JIFFY BURGERS by Gordon Sloggett

A story about the origination of the Jiffy Burger should be of interest to just about everyone who grew up in McCook since 1952. My parents, Wes and Dorothy Sloggett bought the Dairy Queen franchise in McCook in 1950, moving from Broken Bow. There were very high franchise fees in those days and the franchise rules would not allow the sale of anything but ice cream cones, sundaes, malts, and shakes. No sandwiches, no soft drinks, nor anything else.


After the first year of operating under the Dairy Queen franchise rules, my folks thought that they could do better as an independent business. They removed the franchise equipment, bought replacement equipment and opened up in the same location in the spring of 1951 as the Dairy Cream. That year they sold soft drinks, hot dogs, conies, and various cold meat sandwiches as well as ice cream. But they wanted to have more variety.


During Christmas vacation of 1951-52 we were able to travel to California for the Rose Bowl. On the way back to Nebraska, we were in a rural area of either Arizona or New Mexico and were having a hard time finding a place to eat lunch. We finally found a little roadside café. My little brother and sister, Chuck and Nancy, ordered hamburgers. They came with a very tasty relish.


My mother talked the café owner out of the relish recipe. Hence, the locally famous Jiffy Burger relish. When we got home, mother experimented with various combinations of lean hamburger meat and other ingredients cooked in a large roaster until she came up with the meat for the Jiffy Burger. They started selling them in the spring of 1952. The rest is history. My folks sold the Dairy Cream to the Peters in 1957. I am happy to say that Matt Sehnert bought the Jiffy Berger recipe from the owners of the Dairy Cream when it closed, and I can still get Jiffy Burgers at Sehnert’s Bakery when I visit McCook.