted baseball fan and loved the former Milwaukee Braves, made the original bet during the 1950s that if the Braves reached a 12-game winning streak, his restaurants would distribute free hamburgers in celebration.

When the Brewers came to Milwaukee in 1970, the restaurant continued the tradition.

“Our chain has been brought up on baseball and it started with the Milwaukee Braves,” said Ryan Stamm, current vice president of George Webb Restaurants. “So it’s just kind of something that we’ve grown with through the years just being baseball fans.”

The last and only time the Brewers managed a 12-game winning streak was in April 1987, when they defeated the Texas Rangers on a warm Easter Sunday. During the restaurant chain’s payoff day a few days following the win, it gave away nearly 170,000 hamburgers throughout the state.

After the Brewers’ ninth win over the San Diego Padres Tuesday night, George Webb Restaurants is preparing for a possible 12-game winning streak this season. The Brewers face the Padres again tonight and will play against the Los Angeles Dodgers both Friday and Saturday at Dodger Stadium.

Should the Brewers win their next three games, George Webb Restaurants will announce its free hamburger promotion immediately on Saturday. Free hamburgers and potential $1 promotional offerings such as fries and sodas would be available at all 31 restaurant locations in the state next week. George Webb Restaurants has not yet determined which day the celebration would take place.

Coupons for free hamburgers would also be available at George Webb Restaurants for Brewers fans who prefer to redeem their free burger later this year.

The Waukesha-based restaurant chain has already begun preparing to serve thousands of hamburgers by touching base with product vendors and generating excitement through social media.

“As the games build and as the streak continues, the buzz is out there already about it,” Stamm said. “We haven’t had to pay off burgers in 26 years, but we’re definitely excited to do it again. So we’re cheering the Brewers on.”

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