College Students Are Making This Charlotte Area Chain The Fastest Growing in America


cookout charlotteMany college students would consider fast food to be a necessity rather than a luxury. It’s cheap, it’s convenient, and it tastes good. I really can’t think of any negative aspects to eating excessive amounts of greasy foods.

Until the late 80’s, the Southeastern part of the United States was plagued with restaurants like McDonald’s, Burger King, and Wendy’s. Don’t get me wrong, I love all three of these restaurants, but my life was forever changed when I was introduced to Morris Reaves’ invention: Cookout.

My first experience with Cookout was not the best one. I was not the least bit excited when I found out my mom was taking me to some newfangled fast food restaurant. I wanted a Happy Meal. She insisted that the food at Cookout was cheaper, and she had a feeling that I would like it. Walking in, I remember staring at the menu as my mom ordered food for me, astonished. I saw endless combinations of dinner trays. A ridiculous variety of side orders. Over 40 flavors of milkshakes.

I was so taken aback by the menu, I had to take a seat outside. With as many options as that, there’s no way that the food in this place could taste anything but delicious. Similar to having a child, or moving across the country, I was about to make a life-altering decision. Was I going to bail and just beg my mom to take me to Mickey D’s? Or was I going to try this food and distort my palette forever?

I chose the latter, and I have zero regrets. Fast forward some years later to college, and Cookout still remains my favorite fast food restaurant. And I’m sure a lot of college students would say the same. I didn’t know it when I was little, but I completely overlooked the biggest advantage to eating Cookout: the price. For about $5, I get a huge burger, two sides, and a monster drink.

Most Cookouts also stay open until about 4am – prime time for college students like me!

What are your favorite Cook Out memories?



Evan is originally from Denver, North Carolina, and is currently a junior Communication major at The University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He also writes for UNCC's campus newspaper, and is a brother of Sigma Phi Epsilon. In his spare time, he plays sports, goes to concerts, and cleans up after his chocolate lab puppy, Carter.