How many restaurants are started by a 20 year Marine veteran? I dare say not many. Charley Watkins served his country well. He was a pilot and retired as a Major in the USMC in 1963. A Shakey’s Pizza franchise brought he and his family to Nashville in 1966. Equipped with his wife’s recipes, O’Charley’s was born five years later in 1971 around the Vanderbilt campus on 21st Street in Nashville.
General Restaurant Information
Food Type: American
Restaurant Type: Casual Dining
U.S. Locations: 213
States: 22 states, O’Charley’s Locations
Company Slogan: Good Food, Good Times
Questions: Contact Information
Phone number: 615-256-8500
Email: Contact Form Only
Blog: O’Charley’s Blog
FAQ Page: Frequently Asked Questions
Who Owns O’Charley’s? American Blue Ribbon Holdings
Headquartered: Nashville, TN
Website: American Blue Ribbon Holdings
Email/contact page: Contact Blue Ribbon Holdings
Phone: (615) 256-8500
Address: 3038 Sidco Drive, Nashville, TN 37204
Do They Franchise? Yes
What Is It Like To Work At O’Charley’s?
3.7/5 or 74%; 111 Reviews (indeed.com)
3.1/5, or 62%; 141 Reviews (glassdoor.com)
The History of O’Charley’s
Original Location: 21st Avenue South, Nashville, TN
Founded By: Charley Watkins
Charles Watkins Jr. (ewgrove.com)
Charles Watkins Jr. (legacy.com)
Name Origin: Named after the founder, Charley Watkins
History Page: Company History Page
O’Charley’s Inc. History (fundinguniverse.com)
Charity Focus: The Folded Flag Foundation
Green | Eco-Friendly: No resources found
Animal Cruelty: No resources found
Discounts At O’Charley’s
Rewards Program: Reward Program
Do Kids Eat Free at O’Charley’s?
What day do kids eat free? Every Day!
Summary: At participating locations (always check ahead), the restaurant chain offers kids 10 and under eat free every day all day with the purchase of an adult meal.
Does O’Charley’s Offer Military Discounts?
Summary: Participating locations offer 10% daily as well as a free meal on Veteran’s Day (veteranownedbusiness.com)
What Do They Offer for My Birthday!?
Summary: Free birthday dessert if a member of the rewards program, the O’Club
Do They Offer First Responder Discounts?
Summary: No resources found
Does O’Charley’s Offer Senior Citizen | AARP Discounts?
Summary: At participating locations, seniors 60 and older receive 10% off (after55.com)
Are There Any Other Discounts or Benefits?
Summary: Free pie on Wednesdays with purchase of an entree! When you join their O’Club, you will receive additional benefits and promotions but they don’t list any benefits on their site.
You will be hard-pressed to find a restaurant chain that is as family friendly as this restaurant chain. They do it all. Kids not only eat free there, but they do so daily! Who does that? Some restaurants give active military and veterans 10% off or a free something on Veteran’s Day, they do both AND their charity focus is active military and veteran’s based (see below). Senior citizens aren’t left out either with a 10% discount for those 60 and older. They may not be the healthiest restaurant in town (and they do have healthy choices, you have to be careful), but you won’t find another restaurant that is more family friendly. If you are skipping your diet a day this week, find a location near you on Wednesday, free pie day!
Order Online: Online Order
WiFi Available: Yes
Use Apple Pay: No
Catering: Catering Menu
Open 24 Hours: No
Customer Reviews of O’Charley’s
Yelp: 2.9/5 or 57%, 705 reviews sampled
Tripadvisor: 3.8/5 or 77%, 1,054 reviews sampled
Overall (weighted) Average: 3.44/5 or 69%, 1,759 reviews sampled
O'Charley's & Related Items on Amazon
Food & Nutrition
Menu: O’Charley’s Menu
Kids Menu: O’Charley’s Kids Menu
Secret Menu: No resources found
Most Popular Menu Item: Slow Roasted Prime Rib, Grilled Atlantic Salmon, Famous Chicken Tenders
Coke or Pepsi: Pepsi
Does O’Charley’s Serve Alcohol: Yes
Nutritional Information: O’Charley’s Nutrition Guide
Vegetarian | Vegan Options: Vegan Options at O’Charley’s (veganfoodlover.com)
Farm to Table | Organic Options | Clean | Non-GMO: O’Charley’s FAQ Page (ocharleys.com)
Miscellaneous Nutrition Resources:
The 50 Unhealthiest Meals of 2017 (#3) (eatthis.com)
Healthy Eating at O’Charley’s (trustednatualhealth.com)
What to Order This Week: O’Charley’s (self.com)
Allergen Information: O’Charley’s Allergen Guide
Gluten Free Options: O’Charley’s Gluten Free Menu (urbantastebud.com)
Dairy Free Options:
O’Charley’s Dairy Free Options (godairyfree.org)
Restaurant Guide For Dairy-Free Dining (godairyfree.org)
Peanut Free Options:
O’Charley’s Peanut & Allergy Information (ocharleys.com)
Food Allergy Guides For Many Chain Restaurants (verywellhealth.com)
Ways to Eliminate Risks of Peanut Allergy When Dining Out (healthguidance.org)
Does O’Charley’s Have Any Secret Recipes?
Chicken Tenders Recipe (cookpad.com)
Did You Know?
Charley Watkins owned O’Charley’s from 1971 to 1984 and the restaurant has been owned by many companies since.
When he sold O’Charleys’s in 1984, it was a single store, and he sold it to the former CEO of Shoney’s, David Wachtel who turned it into a chain. (The Daily Meal)
The recipes Charley started with, in the first restaurant came from his wife, Johnnie (The Daily Meal)
They are famous for their pies. You can buy individual slices or whole pies. Oh, and if you visit on Wednesday, the pie (slice) is free!
10 Things You Never Knew (thedailymeal.com)
Revitalization Looks to History to Inspire Its Future (restaurantnews.com)
Investor to buy O’Charley’s for $221M (nrn.com)
Email showdown: O’Charley’s vs. TGI Fridays (content.myemma.com)
To secret angel who paid retirees’ O’Charley’s lunch: ‘Thank you’ (cincinnati.com)
O'Charley's & Related Items on Amazon
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Followers (as of September 2018) –
For an alphabetical listing of all our restaurants, simply go to our Restaurants Page.
Good news or bad news first? Let’s get the bad over with so we can enjoy the good. I love the restaurants which are owned by an individual, family or the founder. When the chain is owned by big business, it doesn’t seem as personal. Many (big) companies over the years have owned the restaurant chain. But in a sense, who cares I guess as it relates to your experience in the restaurant, I’m sure it’s just me. More importantly, is the healthy decisions you will need to make when visiting. You can pull off a somewhat healthy meal, but it would be more difficult than some restaurants. Do your homework before you go. On the flip side, the fans do seem to love the taste and quality. Now the good. I don’t know that you can find a restaurant who does everything else as well as they do. I was so impressed by the individual and family benefits they offer. If you are active military or a veteran, your appreciation is even more significant. You may find similar benefits at a local mom and pop restaurant in your town, but good luck finding one in a chain restaurant. In a society where customer service has fallen by the wayside, they deserve a standing ovation.