The mission of each individual WindMill Restaurant Owner and each individual WindMill Employee is to serve superior quality food in a fast, friendly and courteous manner. The formula for superior quality food is simple: buy the finest products available. The formula for fast, friendly and courteous service is also simple: hire local people, provide them with a positive work environment and treat each of them as a valued member of the team.
Leo Levine and his brother, Ed, always dreamed of opening their own restaurant. One rainy night, Ed stumbled across a WindMill-shaped fast food place. He stopped in, closed his eyes, and inhaled deeply. He smelled the unmistakable aroma of great fast food, heard the giddy laughter of happy patrons and, all at once, came to the conclusion — this was the place he and Leo had to have. The next morning, both brothers returned and bought the place right then and there. That was in 1976.
Three years later, the brothers opened their second location on Route 35 in Belmar. From then until 1991, they opened two more locations, wholly family owned. It was not until later that year that they licensed the first franchise in Ocean, New Jersey. Even though the Levine brothers were not highly dedicated to this franchise business, two more were opened in 1992 and 1994.
In 1993, Leo's son, Steven, joined the organization. He brought with him years of restaurant experience and franchise knowledge. Steven's vision was more growth-oriented than either his father's or his uncle's, and this is where the story of WindMill franchising really begins.
In 1994, Leo also recruited his daughter, Rena Levine Levy, from her position as Director of Food and Beverage at Stern's Department store. Steven was sure that her knowledge of marketing and concept development, along with his operations wizardry, would be the perfect ingredients. He was right! Since that time, WindMill Gourmet Fast Foods has grown to include 8 locations—4 franchises and 4 family owned, with 2 more to come.