The Exchange at 125: Who Remembers the ‘AAFES Burger?’
The Exchange’s foray into name-brand restaurants came in 1977 when Baskin-Robbins opened its famous ice-cream shop at Edwards AFB, Calif.
In 1984, Burger King became the first name-brand burger restaurant to join the AAFES family, opening 185 BKs throughout the world on Army and Air Force installations. The first one was at Ansbach, Germany. Other well-known restaurant companies joined the Exchange lineup.
Even as brand names were joining the family, the Exchange sought to meet customer demands for hamburgers. In 1981, the Exchange’s first Run-in Chef restaurant opened at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo.
The Exchange-exclusive restaurant introduced the “AAFES burger,” which flopped.