Skip to Content

Hot ‘n Now

« Back to Glossary Index

– Founded in Kalamazoo, Michigan in 1984 by William Van Domelen
– Grew rapidly to over 100 stores in 15 states by 1990
– Acquired by PepsiCo in 1990 and operated under Taco Bell unit
– Experienced changes frustrating franchisees from 1992 onwards
– Filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2004 and was sold to STEN Corporation

– By 2002, based in Holt, Michigan with 53 locations
– Acquired by Proquest Capital Corporation in 2003
– Chain had 44 locations in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Indiana at acquisition
– Sold to STEN Corporation in 2004
– Only one location remains in Sturgis, Michigan

Legal Issues:
– Lawsuit filed by Richard Loehr against Taco Bell in 1995
– Hot n Now sold to a Connecticut company in 1996
– Company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2004
– Sold to STEN Corporation in 2004
– Last remaining location faced a fire in 2016

– Briefly used characters from Mad magazine’s Spy vs. Spy in advertising
– Popular items on the menu included Olive Burger and cheesy tots
– Attempted to rebrand Bay City location as Burger 81 after the fire
– Menu changes started frustrating franchisees from 1992
– Introduced El Toro-branded Mexican menu in 2002

– Articles from various sources like Milwaukee Record and Los Angeles Times
– Press releases and trademark information available
– Coverage on legal issues and acquisitions
– Details on the last remaining location in Sturgis, Michigan
– Information on changes in ownership and bankruptcy filing

Hot 'n Now (Wikipedia)

Hot 'n Now is an American fast-food restaurant based in Holt, Michigan. Founded in 1984, the chain once grew to more than 150 locations throughout the United States at its peak. Subsequently, under the ownership of PepsiCo, the chain filed for bankruptcy in 2004, and was then sold to STEN Corporation. As of April 2024, the company operates 1 location in Michigan. The majority of the chain's locations focused entirely on drive-thru service, featuring a small-footprint building with a tall, slanted roof style. Some previous locations were more traditional fast-food locations, complete with seating, and others were combined with gas stations.

Hot 'n Now
Company typePrivate
IndustryFast food
Founded1984 in Kalamazoo, Michigan
FounderWilliam Van Domelen
« Back to Glossary Index